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James Horner's Top 10 Pieces


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As I was considering the logistics of the Top 10 Horner Scores poll, I started thinking . . . while we're at it, why not dig a little deeper? We never did this one for JW, but Mr. Horner is a little more on everyone's mind right now, and a lot of us are spending some quality time digging deeper into the man's opuses anyway. I thought it would be interesting to see not only how his broader works compared to one another, but which individual compositions floated near the top in people's minds. There may be scores that don't make the other Top 10 list that have single pieces that would stand out to a lot of people here.

The rules are pretty much the same here as on the other poll (post your list from mostest-favorite on down), with one extra guideline to keep in mind: what with so many different versions of some scores available out there, it would be best--though not absolutely required, I guess--to stick to OST titles and arrangements where possible. If a piece you want to list wasn't on the OST but did appear in a later release, that's fine, of course; but the point here isn't to see how various versions of the same piece compete against one another. If you like one portion of a piece but don't care for the rest, it should still be listed by the title of the entire piece, not as "the second half of 'Bird of Prey Decloaks' from 1:43 on" and the like.

Naturally, commentary on these is also welcome and encouraged--and makes for a much better place to specify which parts of the piece you like best, along with the whens and whys of it. I'll publish the results of this poll at the same time as the other one (whenever that winds up being). And, like the other one . . . I haven't yet had time to sort through my own choices yet, but that's no reason to put off everyone else's tee time.

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The Flying Circus

Rocketeer to the Rescue

Klingons

Stealing the Enterprise

A Fighting Chance to Live

Universal Studios 75th Anniversary Fanfare

The Launch

Amazing Grace

Death of Titanic

Casper's Lullaby

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The Ascention-Cocoon

Widow's Lullaby-Krull

Jenny-The Rocketeer

Flying-Project X

Flight of the Griffin-Spiderwick Chronicles

Epilogue/End Titles-Star Trek 2

4th Horseman

Flying away and End Credits-An american Tail

Kingdom of Oil-Black gold

The Great Migration from Land Before Time

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To choose just 10 is downright cruel, can we at least do 20? At any rate, here are my choices:

"For the Love of a Princess" - Braveheart
"The Ludlows" - Legends of the Fall
"Rose" - Titanic
"Rescue & Discovery of the Great Valley" - The Land Before Time
"Coming Home from the Sea" - The Perfect Storm

"Samuel's Death" - Legends of the Fall

“Freedom” / The Execution / Bannockburn" - Braveheart
"Heritage of the Wolf" - Balto
"Whispering Winds" - The Land Before Time
"The Sinking" - Titanic

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This is Horner, so we could do 50 or 100 easy. But we're after the best of the best here.

It's hard, sure, but . . .

Again, though, there's no need to rush into it. Take some time to think about it. If you change your mind on anything in your list, let me know.

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1. "All Systems Go" - The Launch (from Apollo 13)

2. Michael's Gift to Karen (from Brainstorm)

3. Epilogue/End Title (from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

4. Coming Home (from the Sea from The Perfect Storm)

5. Stealing the Map (from The Mask of Zorro)

6. Part 1 (from Iris)

7. The Machine Age (from Bicentennial Man)

8. Escape from the Tavern (from Willow)

9. Hard to Starboard (from Titanic)

10. Tania (End Credits) (from Enemy at the Gates)

Again, quite hard to pick just ten. Horner was a king of a film music extended setpiece. A "real reel" composers, as I sometimes call him ;)

Karol

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"The Odd Discovery Beyond the Trees" from THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS is the ultimate Horner cue for me -- the only cue that ALMOST made me tear up when I listened to it the day after the news. But by God, there are so many brilliant cues, it's hard to know where to begin.

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I know. Who was the dumb ass who thought this would be a good idea. . . ? :sarcasm:

I figured I had it narrowed down pretty well, but the more I listen to in an attempt to "eliminate" certain contenders just makes the decisions that much tougher. I'll have my 10 scores in place long before this list is ready. . . .

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For discovering James Horner's music, I made a playlist on my mp3 player with these ones:

- Braveheart: For The Love of A Princess (City of Prague Philh.)

