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James Horner's Top 10 Scores (2016 Edition) !PLEASE VOTE NOW!


Uni
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Last June and July, we conducted another Top 10 poll, this time for Mr. Horner (in memorial of his sudden passing). The original Williams Top 10 threads spent months collating everyone's picks; last year, I posted the results after only 3 weeks. Some folks thought that was too short a time to reassess the man's body of work (and there was some disagreement about the tabulation of the results, too). We agreed it would be better to try again after the new year.

 

So here we are, well into the new year and just a few days shy of the Academy Award "In Memoriam" that will feature Horner's smile (and, very likely, his music to accompany it). This time we're going to make sure we do it right. We have just under 4 months until the first anniversary of the maestro's passing, which gives everyone exactly the same amount of time to vote. I'm going to collate and post the results on June 19th, so there'll be no excuses this time around about not having enough time. (I trust a lot of you have been revisiting his material since last summer anyway.) If you haven't changed your mind on anything, just go back to the last thread, copy your list, and post it here. I will NOT be pulling any information from that thread myself, so if you want your vote counted this time around, you have post in this thread.

 

The rules are the same as always. Post your ten favorite James Horner scores (or the ones you consider his best) IN ORDER, starting with your favorite first, second favorite next, etc. You can number them if you like; if you don't, I will assume the order you place them in is how you want them scored. That's pretty much it. If you can't come up with ten you've heard, list as many as you know and like; the top spot will still be given the same number of points as anyone else's. Also, as before, you're welcome to just post a list of titles if you'd like, but feel free to add some commentary on why you've chosen any or all of your scores, why you've ordered them the way you have, or even just how you react to the music when you hear it. We have a lot more time for this kind of thing now, so share your memories of the man's music and the impressions its had on you over the years.

 

On a side note . . . I was a bit surprised to go back and see that I never actually posted the results of the poll for James Horner's Top 10 PIECES that was running concurrently with the other one. Instead of restarting that machine from scratch, I'm just going to bump the original thread and allow it to continue alongside this one. I'll posts the results for both on the same day.

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1. The Rocketeer

2. Aliens

3. Star Trek 2

4. Apollo 13

5. Star Trek 3

6. Willow

7. Braveheart

8. Krull

9. Honey I Shrunk The Kids

10. Sneakers

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That score would be nowhere near my top 10

 

My runners up included Titanic, The Mask of Zorro, Jumanji, and The Amazing Spider-man

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29 minutes ago, publicist said:

Don't you forget THE PERFECT STORM.

 

Indeed!

 

1) Apollo 13

2) Braveheart

3) The Name of the Rose

4) Titanic

5) Star Trek III

6) Star Trek II

7) Brainstorm

8) The Perfect Storm

9) The New World

10) The Pagemaster

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32 minutes ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

 

Indeed!

 

1) Apollo 13

2) Braveheart

3) The Name of the Rose

4) Titanic

5) Star Trek III

6) Star Trek II

7) Brainstorm

8) The Perfect Storm

9) The New World

10) The Pagemaster

 

Star Trek III above II is correct. :thumbup:

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1 hour ago, publicist said:

Don't you forget THE PERFECT STORM.

 

1 hour ago, Jay said:

That score would be nowhere near my top 10

 

Can't believe that. (Not that it's absent from your best-of list, but that you'd say it's nowhere near it.) I still haven't seen the movie, and it's on my top 10.

 

 

50 minutes ago, publicist said:

...but themes or cues are much easier than full scores.

 

Interesting. Most people had a much harder time with the top 10 pieces than they did with the scores.

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25 minutes ago, Uni said:

Can't believe that. (Not that it's absent from your best-of list, but that you'd say it's nowhere near it.) I still haven't seen the movie, and it's on my top 10.

 

I listened to it once and it made no impression on me at all.  I'll try it out again sometime.

 

The movie is nothing to write home about

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It just has the most gorgeously elegant tunes that are wonderfully wedded to each other, though Horner of course knew that and mercilessly rode them to death. But compared to elevator music like 'Titanic', it's Beethoven.

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10 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

I listened to it once and it made no impression on me at all.  I'll try it out again sometime.

