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Which composers “owned/dominated” a particular decade?


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Use whatever criteria you want to use to define owning/dominating a particular decade. “Quality of scores and overall popularity in the industry in a given decade” is mine. 
 

Obviously there’s overlap in decades as to when certain composers really hit it big. But if you assign only one decade per composer, who would you assign to which decade?

 

 

2010s- ????

2000s- Hans Zimmer

1990s- James Horner

1980s- John Williams

1970s- Jerry Goldsmith

1960s- Henri Mancini(?)

1950s- Bernard Herrman(?)

1940s-Alfred Newman (?)

1930s- Max Steiner(?)

 

*the further back I go the less familiar I am with the Golden Age era of film composers. I’d imagine it would be tough to choose who was the best out of those guys.

 

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I love thinking about this :) For me a composer dominates if they produce a maximum intersection of quality and quantity. Only have thought about the past 3.1 decades:

 

1990s: James Horner (Alan Menken and Thomas Newman are runners up)

2000s: James Newton Howard

2010s: Michael Giacchino & Alexandre Desplat

2020s: Trent Reznor And Atticus Ross (obvs this is subject to change XD)

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I'd say JW owned the 70s or the 90s, not the 80s when he was partially busy conducting.

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YOU ASKED FOR IT, DON'T COMPLAIN! :lick:

 

  • 2010th were dominated by Alexandre Desplat (JW is in 2nd position, then it's Thomas Newman)
  • 2000th were dominated by John Williams (Thomas Newman is in 2nd place, Howard Shore in 3rd)
  • 1990s were dominated by John Williams (Alan Menken is in 2nd positon, then Hans Zimmer ex-aequo with James Horner)
  • 1980s were dominated by John Williams (Maurice Jarre, Dave Grusin, Ennio Morricone, John Barry are ex-aequo in 2nd position)
  • 1970s were dominated by John Williams (Jerry Goldsmith is in 2nd position, then Marvin Hamlisch)
  • 1960s were dominated by Elmer Bernstein (Alex North is in 2nd position, followed by André Previn who is ex-eaquo with Ernest Gold, Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry and Maurice Jarre)
  • 1950s were dominated by Alfred Newman (Franz Waxman is in 2nd place, followed by Dimitri Tiomkin)
  • 1940s were dominated by Alfred Newman (Max Steiner is in 2nd place ex-aequo with Miklós Rózsa, Victor Young is in 3rd place)

 

Thomas Newman missed his chance to dominate the 2000th, blame again John Williams who gave everything he has to stay on the top even in his seventies!

 

Regarding James Horner, he was definitely at his top in the 90s.

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1960s -> John Williams (Diamond Head, How to Steal a Million, Fitzwilly and the Reivers being the best one)

1970s -> John Williams (SW and Jaws obviously make of him the best, add to that TTI, Images, The Cowboys, Superman, The Fury and all the other and you have a perfect decade)

1980s -> John Williams (ESB, Raiders, E.T., RotJ, ToD and so on... again a perfect decade)

1990s -> John Williams (Schindler's List, JP, TLW, TPM, Saving Private Ryan and the others... again a perfect decade)

2000s -> John Williams (HP, AotC, RotS, Memoirs of a Geisha, CMIYC and so on... again a perfect decade)

2010s -> John Williams (Tintin, War Horse, TFA, TLJ, TROS and the others... again a perfect decade)

2020s -> John Williams (Indiana Jones 5 :lick:)

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Uematsu absolutely decimated his period from 1994 to 2001. There is absolutely no competition, he understands what music appreciation is. I even play some of his weaker tracks and I'm elated and drooling...

 

 

and it's not the type of example I'd normally use to show this composer off.

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Kinda impossible to make generalizations like this, that fit neatly into decades, countries and whatnot. I would, however, say that for the 60s, Mancini was probably the biggest film composer "star" in the US, while Morricone reigned in Europe.

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On 6/13/2021 at 6:20 AM, Thor said:

Kinda impossible to make generalizations like this, that fit neatly into decades, countries and whatnot. I would, however, say that for the 60s, Mancini was probably the biggest film composer "star" in the US, while Morricone reigned in Europe.

