Film Score THURSDAY Top 5: End Credit Suites/Songs

Last week’s Cowboy Bebop list weighed heavily towards songs during End Credits, which made me think about doing an entire list of End Credits songs and suites (obviously excluded will be those already covered in the previous Bebop list).  Basically, there are no rules for this list.  The only criterion is that it is music that makes you stay in your seat (or not change the channel) during the credits.  Many times the Credits music will have segued from the previous cue, when the track on the CD release is such, I will give the combined title (for example “The Throne Room/End Title” from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope).

The List:

– “Epilogue/End Title” from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan by James Horner – I’m actually listening to the new “Expanded Edition” release as I write this, and let me assure you that it is a wonderful thing to be-heard (that really should be a word if it’s not).  I’ve professed my love for Horner’s score elsewhere, and rest assured that every time I watch Wrath of Khan that I do let the DVD play all the way through to the end.

– “The Rebel Fleet/End Title” from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back by John Williams – When the original Star Wars films were re-released back into theatres in the ’90s, I made sure to stay in my seat during the credits for Empire.  One of the scores that made me fall in love with film music, and the credits sums it up perfectly.

– “Ending Theme” from Final Fantasy VI by Nobuo Uematsu – Back in early June I did a top 5 of themes and cues from Final Fantasy VI, but this mammoth cue ends the game takes it to a new level.  This cut is just over 21 minutes long and begins right after the player beats the final boss.  It cover the “Ending” of the game which goes through each playable character and their theme and closes out the story and then into the credits.  To this day I still go back to my save game (right before the final battle) just to watch and listen to this sequence.

– “End Titles” from Independence Day by David Arnold – Arnold today is most well known for his James Bond scores, but his early collaborations with Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin resulted in two very good scores: Stargate and Independence Day.  While there is not truly special about the “End Titles,” it does do a great job of recapping the music that came before, the job of any good End Credits suite.

– “Extreme Ways” by Moby from The Bourne Identity, et al – One of the things I love about the Bourne films is how you know the credits are about to begin because you hear the first notes of Moby’s “Extreme Ways.”  I can’t really describe why it’s such a great song to kick off the end credits, but I just know that it is perfect.  As a treat, a link for the video (YouTube won’t let me embed the clip for some reason).

Want more?  Okay, here are some Honorable Mentions:

– “End Credit” from Batman: The Animated Series by Danny Elfman – Also known as “34-seconds of Sheer Awesomeness,” Elfman’s adaptation of his Batman film theme is short, sweet, and just about perfect.

– “Shiki no Uta” from Samurai Champloo by MINMI – this End Credit theme from Shinichiro Watanabe’s  other anime series isn’t as good as “The Real Folk Blues,” but it is still up there, and beats just about every American television show’s end credits (heck, these days our credits are just excuses for more ad space or plug the latest episode of Survivor or some other such nonsense).  This a video of the entire song, not just the Credits portion.

That’s it for now, tune in next week…

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