 

Actually, that was my first reaction as well. It wasn't until the second or third time for me that the spark went off . . . and then I couldn't get enough of it for a while.

 

 

7 minutes ago, publicist said:

It just has the most gorgeously elegant tunes that are wonderfully wedded to each other, though Horner of course knew that and mercilessly rode them to death. But compared to elevator music like 'Titanic', it's Beethoven.

 

Couldn't agree more. Being Horner, when he knew he was onto something he played it out as far as he could; but you don't mind that so much when the melodies he's onto are so fantastic. I also don't think I'm mistaken in believing these were excellent themes that he managed to resist giving prominent places in other films. I mean, there are other themes that resemble it (Deep Impact comes to mind first)--hey, it's him, right?--but he never gave them Bicentennial Man-level reprises elsewhere.

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32 minutes ago, Uni said:

Couldn't agree more. Being Horner, when he knew he was onto something he played it out as far as he could; but you don't mind that so much when the melodies he's onto are so fantastic. I also don't think I'm mistaken in believing these were excellent themes that he managed to resist giving prominent places in other films. I mean, there are other themes that resemble it (Deep Impact comes to mind first)--hey, it's him, right?--but he never gave them Bicentennial Man-level reprises elsewhere.

 

'Deep Impact' is a really mediocre score but the main theme is a beaut. Ruined only by that cooing children's chorus.

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Agreed on that, too. A couple of pieces represent the best of that score--which is, granted, some terrific material--but the majority of it is forgettable. I think Horner did a much better job of spreading the good stuff around a lot further and to better effect in A Perfect Storm.

 

 

23 minutes ago, Thor said:

Ooh, this is tricky. I need to think a bit.

 

You've got four months. Take your time!

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1.  The Land Before Time
2.  Apollo 13
3.  House of Sand and Fog
4.  Braveheart
5.  The Spitfire Grill
6.  Black Gold
7.  Willow
8.  Humanoids from the Deep
9.  For Greater Glory
10. The Life Before Her Eyes

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I think they will. People may still be reviewing their Horner collection. We'll keep bumping the thread to remind folks as we go.

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1. Braveheart

2. Titanic

3. Legends of the Fall

4. The Perfect Storm

5. Apollo 13

6. Avatar

7. Bicentennial Man

8. A Beautiful Mind

9. Willow

10. Field of Dreams

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1) The Legend of Zorro

2) The Rocketeer

3) Willow

4) Glory

5) Legends of the Fall

6) Bicentennial Man

7) A Beautiful Mind

8) Titanic

9) The Land Before Time

10) The Mask of Zorro

 

Surprisingly I've never really cared for Braveheart or Apollo 13. I love the Zorro scores though. The Legend of Zorro is an absolute riot of listening experience 

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  • 2 months later...

So I was thinking to myself that it's been a while since I've been to the boards. Gotta get back again--especially since I put up another Horner poll a good while back. I'm gonna have a boatload of work for myself, catching up the tally for all those votes.

 

Then I come back to find that it's been three months, and . . . nothing. Everyone wanted to do this again, wanted more time to listen to his collection and think on the matter. Not sure what else to do. Guess it shouldn't be too surprising, given that it's been almost a year since I also put up a Goldsmith poll (results never posted), and that got fewer than 20 entries. Maybe I'll hit up the Goldsmith groups on Facebook for some results. . . .

 

The results for the Horner poll will still be posted in 20 days. If anyone voted in the poll last year and doesn't in this one, I'll include those results as well (y'know, so we can honor the man by having more than seven submissions. . . .).

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01. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

02. Krull

03. Braveheart

04. The Rocketeer

05. The New World

06. A Beautiful Mind

07. The Pagemaster

08. The Mask of Zorro

09. Legends of the Fall

10. Iris

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Sorry for the belated response, Uni.

 

Any list of this kind is bound to vary from week to week, but at the moment, I could maybe boil it down to these:

 

1. THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS

2. Avatar

3. Braveheart

4. Legends of the Fall

5. Aliens

6. Apollo 13

7. Titanic

8. Willow

9. The Rocketeer

10. An American Tail/The Mask of Zorro

 

As you can see, lots of usual suspects. I also had to leave off several favourites.

