The world-famous composer strikes again, this time on the 25th film of the James Bond franchise.
There’s no doubt James Bond already has a legendary soundtrack. Who hasn’t crept around the house, trying to sneak an extra snack before dinner, while the Bond theme blared in their head? Sure, maybe that specific scenario is just me, but we’ve all done a variation of this while trying to sneak around the house without mum finding out.
Now take an already-legendary franchise, and pair it with an already-legendary composer, and the possibilities are almost unfathomable. But why is this partnership of epic proportions suddenly forming?
Due to “creative differences” between Dan Romer and Eon Productions, Romer was kindly asked to “please leave without a fuss.” Well, they may not have put it exactly like that, but you get the point. With “No Time to Die” already in post-production and an April 2020 release date fast approaching, Eon went to the only man they could trust to get this ship to its destination.
Random side note: for the final time, Mr. Daniel Craig will be starring as 007, after 12 years of being our Bond. And the baddie who’s postponing poor James’ retirement? That will be played by none other than (drum roll please), Rami Malek. End random side note.
It’s almost impossible not to get excited by the recent update, thanks to the vast and super-rich anthology by Zimmer. What else does Hans Zimmer have in store for us? He already gave us hours on hours of soundtracks that take us on a roller coaster ride of emotions, from tear-jerking melodies to epic adventure orchestras.
While we wait for Zimmer’s next great masterpiece, there’s only one thing left to do. We reminisce. There’s a LOT material to go perusing around, and we’ve somehow whittled it down to a top five. Needless to say, there are going to be some masterpieces left out when you take a library as vast as Zimmers and restrict yourself to just five.
Let us know what you thought about our Top Five in the comments below. What would you add and which soundtrack would you replace?
1. “Now We Are Free” from “Gladiator” (2000)
The ending song of Gladiator does nothing but just give goosebumps to whoever witnesses that final scene and makes even the toughest person on Earth shed a small, blur tear that you discretely blink away. You’d be officially heartless if you didn’t at least shiver while listening to this song.
Curiously enough and against all speculations from fans, the lyrics are not written in any humanly known language, so don’t bother trying to understand what it says, just enjoy it. This video in particular is the official one with Lisa Gerrard as the lead singer.
As with most of Zimmer’s scores, this one is mainly synthesized but it has also included varied string instruments, like viola, violin, cell and bass…and even a French horn!
2. “Remember” from “The Lion King” (2019)
OK, I promised myself I wouldn’t cry here. And I won’t.
Alright, that moment left aside, you can’t judge me. This song is plainly AMAZING, especially if you’re a millennial who grew up in the 90s and for whom “The Lion King” was a milestone in their childhood. The scene where a hopeless Simba talks to his dead father in the sky is one of the most endearing and touching moments in the history of Disney (don’t get me started on Mufasa’s death), and Zimmer’s soundtrack completes the circle. It just feels right. Hey! He did win an Oscar, a Golden Globe and 2 Grammys for the 1994 soundtrack!
But enough with melancholy, or better put by the Portuguese as saudade, and let’s talk business: For this soundtrack, he gathered sounds from African music and also incorporated typical instruments like bongs and drums, apart from the usual instruments and synthesizers that are his trademark.
3. Soundtrack from “The Last Samurai” (2003)
To make this movie a bit more Asian-like, Zimmer combined Japanese elements with a regular orchestra. In addition to his typical ensemble of instruments, he used the rolling drums called taiko, flutes called shakuhachi and strings called koto. The result was a quite Western-like score with some Japanese influence.
I suggest listening to the soundtrack all over again and paying attention to the sounds of these instruments if you have already seen the movie. If you haven’t, then you have some homework to do. You’ll thank me.
4. “The Dark Knight” from “The Dark Night” (2008)
Talking about goosebumps, who wouldn’t feel moved by this soundtrack? The depths it takes you to is incomparable, together with the awesome film it goes with.
The man knows how to create an atmosphere and for this movie he even used razor blades on strings to make the sound more twisted and kind of out of key to go with Heath Ledger’s Joker scenes.
5. Soundtrack from “Sherlock Holmes” (2009)
The peculiarity everybody mentions about this soundtrack is that Zimmer specifically asked to get a broken piano to make it part of the composition. Apparently, he wanted to make the sound more “rusty” to make the sounds resemble that of Romanian music.
I’m not going to rank it; I prefer that you do it yourselves, so please comment below with your own ranking among the “curation” I’m making here. You can also add your own suggestions. Go nuts!