Everyone has different taste in music. My musical tastes range from punk rock to film scores. The last few playlist articles have been songs from various bands, but I thought I’d switch gears for the month of May. This month I’d like to feature the work of Hans Zimmer, one of my favorite film composers. Perhaps next time I will do a playlist of John Williams score pieces, because he’s the reason why I’m into scores in the first place. So if you’re a fan of film scores, check out the list of my favorite Hans Zimmer score tracks. And no, I’m not putting The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” either. (Side note: He was a keyboard player in that band).
1. The Pacific – “Honor (Main Title Theme from The Pacific)”
Hans Zimmer’s newest theme, which is just an incredible piece. It’s especially moving to listen when you’re watching The Pacific’s intro. I highly recommend watching that mini-series on HBO if you’re not watching it already.
2. The Da Vinci Code – “Chevaliers de Sangreal”
“Chevaliers de Sangreal” from The Da Vinci Code is perhaps my favorite piece ever written by Zimmer. It’s just perfect!
3. Gladiator – “Battle”
Gladiator is my favorite overall album from Zimmer. “The Battle” is track 3 and features a motif in there that I thought should have been used more frequently in the movie. It’s a shame Hans Zimmer isn’t working on Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood movie. “The Barbarian Horde” is another Gladiator piece that’s just excellent!
4. Pirates of the Caribbean – “He’s A Pirate”
Hans Zimmer was uncredited for this score, but essentially he composed a few of the tracks, particularly this one. This track is one of the main motifs from The Pirate trilogy. Drink up me hearties yo ho!
5. The Dark Knight – “Why So Serious”
The Joker theme in Dark Knight really raised the bar for other composers to come up with something different and unique. There has been a lot of copycats out there that have tried to mimic this style after this was released. Other Dark Knight tracks that are interesting include “I’m Not a Hero” and “Introduce a Little Anarchy.” Though, “I’m Not A Hero” could be a James Newton Howard score track?
6. Crimson Tide – “End Titles”
This Gene Hackman and Denzel movie is a compelling military flick. The score is also quite cool and very Zimmer-esque.
7. The Last Samurai – “Spectres in the Fog”
Out of the tracks from the Last Samurai score, “Spectres in the Fog” and “Red Warrior” stand out but the whole score is wonderful.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – “Up Is Down”
“Up Is Down” is perhaps one of my favorite tracks in the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. It’s a bit of a Irish jig, mixed in with the usual Zimmer style music. I almost wished it was used a lot more in the trilogy. Perhaps in the next movie it will be used again?
9. Backdraft – “Show Me Your Firetruck”
Can you believe it, I still haven’t seen Backdraft? But Backdraft is still one of the best Zimmer scores to date.
10. The Peacemaker – “Devoe’s Revenge”
The Peacemaker score is a favorite of mine. I love the 17 minute track “The Chase” but “Devoe’s Revenge” is a shorter version of those themes used.
11. King Arthur – “Woad To Ruin”
Am I the only one who liked this movie? I also liked Hans Zimmer score to King Arthur.
12. Pearl Harbor – “Tennessee”
Movie sucked but that doesn’t mean his score did!
13. Black Hawk Down – “Leave No Man Behind”
This track from Black Hawk Down is a sad one.
14. Thin Red Line – “Journey to the Line”
A haunting track that fits the movie very well.
15. Batman Begins – “Molossus”
One of the main themes from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. The rest of the Batman Begins score is kind of slow for me, but The Dark Knight score is a lot better.
16. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – “Davy Jones”
The music box intro has an Ennio Morricone feel to it. There are many tracks to pick from the Pirates scores, but I always liked the Davy Jones theme.
17. The Lion King – “This Land”
The Lion King is still one of my favorite Disney animated movies; certainly one of the last I really appreciated that wasn’t from Pixar. Another thing that I appreciate is Hans Zimmer’s score tracks on the soundtrack. The singing crap I could do without.
18. Prince of Egypt – “Chariot Race”
An exciting track about well, a chariot race!
19. Power of One – “Mother Africa Reprise”
Power of One soundtrack is a bit different than most of Zimmer’s work. Most of the album is a bunch of beautifully sung African songs. “Mother Africa Reprise” starts off instrumentally and then goes into singing.
20. Millennium – Millennium Theme
A tribal style theme song to the TV series.
21. World Apart – “End Title”
Interesting and cool African style track.
22. True Romance – “You’re So Cool”
“You’re So Cool” always seemed like a early stand-out piece from Zimmer. I really like the xylophone sounding motif.