- The Ludlows (from Legends of The Fall)

- Courage Under Fire: Theme (Royal Scottish National O)

- Rose (from Titanic)

- Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan: Main Title (Cincinnati Pops O, E. Kunzel)

- Take her to Sea, Mr. Murdoch (from Titanic)

- End Titles (from Apollo 13)

- Part 1 (from Iris, w Joshua Bell)

- Part 2 (from Iris, w Joshua Bell)

- Main Title (from Braveheart)

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Ssssooooo . . . are these your choices for the top 10 votes, or are you just sort of inserting that conversationally? Just curious.

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Ssssooooo . . . are these your choices for the top 10 votes, or are you just sort of inserting that conversationally? Just curious.

It's okay if you are intimidated by my top 9, these are real good pieces, I know ;)

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Ssssooooo . . . are these your choices for the top 10 votes, or are you just sort of inserting that conversationally? Just curious.

It's okay if you are intimidated by my top 9, these are real good pieces, I know ;)

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Those are intimidatingly good pieces, for sure. Actually, though, that would be a top 11 list—the first three parts of Iris are separate works, and are threatening to push the last one off the end (although I'm not sure which piece in Braveheart is represented by the title "Theme" anyway). So you'll need to clarify which of those Iris pieces you want to keep, or let BH go.

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Actually, though, that would be a top 11 list—the first three parts of Iris are separate works, and are threatening to push the last one off the end (although I'm not sure which piece in Braveheart is represented by the title "Theme" anyway). So you'll need to clarify which of those Iris pieces you want to keep, or let BH go.

Ok, keep the part I & II of Iris, and for Braveheart I meant the Main Title (first track of the album).

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this is tricky considering my fondness for the Trek scores. Let me see

Stealing the Enterprise -Star Trek III, the one that's held ever since I first saw the film. From beginning to end with that eruption of sound when the Enterprise clears space doors probably my favourite piece in all Trek. Still manages to retain some tension as the ship approaches the doors and a note of triumph when the Big E leaves the Excelsior for dirt. With the addition of the expanded score, I'd state the Film Version for this track as my choice.

Surprise Attack, Star Trek II- , much for the reasons above really. The way it cranks up the tension down to: "They're locking phasers..."

Genesis Countdown, Star Trek II- Scotty we have three minutes or we're all dead...

the list dissolves into no particular order of bestness but all are favourites...

The Ambush, Clear and Present Danger

Charging Fort Wagner, Glory- some say it's a blatant rip of O, Fortuna but when I first saw Glory it grabbed me by the short and curlies. The sheer carnage of the battle, the headlong flight through the fort until Cary Elwes et al come face to face with the Johnnie Rebs.

The Darkside of the Moon, Apollo 13- quietly driving home the loneliness of the astronauts, their families and then a sound of resolve -they will get home...failure is not an option

Re-Entry/Splashdown, Apollo 13- watching the film as a kid with my parents I knew next to nothing unfortunately about the mission and remember being on tenterhooks as the silence dragged on and then the triumphant burst as the chutes are spotted and Lovell can be heard for the first time since re-entry. It has extra punched if viewed in the context of the BBC coverage at the time where the men including the late Patrick Moore are listening intently, fingers crossed and then they are visibly emotional and delighted. (I also like the shot of the three astronauts with the re-entry going on around them and the music just...melding to it...)

Russian Streets, Red Heat- no classic perhaps and one I know primarily via my Nic Raine CD I like the sound immensely

An Epitaph to War, Glory

it's hard you know as I like most of his Trek scores as I say and huge chunks of others. But I'd like honourable mentions to Returning to Vulcan (the emotion of the moment following the loss of Enterprise, David and rescuing Spock), Battle in the Mutara Nebula (that early bit in particular where you see the ship getting ready for battle -what Nick Meyer compared to running out teh cannons etc), Kirk Takes Command (seems to chime with Kirk telling the cadets basically to grow up sharpish because things could get tough soon) and a few others in between.

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Nice list. But you've only got 9 there. Which of your honorable mentions would you like to earn the extra point?

