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Reviews by Composer


David Arnold
Arnold has quickly become one of the best of the new generation of film composers.  He writes in a lush, Williams-esque style.

 Stargate


Howard Blake
Howard Blake produced several popular orchestral scores in the '80s. He is best known for his classical works, however.

 Flash Gordon


Bruce Broughton
Broughton is one of those composers who has been around forever and has composed some spectucular work, but is somewhat unfamiliar to the typical soundtrack collector.  He is best known for his western scores.

 Lost in Space Expanded


John Carpenter
Best known as director of several horror films, most notably Halloween.  Surprisingly, he also composes his own music for his films.

 Big Trouble in Little China


Don Davis
I don't know why, but it seems that Davis isn't very well-known in the soundtrack community.  Maybe it's because all of his excellent scores are for horrible movies.  His profile rose early in 1999 with his excellent score to The Matrix.

 House of Frankenstein
 The Matrix


John Debney
One of the latest victims of corporate Hollywood, this talented young composer began with the grandiose, awe-inspiring choral score for Cutthroat Island, but has since been reduced to kiddie comedies and slasher flicks.

 Dick (25 Minute Promo)


Anne Dudley
Dudley is one of the pre-eminent female composers in Hollywood, and also one of the most popular.  She won an Academy Award for her work on The Full Monty, and some of her latest work was on American History X.

 Ancient and Modern


Cliff Eidelman
A relative newcomer, Eidelman showed great promise with Star Trek VI and Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.  Unfortunately he has been getting boring dramas to score lately and has not had a chance to show his true colors.

 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country


Danny Elfman
Probably the wackiest composer out there, lately he has been experimenting with atonal compositional techniques.  His earlier scores include Batman and Edward Scissorhands.  Lately, he has done Men in Black and A Simple Plan.

 Anywhere But Here (8 Minute Suite from Song Compilation)
 Batman
 Sleepy Hollow


Michael Giacchino
As far as I'm concerned, Giacchino is the KING when it comes to video game scores.  He consistently comes out with game scores better than most film music today.  His biggest assignments have been The Lost World and Medal of Honor.  IMHO, a director REALLY needs to hire him on a movie - just listen to Medal of Honor!

 Medal of Honor


Elliot Goldenthal
A true innovator, former classical composer Goldenthal has been melding dissonant 20th Century writing with traditional film scoring tones.  Although his work is not always listenable, it IS always creative.

 The Alien Trilogy
 Alien3
 Batman Forever
 Sphere
 Titus


Jerry Goldsmith
Goldsmith has been working in the film music industry since 1950 and is one of Hollywood's most prolific composers.  He began with modernistic, atonal scores, but lately has become more traditional.

 Air Force One
 The Alien Trilogy
 Alien
 The Challenge
 Contract on Cherry Street
 Hollow Man
 The Last Run
 Legend
 Logan's Run
 The Mummy
 The Omen
 Police Story
 Poltergeist
 Rambo: First Blood Part II
 Star Trek: The Motion Picture
 Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
 Star Trek: First Contact
 Star Trek: Insurrection
 Supergirl
 The Twilight Zone 40th Anniversary Collection
 The Thirteenth Warrior
 The Wind and the Lion


Ron Goodwin
Goodwin is a prolific British composer, who isn't as widely known to US film score fans.  He's quite good, though.

 Battle of Britain


Lawrence Nash Groupe
One of the better up-and-coming composers, with several indie flicks under his belt.  All of his scores show intense compositional talent.

 The Contender
 Deterrence
 Deviants


Bernard Herrmann
Probably best known for his work with Alfred Hitchcock, Herrmann is one of the greatest composers of the 20th century (both film and classical.)  Although his music is not always easy listening, especially some of the Hitchcock scores like Psycho and Torn Curtain, it's always intelligent and perfectly suited for the picture.

 Citizen Kane: The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann
 The Day the Earth Stood Still
 Psycho
 The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad
 The Twilight Zone 40th Anniversary Collection
 Vertigo


Joe Hisaishi
I'm not really familiar with most of his work, but Hisaishi is apparently the John Williams of Japanese anime.

 Princess Mononoke


James Horner
Horner takes a more traditional approach to scoring.  Unfortunately, he has always been one to copy music from both himself and others.  Lately, he has been scoring heavy dramas.

 The Alien Trilogy
 Aliens
 Apollo 13
 Krull
 The Perfect Storm
 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
 Star Trek III: The Search for Spock


James Newton Howard
Previously known as the newest composer for huge action blockbusters, Howard has since mutated his style for intelligent dramas always heavy on minimalism.

