TCM Selects 15 Most “Influential” Soundtracks

I just happened to catch this over on CNN while browsing around today and thought I would pass it along.  It’s an interesting list, and the back and forth on the comments is also fairly interesting because it demonstrates the many faces of the film music community.

TCM did a very cagey thing by using the term “soundtrack,” which opened the door for the inclusion of films like American Graffiti and others which have more rock or other popular music scores.  Also, the use of the term “influential” and not best or some other qualitative term also narrows the focus of the list.  For my part, I can find no glaring omissions from the list, or anything that I don’t consider worthy.

Many of the comments have lamented that there were no Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer scores on the list, but do we really have the distance to say what will be “influential” about their scores?  Sure, maybe an early Elfman/Burton score or early Zimmer could be thrown on the list, and yes, they are among the most important composers of the last 20-25 years, but will they have the lasting influence of a Steiner or Hermann?

If there was something I might wish were included it would be a Korngold score from an Erroll Flynn film, surely Williams would never have written Star Wars without the influence of Korngold’s music.  I also might question the number of rock and pop scores (I think they could have done without one or two of them), but in all I find the list very balanced and of high quality.

Your thoughts?

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