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Maths was never my strong suit :)

I guess come to think of it I'd throw in Enterprise Clears Moorings, Star Trek II

this sequence already scored for TMP but Horner changes it completely in my book. Evident is the nautical theme and I always felt it leant an air of grandeur to the Enterprise. A sound completely at odds with the horrors that will be inflicted upon the Big E later on. Trouble is I've seen the film so often in my head I can hear the lines at relevant moments..."Mr Sulu, indulge yourself."

EDIT- looking above my post, Klingons/Fighting Chance to Live have always been a favourite the former for Enterprise's homecoming and the latter...well, it tugs at the heartstrings as Kirk delivers: "Zero, zero, zero...de-struct...zero."

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What an incredibly difficult task. Here's my list, as of now:

1. "End Credits" (THE LAND BEFORE TIME)

2. "Casper's Lullaby" (CASPER)

3. "No Sign of Ghosts" (CASPER)

4. "Flying Away and End Credits" (AN AMERICAN TAIL)

5. '"Take Her Away, Mr. Murdoch"' (TITANIC)

6. "Ride Of The Firemares" (KRULL)

7. "Rocketeer To The Rescue / End Title" (THE ROCKETEER)

8. "Whispering Winds" (THE LAND BEFORE TIME)

9. "The Wedding" (DEEP IMPACT)

10. "A Stormy Ride to the Library" (THE PAGEMASTER)

These could literally change on a dime, but as of now this is my list. The top few tracks have been my main go-tos for coping with his passing.

Honorable mentions (in no order):

"Rose" (TITANIC)

"Escape from the Tavern" (WILLOW)

"The Ludlows" (LEGENDS OF THE FALL)

"The Greenhouse" (DAD)

"End Credits" (FIELD OF DREAMS)

"The Portrait" (TITANIC)

"Boys Playing Airplanes" (THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS)

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Curious to see what the forum feels the top 10 pieces from Horner are, given that we're all Williams' fans. :) James Horner pieces I like are:

1.) "Whispering Winds" from the Land Before Time

2.) "Casper's Lullaby" from Casper

3.) "Heritage of the Wolf" from Balto

4.) "All Systems Go/The Launch" from Apollo 13

5.) "For the Love of a Princess" from Braveheart

6.) "Elora Danan" from Willow

7.) "Titanic Suite" from Back to Titanic

8.) "Hymn to the Sea" from Titanic

9.) "Flying Away and End Credits" from An American Tail

10.) "Coming Home From the Sea" from the Perfect Storm

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Curious to see what the forum feels the top 10 pieces from Horner are, given that we're all Williams' fans. :)

I don't think there's anyone here who's a JW fan to the exclusion of all other composers. More accurate to say we're all just film music fans—though JW's no doubt the consensus favorite—and there's no way a person can be a fan of film scores over the last three decades without recognizing and appreciating the works and influence of James Horner.

Still, it's kind of an odd list of pieces so far (at least from where I'm standing) . . . proving only that everyone has vastly different tastes.

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Man . . . I know what I said about the "hard making it great" (well, Tom Hanks said it for me), but . . . this is turning out to be a much tougher task than I would've dreamed. Maybe we should do 20, given that there are 10-15 times as many pieces as there are scores in the man's repertoire.

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So I put together a top-20 list, and arranged it in order . . . and realized that in doing so, I was, by default, creating a top-10 list. So I guess it's all good (I can always post my 10 runners-up anyway, right?). I'll be putting up my list sometime today or tomorrow.

And I'll be publishing the overall results along with the Top 10 Scores list next Monday at 9:30 PDT. So if you want to take part, you now have just over a week to put your lists in order.

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  • 7 months later...

Wow . . . I really meant to post the results of this poll along with the other one back in July, but somehow it didn't happen. Oh, well. Since the voting has now reopened for Horner's top ten scores, we'll just bump this one up and let everyone resume thinking on it. If you originally posted in this thread but would like to change your ordering, make sure you post again. I've still got the spreadsheet I used for all of these, so I can make any changes necessary.

 

Results will be published on June 19th, along with the other one.

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