 

After that, you may love or not the ambiant "light comedies" taste of the 60s... it's musicals... but it was the 60s!

 

According to my HIGHLY scientific method :lol: , the 60s were ruled by this top 10:

  1. Elmer Bernstein (True Grit, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii, Return to the Seven, Walk on the Wild Side, To Kill a Mockinbird, Summer and smoke, The Magnificent Seven)
  2. Alex North (The Shoes of the Fisherman, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Cleopatra, Spartacus)
  3. André Previn (Thoroughly Modern Millie, My Fair Lady, Irma La Douce, Two for the Seasaw, Pepe, Elmer Gantry, Bells are Ringing, Valley of the Dolls)
  4. Maurice Jarre (Doctor Zhivago, Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray, Lawrence of Arabia, Paris brûle-t-il?)
  5. Henry Mancini (Charade, Hatari!, The Pink Panther, Wait Until Dark)
  6. Dimitri Tiomkin (The Fall of the Roman Empire, 55 Days at Peking, Town Without Pity, The Guns of Navarone, The Alamo, Circus World)
  7. Jerry Goldsmith (Planet of the Apes, The Sand Pebbles, A Patch of Blue, Freud, Seven Days in May)
  8. John Barry (The Lion in Winter, Born Free, From Russia with Love, Midnight Cowboy, Goldfinger)
  9. Ernest Gold (The Secret of Santa Vittoria, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Exodus)
  10. Johnny Green (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Oliver!, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, Pepe)
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3 minutes ago, Bespin said:

Mancini was a prolific composer, but for a very narrowed kind of movies, so it seems it's not sufficient to have "dominated" any decades. But, yeah, he was definitely at his peak in the 60s.

 

I would say that his position wasn't only down to his film scores, but his great crossover appeal into popular music and jazz at the time. He was somewhat of a hit machine. There were many "greater" film composers in the decade, but few in the US that had that kind of wide commercial position. But I suppose it depends on how you define 'dominating'.

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When I say John Williams dominated four succesive decades in movie music, I mean this!

 

Spoiler

:fouetaa:

 

 

1 minute ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

Ken who?

 

His wife Barbie is well known.

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6 hours ago, Oomoog the Ecstatic said:

Uematsu absolutely decimated his period from 1994 to 2001. There is absolutely no competition, he understands what music appreciation is. I even play some of his weaker tracks and I'm elated and drooling...

 

 

and it's not the type of example I'd normally use to show this composer off.

 

Man I love that track! 

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On 6/12/2021 at 8:01 PM, Under-Terrestrial said:

I love thinking about this :) For me a composer dominates if they produce a maximum intersection of quality and quantity. Only have thought about the past 3.1 decades:

 

1990s: James Horner (Alan Menken and Thomas Newman are runners up)

2000s: James Newton Howard

2010s: Michael Giacchino & Alexandre Desplat

2020s: Trent Reznor And Atticus Ross (obvs this is subject to change XD)

Three big contenders for the 2010s - Giacchino, Desplat, and John Powell - whether you like it not, Giacchino was prolific from 2009 onwards, so was Desplat, and Powell had some stand-out scores in that period too.

 

I'd say the post 2010 is still dominated by Zimmerians, with Balfe, Jackman, Pereira and the only reason the three contenders are there above is because they produced music outside of that mould.

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well, if you look at my signature, you know who "dominated" 2000s.:)

18 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I'm sorry to say Uematsu is no match for JW.

typical Eurocentric attitude.

right, Thor? ;)

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On 6/13/2021 at 8:04 AM, Bespin said:

 

After that, you may love or not the ambiant "light comedies" taste of the 60s... it's musicals... but it was the 60s!

