When moviegoers think of action movies, the soundtrack isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind. Heroes like John McClane and sequences like Old boyThe hallway fight stands out more than the music playing in the background. As a result, most action movie scores are made up of generic, forgettable orchestrations.
But that’s what makes the best action movie soundtracks so stand out. Whether a songwriter like Michael Kamen gives a movie its own sound or a director like Edgar Wright provides a personal playlist, there are plenty of action movies out there with awesome soundtracks.
ten Death Wish II (1982)
After the dazzling success of Charles Bronson’s gritty self-defense thriller Death wish, a suite was quickly ordered. The sequel’s plot is more or less a revamp of the original – architect Paul Kersey does justice to himself after being threatened by street tough guys – but it stands out for its soundtrack.
The score was composed by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, whose signature electric guitar sound and reverberating heavy drum beats can be heard over the opening credits.
9 Top Gun (1986)
The soundtrack of Tony Scott’s iconic action drama Top Gun has daring and melodramatic 80s pop hits accompanying equally daring and melodramatic (and 80s centric) sequences.
“Top Gun Anthem” – written by Harold Faltermeyer and performed by Steve Stevens – captures the film’s camp tone perfectly. The Oscar-winning Berlin hit “Take My Breath Away” highlights an oversized and silhouetted sex scene. Kenny Loggins ‘”Danger Zone” sets the stage beautifully for the aerial sequences, while Loggins’ “Playing with the Boys” deliciously underscores an intense game of volleyball.
8 Baby Driver (2017)
Edgar Wright’s action comedy Baby Driver is specifically built as an iPod playlist. All music is diegetic because a runaway driver with tinnitus listens to his favorite tunes to focus on his job. Baby even rewinds one of his songs when a car chase lasts longer than he expected.
This soundtrack is filled with Wright’s iconic needle drops, including energetic hits such as Jon Spencer’s “Bellbottoms” Blues Explosion, The Damned’s “Neat Neat Neat”, Focus’s “Hocus Pocus” and the “Track slayer “from Baby,” Brighton Rock “from Queen.
seven Lethal Weapon (1987)
Shortly after completing the unforgettable score for mountain dweller, Michael Kamen got to work on the equally memorable music of Richard Donner’s Cop Buddies classic Deadly weapon. “Jingle Bell Rock” immerses audiences in the premiere of the film.Die hard Christmas frame on the opening credits.
Eric Clapton’s guitar riffs represent Riggs’ renegade attitude. David Sanborn’s saxophone evokes the old-fashioned black styles of Murtaugh’s grizzled worldview as a veteran cop perpetually on the verge of retirement.
6 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
George Miller’s long-awaited post-apocalyptic actor Mad Max: Fury Road Beautifully combines the hands-on action of the franchise’s early classics with a modern blockbuster sensibility. Junkie XL’s score engages audiences in what is essentially a long-running car chase.
In addition to having a captivating non-diegetic music preparing the ground for vehicular action, Road of fury has unmistakable diegetic music as a guitarist appears onscreen strapped to a fast-moving car playing a flamethrower guitar.
5 Batman (1989)
Tim Burton’s groundbreaking superhero blockbuster soundtrack Batman mixes a traditional Danny Elfman sheet music with original songs by Prince. Elfman’s Batman The theme is one of the most iconic themes of all time. The melody was recycled in Batman: The Animated Series and the DCEU because it sums up the Batman character perfectly. Elfman’s high-energy compositions complement the thrills of each action scene (and the occasional horror scenes, like the Joker’s haunting transformation).
Prince’s songs were more polarizing. His contributions have received mixed reviews, but they bring an undeniably unique sound to the debates that pairs well with Burton’s surreal Gothic vision.
4 The Warriors (1979)
Walter hill The Warriors has a distinctive punk rock sound that perfectly complements the controversial and stylish portrayal of gang violence in the comics.
The soundtrack contains memorable rock ‘n’ roll songs like the theme by Barry De Vorzon, “In the City” by Joe Walsh and the cover of “Nowhere to Run” by Arnold McCuller.
3 Escape from New York (1981)
John Carpenter’s Dystopian Sci-Fi Actuator Escape from New York reinvented the onscreen image of Disney star Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken, the badass antihero.
In order to pair Plissken’s futuristic antics with the right musical tone, Carpenter composed synthesizer melodies which were then completed by sound designer Alan Howarth using Fender guitars, an acoustic piano and a box. Rhythm Linn LM-1.
2 Kill Bill: Book 1 (2003)
As with all Quentin Tarantino films, the martial arts epic in two parts Kill bill has a spectacular soundtrack. It was largely produced and orchestrated by the Wu-Tang Clan RZA. This film presents a diverse range of tracks, all perfectly associated with the tone or energy of a given scene. Nancy Sinatra’s dark gem “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” performs beautifully on the opening credits after the bride falls into a four-year coma.
Al Hirt Green Hornet The theme defines the manic energy of the House of Blue Leaves sequence when the bride arrives in Tokyo. “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” pairs wonderfully with O-Ren and Crazy 88’s glorious slow-mo entry. 188.8.131.52 appear as themselves playing their catchy hit “Woo Hoo”. The Human Beinz’s “Nobody But Me” is wonderfully juxtaposed with the climactic, blood-soaked battle sequence.
1 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
John Williams was nominated for an Academy Award for his iconic The Raiders of the Lost Ark score, but he lost the Oscar to Vangelis Chariots of fire Goal. “Raiders March” is one of the most eye-catching and iconic themes in movie history.
Williams’ sweeping orchestrations contribute just as much to the pulpy, old-school style of the Indiana Jones films like the sharp staging of Steven Spielberg and the charismatic performance of Harrison Ford.
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