The 15 Greatest Original Film Scores From the Past Decade

Categories: Commentary

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Established musicians composing film scores is nothing new. Some of the best scores of the last 50 some odd years have come from pop stars: Dylan's score for Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Danny Elfman's whole career and Queen's legendary Flash Gordon score. With the rise of various indie studios world-wide over the last decade, we're starting to see more and more opportunities for bands to experiment with their sound by doing a feature score. What follows are 15 of the best scores from the last decade.

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15. Basement Jaxx - Attack the Block

2011's best film (yeah, I said it) had a powerful score composed of work that, while it would fit in with the music being produced of it's time, would pair perfectly with the synth heavy scores of the '80s, much like the film it blankets.


14. Grizzly Bear - Blue Valentine

Director Derek Cianfrance had originally wanted film score extraordinaire Vangelis to provide the background for his tale of heartbreak, but while completing final edits on the script he begin to fall for the work of Brooklyn's Grizzly Bear. The band agreed to work on the film and what was born was a score that conveys the sense of weight that hung over the relationship of the characters played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.


13. Thomas Bangalter (of Daft Punk) - Irréversible

Irréversible is downright unwatchable at moments as the story told by directer Gasper Noe is equal parts horrifying, tragic and heartbreaking. What locks you in is Bangalter's score, whose sonic brilliance anchors you from the dizzing mess of New French Extreme that's on your screen.


12. Goldfrapp - Nowhere Boy

Having an artist best known for ambient folk and synth pop score your biopic of young John Lennon is a bold choice. Lucky for director Sam Taylor-Wood, Allison Goldfrapp delivered a score that not only paired well with the contemporary tracks that made up the film, but also lent itself to the material..


11. Cliff Martinez - Drive

Only the most memorable soundtrack and score of the decade, you hear tracks in commercials ad-nauseum and owning a copy of the Drive soundtrack serves as sort of a shorthand for "Hey, I'm cool."


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16 comments
JaimesonPaul
JaimesonPaul

Thanks for the response guys, but to be clear I went with Bangalter's score for Irreversible over his and Homen-Christo's Tron work because I find it more memorable and I was trying to not repeat artist. This is scores, not soundtracks, very different things and maybe a list of soundtracks could be put together. 

Jake B
Jake B

Sucker Punch. O Brother Where Art Thou. Heavy Metal. ...

mikeymo39
mikeymo39

This was a great distraction. Thanks for posting!

Josh Wilemon
Josh Wilemon

This list sucks. There's like 2 memorable scores in there. and The RZA's contribution to Kill Bill was pretty minimal as far as original scoring.

Chris Eakins
Chris Eakins

I agree with a lot of those but.....HOW DO YOU NOT INCLUDE TRON LEGACY?

Janie White
Janie White

Million Dollar Hotel, Talented Mr. Ripley

Ambelleina Warwillow
Ambelleina Warwillow

All-time favorite is Dan in Real Life. Glad to see it and Thumbsucker on here--two lovely, lovely scores. Finally, a DO list I can get behind.

Thomas Yongo
Thomas Yongo

I am going to have to go with Troy & The Great Gatsby.

Rich Lopez
Rich Lopez

Dumb list apparently based on familiarity w bands either by name or by music.

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