23. Rain Men – “Las Vegas/End Credits”
One of Hans Zimmer’s first scores that got him recognition.
24. Days of Thunder – “Main Title”
An 80s sounding, rocking score track.
25. Driving Miss Daisy – “Driving”
Another early score of Zimmer’s that is well known.
26. Muppet Treasure Island – “Treasure Island”
A swashbuckling good theme!
27. A League of Their Own – “The Final Game”
“The Final Game” starts off like a big band era piece and then goes into dramatic score piece.
28. As Good As It Gets – “As Good As It Gets”
Light-hearted and pleasant to listen to.
29. Angels & Demons – “I60 BPM”
Angels & Demons was a bit of a letdown after the Da Vinci Code. Score-wise and the overall movie. But there are a few tracks that I liked from A&D. The motif used in “Chevaliers de Sangreal” is used subtly throughout the score but I wished it was more prominent.
30. Frost/ Nixon – “Watergate”
I still haven’t seen Frost/Nixon but I really like Zimmer’s score for it. The opening track “Watergate” stands out from the other tracks.
31. Laura’s Star – “Opening Titles”
Laura’s Star is an animated movie, which I haven’t seen. But the score to it is very pleasant, including “Opening Titles.”
32. Sherlock Holmes – “Discombobulate”
Zimmer and Guy Ritchie wanted a Pogues style score and this is a good example of that. Fast fiddles, accordions, organs. It’s just missing Shane MacGowan’s growling vocals!
33. Gladiator – “Am I Not Merciful”
I can pretty much include any track from Gladiator on this playlist since it’s my favorite score album from Zimmer. Here’s just another track that is just awesome!
34. Last Samurai – “Red Warrior”
See number 7 above.
35. Broken Arrow – “Broken Arrow”
Broken Arrow never had a stand-out theme in my opinion. But if I had to pick something from Broken Arrow, it would be the last track.
36. The Simpsons Movie – “Trapped Like Carrots”
Not too many tracks that I liked from the Simpsons Movie score, but “Trapped Like Carrots” seems like a good one to put on here.
37. Cool Runnings – “The Walk Home”
Cool Runnings didn’t have many score tracks on its soundtrack but the ones that were on there, were fun to listen to. “The Walk Home” starts action packed but then slows down a bit towards the end.
38. The Contender – “Main Title”
Do you remember TV show The Contender? Never do I but I certainly remembered Hans Zimmer score for the theme and series.
39. Spanglish – “Spanglish”
Spanish styled guitar playing and strings. A different style than what we’re used to and that’s why I like this song a lot.
40. Mission Impossible 2 – “Nyah and Ethan”
Great transition from Spanglish because this MI:2 track features more Spanish guitar playing.
41. Matchstick Men – “Banker’s Waltz”
A more jazzier score from Zimmer but the last track “Banker’s Waltz” is a nice track to listen to.
42. The Holiday – “Maestro”
I haven’t see the Holiday but Zimmer’s score is a bit of a departure than his usual action heavy scores.
43. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – “The Kraken”
Excellent action piece. The motif in this track is something I wish Hans Zimmer should have used more throughout the rest of the movie.
44. Angels & Demons – “503”
A different version of the “Chevaliers de Sangreal” theme.
45. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron – “Run Free”
There wasn’t too many score tracks on the Spirit soundtrack but “Run Free” was definitely the best one!
46. Drop Zone – “Too Many Notes”
A long action track that has ben used in many trailers. There’s even motifs on this score that were used for other Zimmer scores like Pirates.
47. Tears of the Sun – “The Journey/Kopano Part III”
Zimmer delivers an uplifting and sweet sounding end track to Tears of the Sun.
48. The Lion King – “Under The Stars”
Zimmer is known for mixing African instruments/singing into his music. It’s only fitting that style was used in The Lion King. “Under The Stars” features some of that eclectic mix of African traditional music and classical music.
49. Backdraft – “Fighting 17th”
Terrific song to close out the final songs of the Zimmer playlist. I always liked the snare drum drumming in this track.
50. Gladiator – “Now We Are Free”
Not necessarily a score track but the song is sung beautifully by Lisa Gerrard, someone who’s collaborated with Zimmer a lot. Plus it’s just a nice song to end with.
Well I hope you enjoyed ReadJunk’s latest Playlist article on Hans Zimmer. Is there a favorite Zimmer score or track that I forgot? Post what you like in the comments! We’ll have a new Playlist article next month, showcasing Summer songs!