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Guilt works! Yay! :thumbup:

 

15 hours ago, Thor said:

1. THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS

2. Avatar

3. Braveheart

4. Legends of the Fall

5. Aliens

6. Apollo 13

7. Titanic

8. Willow

9. The Rocketeer

10. An American Tail/The Mask of Zorro

 

Wow. Interesting first choice. Very good score, but top ten--even first place? Hmm.

 

I'm afraid Fivel's gonna push Zorro off the end of the list (though you probably understood that).

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I must admit I am not at all familiar enough with Horner and need to give his various albums another listen for certain.

Therefore the following list may be somewhat ill-considered and based on hardly a complete knowledge of his work.

But for what it's worth, here it is:

 

1. Krull

2. The Mask of Zorro

3. Star Trek II

4. Star Trek III

5. Willow

6. The Rocketeer

7. The Pagemaster

8. The Legend of Zorro

9. The Land Before Time

10. Avatar

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16 hours ago, Uni said:

Guilt works! Yay! :thumbup:

 

 

Wow. Interesting first choice. Very good score, but top ten--even first place? Hmm.

 

I'm afraid Fivel's gonna push Zorro off the end of the list (though you probably understood that).

 

Yeah, PYJAMAS has become particularly personal for me in recent years. I even got to talk to Horner about it in my interview a few years ago. I think he was surprised by my pick too. He told me the main theme was a sort of "Brahmsian lullaby", though, which was news to me. :)

 

And yes, if push comes to shove, I guess I'd pick Fievel over Zorro too, but I love both equally. It was hard to omit several titles here -- the STAR TREKs (which I love, but not as much as everyone else), AN AMERICAN TAIL 2, BICENTENNIAL MAN, BRAINSTORM, HOUSE OF CARDS, THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN, THE LAND BEFORE TIME, THE PERFECT STORM and so many others. But next week, I guess any of these could enter the list.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, that didn't last long....

 

Less than 24 hours to log your final votes, people. The final results of the final poll will be posted tomorrow--and I don't want to hear ANY whining from anyone that they didn't have enough time to finish their homework.

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I had an idea - let me sticky the thread, maybe that will get more people to vote.  Maybe we can leave it open for another week or two?

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1. Brainstorm (it's probably his most evocative score, both terrifying and wondrous)
2. Apollo 13 (my first Horner album, one of his most memorable and inspiring themes)
3. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (big fan of the Spock and Spock/Kirk material, which this sequel has got in spades)
4. Cocoon (perfectly balanced, with light comedy, Horner sappiness and high s-f adventure)
5. The Legend of Zorro (actually both Zorro scores but this one is superior in many ways; he perectly nailed the character)
6. All the King's Men (weighty and conflicted, it's something else among Horner's drama works; plus, he orchestrated it on his own)
7. The Missing (of all the ethnic epics he's done, this is my favourite - combines many of the elements into one successful package)
8. Gorky Park (another interesting drama score, very different)
9. The Boy in Striped Pajamas (it's a non-cliched scores about Jewish Holocaust that doesn't resort to usual ethnic colours)
10. The Pagemaster (a fantastic score for a kid's film that feels so fluid that it makes you think you're listening to an hour-long concert piece).

 

The only change I made from last year's list: The Pagemaster replaced The Amazing Spider-Man.

 

There are many scores that could have been on this list but I wanted to present some of my personal favourite that showcase Horner's versatility. The Name of the Rose is an excellent one but I've only heard it in the film and it's probably not a terribly good listen on its own (I'm guessing). That's why it's not here. Black Gold was high up, so were Flightplan, Willow, The Perfect Storm, The Amazing Spider-Man and Krull. And Sneakers would be no. 11, in case you're wondering.

 

Karol

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1. Braveheart 

2. Cocoon

3. Willow

4. Apollo 13

5. Star Trek II

6. The Land Before Time 

7. The Mask of Zorro 

8. Krull 

9. Titanic 

10. The Rocketeer

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Titanic

Star Trek the Wrath of Khan *

Star Trek the Search for Spock *

Aliens

Avatar

The Amazing Spiderman

The Legend of Zorro *

The Mask of Zorro *

Deep Impact

The Rocketeer

 

* Companion pieces that I usually listen together.