 

According to my HIGHLY scientific method :lol: , the 60s were ruled by this top 10:

  1. Elmer Bernstein (True Grit, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hawaii, Return to the Seven, Walk on the Wild Side, To Kill a Mockinbird, Summer and smoke, The Magnificent Seven)
  2. Alex North (The Shoes of the Fisherman, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Cleopatra, Spartacus)
  3. André Previn (Thoroughly Modern Millie, My Fair Lady, Irma La Douce, Two for the Seasaw, Pepe, Elmer Gantry, Bells are Ringing, Valley of the Dolls)
  4. Maurice Jarre (Doctor Zhivago, Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray, Lawrence of Arabia, Paris brûle-t-il?)
  5. Henry Mancini (Charade, Hatari!, The Pink Panther, Wait Until Dark)
  6. Dimitri Tiomkin (The Fall of the Roman Empire, 55 Days at Peking, Town Without Pity, The Guns of Navarone, The Alamo, Circus World)
  7. Jerry Goldsmith (Planet of the Apes, The Sand Pebbles, A Patch of Blue, Freud, Seven Days in May)
  8. John Barry (The Lion in Winter, Born Free, From Russia with Love, Midnight Cowboy, Goldfinger)
  9. Ernest Gold (The Secret of Santa Vittoria, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Exodus)
  10. Johnny Green (They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Oliver!, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, Pepe)

 

I revised my rating for the 60s!

HAAAA!!! THAT'S BETTER!

 

ELMER BERSNSTEIN WAS THE KING!

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57 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

I revised my rating for the 60s!

HAAAA!!! THAT'S BETTER!

 

ELMER BERSNSTEIN WAS THE KING!

The next revision should bring you to realise that JW was the EMPEROR!!!

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15 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Anybody else thinks Oomoog is Uematsu?

 

I'm actually John Williams!

 

On 6/13/2021 at 5:42 AM, Jay said:

Man I love that track! 

 

It's not one I like sharing, but it's one I think emphasizes exactly the mindset one should understand his music with. That is, real thought.

 

My personal favorite is You are Al Bhed.

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23 minutes ago, Oomoog the Ecstatic said:

I'm actually John Williams!

 

Great! Can you post here a demo of the new themes you're writing for Indiana Jones 5?

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Note that, except John Williams who was the Master for 4 successive decades, these artists performed with a great visibility and recognition in more than one decades:

  • Alfred Newman (40s & 50s)
  • Maurice Jarre (60s & 80s)
  • John Barry (60s & 80s)
  • Jerry Goldsmith (60s & 70s)
  • Thomas Newman (2000th & 2010th)
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28 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

I disagree with the conceit of the thread.

It's absurd, idiotic and beyond the pale.

That's why I refused to post any comments!

 

 

Face it JW fans: Zimmer is THE dominant composer since the Nineties.

You may not like it,

you may not believe it , but you WILL learn to love it!

Adapt or die!

😎

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17 hours ago, Arpy said:

Three big contenders for the 2010s - Giacchino, Desplat, and John Powell - whether you like it not, Giacchino was prolific from 2009 onwards, so was Desplat, and Powell had some stand-out scores in that period too.

 

I'd say the post 2010 is still dominated by Zimmerians, with Balfe, Jackman, Pereira and the only reason the three contenders are there above is because they produced music outside of that mould.

I love that Powell’s 3 HTTYD scores came out at the very beginning, very middle, and [nearly] very end of the decade. Nice consistent presence :)

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1 hour ago, bruce marshall said:

That's why I refused to post any comments!


So why start now? :blink:

Also, it's a bit questionable to assume this is purely about people being in denial that HZ has dominated everything since his break out, since it is a legitimate question to make with how many scores generally release and make an impact, as well as assessing the history of the medium in various aspects.

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I was joking Tech.

Jeez...😒

6 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

I disagree with the conceit of the thread.

Does Tech know about this?😗😅

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Sure are lousy jokes if no one can tell when you're being serious or not.

 

Admittedly, I could sense a bit of an exaggerated tone looking at it now, but it's honestly hard for it to have much weight when I'd argue the Zimmer hate hasn't quite been so dominant lately (until his recent Facebook moment gets here, I imagine), so again it's a case of you not really reading the room and barging in without wondering if your words would make much sense in this particular situation.

 

Stu's post is fine, if admittedly wanting some elaboration over it. At least it fits with what the thread is asking for.

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I post several comments and then say " I don't comment in this thread because it's absurd"...and Tech can't tell if I'm serious.