 Snow Falling on Cedars


Maurice Jarre
Mainly known for his epic scores to David Lean films.  Lately he has been obsessed with synthesizers, turning out a lot of entirely synthetic ambient scores.

 Doctor Zhivago: The Essential Maurice Jarre Film Music Collection
 Lawrence of Arabia


Michael Kamen
A former rock musician, he has since composed several ballets and classical film scores.  He is probably known most for his action scores.

 The Iron Giant (8 Minute Suite from Song Compilation)


Wojciech Kilar
Polish composer Kilar routinely utilizes dark minimalism in his scores.  Most famous for 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula.

 The Ninth Gate


Hummie Mann
Mann has been around for a while, orchestrating for people like Marc Shaiman.  In the '90s he has started composing his own scores, including Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

 P.T. Barnum


Mark McKenzie
McKenzie, while still a relative unknown to most film score collectors, has been stepping up the popularity ladder with scores for direct-to-video sequels and Hallmark miniseries.

 Durango


Joel McNeely
Another newcomer, he has been stuck with low-budget action flicks and has not had a chance to truly show off his talent.  Still, Shadows of the Empire is an awesome concert work, refreshingly departing from Williams' established norms.

 Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire


Ennio Morricone
Morricone is undoubtedly the most prolific film composer of all time (so far) with something like 1000 scores under his belt.  He first made a name for himself by introducing the definitive sound of spaghetti westerns with The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

 Mission to Mars


David Newman
Newman is just now making a name for himself with scores like The Phantom and Galaxy Quest.

 Galaxy Quest


Alex North
Easily the most underrated musical genius in film music history.  Does the name Spartacus mean anything to you?

 Bite the Bullet
 Viva Zapata!


Basil Poledouris
Even though he's been on the film scoring scene for over 15 years, Poledouris has been ignored by many film score fans.  He has written some of the best score literature ever, including Conan and The Hunt for Red October.

 Conan the Barbarian


Sergei Prokofiev
Mostly known for his classical works, Prokofiev also made a short foray into film music, composing such Russian films as Alexander Nevsky, Lt. Kije, and Ivan the Terrible

 Alexander Nevsky


Graeme Revell
Revell has been lauded for his combination of traditional orchestral melodies with modernistic electronics.

 Red Planet


Leonard Rosenman
One of the older generation of composers, Rosenman is known for his atonality and 20th Century classical style of scoring.  Unfortunately, most of his work sounds the same.

 The Lord of the Rings
 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home


Alan Silvestri

Silvestri, who appeared in the 1980's, is most famous for his Back to the Future action/adventure scores.

 What Lies Beneath


Mark Snow
Probably the most talented TV composer working today, Mark Snow has been nominated for 9 major awards (2 for The X-Files) and has composed scores for numerous high-profile TV series, miniseries, and films.

 The SnowFiles: The Film Music of Mark Snow


Max Steiner
If it weren't for the efforts of Steiner on Gone With the Wind and King Kong, film music as we know it today wouldn't exist.

 King Kong (Original Recording)


Sir William Walton
One of the most successful British film composers, Walton is also widely known in the classical field.

 Battle of Britain


John Williams
Probably the most popular composer at the moment, Williams has done many complex scores that hearken back to the days of Korngold and Steiner.  Lately he has developed a mature style completely unlike the rest of his work (i.e. Schindler's List)

 Close Encounters of the Third Kind
 Close Encounters: The Essential John Williams Film Music Collection
 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
 Jaws
 Jaws (25th Anniversary Expanded Edition)
 Lost in Space Vol. 3
 The Patriot
 The Spielburg/Williams Collaboration
 Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
 Star Wars: A New Hope
 Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
 Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
 Superman (2000 Rhino Release)
 Superman (Rerecording)


Christopher Young
Veteran composer of over 50 films, Young has proven he can write in just about every genre of movie, although he's most adept to horror.  Despite his enormous talents, he's somewhat underappreciated in the film score world, but he gains popularity daily.

 Bless the Child

 Entrapment


Hans Zimmer
Zimmer basically writes in two styles: the bombastic action style heard in The Rock, etc., and the moving, epic style from The Lion King and The Thin Red Line.

 Gladiator

 Mission: Impossible 2

 The Peacemaker


Compilations
 Greatest Science Fiction Hits IV
 Lost in Space Vol. 3
 Mega Movies
 Psycho: The Essential Alfred Hitchcock
 Signatures in Suspense
 The Twilight Zone 40th Anniversary Collection

Books
 MusicHound's Soundtracks