 

Joe, watching James discussing how he wrote Star Trek II The Wrath of Kahn. Wonderful stuff. 

 

 

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1. Willow

2. Star Trek III

3. The Rocketeer

4. Star Trek II

5. Titanic

6. An American Tail

7. Field of Dreams

8. Aliens

9. The Land Before Time

10. Glory

 

[edited to remove the double ranking of American Tail]

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13 hours ago, Jay said:

I had an idea - let me sticky the thread, maybe that will get more people to vote.  Maybe we can leave it open for another week or two?

 

Oh . . . all right. It's only been up for a year. But then, I'm pretty busy right now, and I don't know if I can get this done before midnight here, so. . . .

 

Whatever the case, Steef needs to submit his votes. He's one of the ones we extended this poll for in the first place.

 

 

3 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

1. Willow

2. Star Trek III

3. The Rocketeer

4. Star Trek II

5. Titanic

6. An American Tail

7. Field of Dreams

8. Aliens

9. An American Tail

10. Glory

 

It is a good score, but I don't think the rules allow for voting up a score two times. (I suppose I could combine the two for a score of 7 . . . but then, why not just put it in 4th place?)

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1 minute ago, Uni said:

It is a good score, but I don't think the rules allow for voting up a score two times. (I suppose I could combine the two for a score of 7 . . . but then, why not just put it in 4th place?)

 

 

Ha!  Shows how quickly I slapped that together to get it in in time!

 

I meant to put The Land Before Time at 9.  I edited the original post. Sorry about that!

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1. Star Trek II

2. The Land Before Time

3. Star Trek III

4. Krull

5. An American Tail

6. Field of Dreams

7. The Rocketeer

8. Apollo 13

9. The Perfect Storm

10. Brainstorm

 

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1. Star Trek II TWOK

2. The Rocketeer

3. Field of Dreams

4. Brainstorm

5. Krull

6. Iris

7. Cocoon

8. Braveheart

9. A Far Off Place

10. The Journey of Natty Gann

 

Honorable Mention: Willow, Glory, Sneakers, Legends of the Fall, The Man Without Face

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1. Glory

2. Willow

3. The Rocketeer

4. Titanic

5. Clear and Present Danger

6. Legends of the Fall

7. Searching For Bobby Fischer

8. The Pagemaster

9. Braveheart

10. The Land Before Time

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  1. Krull
  2. The Land Before Time
  3. Flight Demonstration Music
  4. Willow
  5. The Rocketeer
  6. Star Trek II
  7. Once Upon a Forest
  8. Cocoon
  9. The Journey of Natty Gann
  10. Glory
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7 hours ago, Ray Barnsbury said:
  1. Krull
  2. The Land Before Time
  3. Flight Demonstration Music
  4. Willow
  5. The Rocketeer
  6. Star Trek II
  7. Once Upon a Forest
  8. Cocoon
  9. The Journey of Natty Gann
  10. Glory

Replace Flight Demonstration music with All the King's Men and Once Upon a Forest with Legends of the Fall and you'll have my Horner top 10.

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22 hours ago, Ray Barnsbury said:
  1. Krull
  2. The Land Before Time
  3. Flight Demonstration Music
  4. Willow
  5. The Rocketeer
  6. Star Trek II
  7. Once Upon a Forest
  8. Cocoon
  9. The Journey of Natty Gann
  10. Glory

The return of Ray Barnsbury?

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1 - The Land Before Time

2 - Apollo 13

3 - Brainstorm

4 - Name of the Rose 

5 - The New World

6 - Sneakers

7 - Willow

8 - Perfect Storm

9 - Four Feathers

10 - Amazing Spider-Man

 

 

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On 7/1/2016 at 6:29 AM, Incanus said:

Replace Flight Demonstration music with All the King's Men and Once Upon a Forest with Legends of the Fall and you'll have my Horner top 10.

Really! Another Natty Gann fan? Good stuff.

 

If you haven't heard Flight Demonstration Music, you should check it out. It's like the ultimate Horner end credits suite.

 

On 7/1/2016 at 9:27 PM, Koray Savas said:

The return of Ray Barnsbury?

For voting purposes, at least. :)

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