Okay.

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Most of your "humor" is not understood by most people here from what I've been observing.  It's not us, it's you

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On 6/11/2021 at 5:05 PM, WampaRat said:

Use whatever criteria you want to use to define owning/dominating a particular decade. “Quality of scores and overall popularity in the industry in a given decade” is mine. 
 

Obviously there’s overlap in decades as to when certain composers really hit it big. But if you assign only one decade per composer, who would you assign to which decade?

 

 

2010s- ????

2000s- Hans Zimmer

1990s- James Horner

1980s- John Williams

1970s- Jerry Goldsmith

1960s- Henri Mancini(?)

1950s- Bernard Herrman(?)

1940s-Alfred Newman (?)

1930s- Max Steiner(?)

 

*the further back I go the less familiar I am with the Golden Age era of film composers. I’d imagine it would be tough to choose who was the best out of those guys.

 

John Williams owned the 70's. Jerry was second. This isn't even an opinion. John's creativity was unleashed. The 70's saw

JW 3 Academy Awards. 13 nominations

Jerry Goldsmith 1 Academy Award 7 nominations. 

 

The sad part is the HZ ever owned a decade, ugh. 

 

 

 

 

Some question his hold on the 80's as well. He had 12 films nominated for Academy Awards and 1 win. That's domination.

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1 hour ago, JoeinAR said:

The sad part is the HZ ever owned a decade, ugh.

 

Yeah, John Williams was on top of Zimmer in the 90s, figure it the way you want!

 

For my ranking I gave 1 point to each Academy Awards nomination, 2 points for an Oscar, and 1 point for a score present in the 250 top scores of the AFI.

 

In overall, I think it gives a very interresting and realistic result (from an American perspective, of course).

 

17 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

I disagree with the conceit of the thread.

 

Nevertheless, it can make someone want to discover a composer they don't know much about, like Maurice Jarre, Dave Grusin, Marvin Hamlisch, Elmer Bernstein, Ernest Gold, Henry Mancini, Alex North, Alfred Newman, Franz Waxman, Dimitri Tiomkin, Max Steiner, Miklós Rózsa and Victor Young!

 

That's not so bad!

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On 6/11/2021 at 11:05 PM, WampaRat said:

2000s- Hans Zimmer

1990s- James Horner

1980s- John Williams

1970s- Jerry Goldsmith

 

Yeah this pretty inarguable in my judgement.

 

And while I'm not exactly a huge fan, denying that Zimmer (or the Zimmer sound if you will) has, by far, been the dominant force in film music for the past decade (and perhaps the past 20 years) is just facile.

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8 hours ago, Jay said:

Most of your "humor" is not understood by most people here from what I've been observing.  It's not us, it's you

 

Screenshot_2021-06-15-14-22-28.png

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There's got to be an objective way to rank composers based on quantity (number of high-profile films scored, cumulated box office) and on the quality of their music (number and prestige of awards received)...

 

and to tweak the parameters so that JW stays on top since 1970.

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13 hours ago, Nick1066 said:

Yeah this pretty inarguable in my judgement.

 

I think some of the participants of the thread are conflating "dominant" with "superior" or even "influential." They're very different criteria.

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4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

 

I think some of the participants of the thread are conflating "dominant" with "superior" or even "influential." They're very different criteria.

 

Exactly. Like Thomas Newman in the 2000s and 2010s really? If you say the most critically acclaimed, maybe. But dominated as in he is the face of composing and the number 1 name in the industry? I would say even taking Zimmer out of the picture, someone like Giacchino dominated more than Newman.

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18 hours ago, Nick1066 said:

 

Yeah this pretty inarguable in my judgement.

 

And while I'm not exactly a huge fan, denying that Zimmer (or the Zimmer sound if you will) has, by far, been the dominant force in film music for the past decade (and perhaps the past 20 years) is just facile.

Ive already proven your first sentence to be incorrect. John Williams dominated the 70's. John not Jerry.  It is as the natural order should be. 

 

Gia scored a lot but his scores rarely elevate a film. And damn if they don't all sound the same.

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