Can you sing a song from a Marvel film score?

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It’s really more like a symphonic asteroid belt.


It’s a really great article, I love the detail they went into. . And Danny Elfman is one composer I’ve loved since his days with Oingo Boingo. Faced with the same question (Can you sing a song from a Marvel score) I would honestly answer yes, though. The Captain America theme is quite memorable, though not rising to the standards of what John Williams did for Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and so many other great films.


Laugh at the DCEU all you want, but I can already hum the Wonder Woman theme even though the movie isn’t out yet.

That said, I love Every Frame a Painting… He really makes you watch movies with a different eye.


I don’t envy Hans Zimmer having to come up with a new, memorable Superman theme, but I feel like he rose to the challenge.

I was ticked off that this song wasn’t on the LOTR: The Two Towers soundtrack.

And watching Requiem is traumatic, so I really don’t want to do that just to get a dose of “Lux Aeterna.”

As for singing the theme from a Marvel movie…


I can’t stop this feeling
Deep inside of me
Girl, you just don’t realize
What you do to me

When you hold me
In your arms so tight
You let me know
Everything’s all right

I—I-I—I-I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me

ETA: Plus, the Iron Man movie scores are pretty much all AC/DC, so while I can’t sing them, I’m sure there are fans out there that can.


True, and … that theme will sound amazing under the scene in Justice League where Superman comes back in his new black and silver outfit and long hair and everyone’s like “oh shit, is that?!?!” (yes, I’ve already written half of the Justice League movie in my head)


The Captain America theme is quite memorable,
though not rising to the standards of what John Williams did for Star
Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and so many other great films.

What’s weird to me about the Marvel music being so unmemorable imho, is that Alan Silvestri composed a lot of it.


If you watch the special features on BTTW, apparently Spielberg hounded Zemeckis about hiring a composer like John Williams, and when he heard Silvestri’s music, he thought that it was Williams at first.

When I hear the Captain America theme, though, what I think has gone wrong is that it sounds like a temp track. It sounds like he composed it in his home studio, let the director hear it, and the director said, “Yes, that’s it; that’s exactly what we want.”

If you listen Gordy Haab’s score for Star Wars Battlefront, it sounds a lot like Williams. Some of it is John Williams, but imho the new stuff blends well. He did an interview on Rebel Force Radio with David Collins, and had said that he composes on paper, and kept insisting that, no, it wasn’t going to sound like that when they used a real orchestra. He also talked about how some directors will insist on the music sounding ‘perfect’ before they ever get to the orchestra.


[quote=“boingboing, post:1, topic:85324”]That’s why you hear a million trailers with the same music, whether it was Yello’s 80s “Oh Yeah” song popularized in Ferris Buehler’s Day Off, or the 28 Days Later theme, or the Requiem for a Dream theme or the Inception theme.[/quote]It’s been a while since I’ve heard the theme from Dragon.

I think the last time was in a trailer for one of the early Harry Potter films, which was memorable as being just such a breathtaking lazy choice.

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Unless they are choral, scores are typically not songs.

I am something of a pseudo-musician, in that I work with sound, and have been called a musician by others. It was largely soundtracks, such as Doctor Who (classic, pre-Murray Gold) and Ligeti’s work in 2001 which first inspired me.

I think that the question touches upon a real problem, but gets it wrong. The risk which should be taken is to make soundtracks distinctive. But what most people find memorable about music is melody, which tends to be relatively simple and predictable. I am going out on the unpopular limb that music which strives to convey emotion and provide memorable melodies is itself opting out of taking real musical risks. It is more progressive for both cinema and soundtrack to embrace the avant garde, to experiment with forms and push the envelope of what is artistically possible.

Yes, bland banality can be a failure of musical craft and artistry, but so can catchiness and memorability.

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This not only makes for forgettable music, but also, to some degree, forgettable films. So many memorable movie moments are linked in my mind with the accompanying soundtrack. I tend to find the Marvel movies don’t leave that much of an impression.
It occurs to me that there’s something analogous that happens with the visuals of some video games - pre-existing game art and concept art gets used in the early stages to set a visual direction, with the games’ final art direction being based on that. It leads to games that look the same. (It doesn’t help that game artists get trained to adhere to familiar styles and do “generic game art.”)


On the other hand, you have directors like Tarantino who so often rely heavily on music that is distinctive and locked to a certain era to provide “edginess”, but definitely has no source input from the directors themselves (“I want you to create this feel for me”).

If you ask me, I think The Taking of Pelham 123’s David Shire created one of the most memorable scores, though you’re talking about an era when I think people went to the theater for good music as well as drama.

Using the expanded end title music here…

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Including one of my all time favorites, The Rocketeer…

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I like some of the points they make, but they self-select like crazy, here. I can and I know several people who can hum the Avengers theme and some who know Cap’s theme. Do all of the films have quite the same iconic scores of cultural touchstones that have endured for forty years? No, I suppose not. But that’s true of many films, not just Marvel’s. I couldn’t tell you the theme song to a lot of movies after I’ve watched them. Do you remember the soundtrack to ‘Aliens’? I don’t recall it with that much clarity. Sure, you remember the Imperial March from Star Wars or the Main Theme, but the quality of a soundtrack isn’t purely in how you remember a particular stanza.

Moreover, a good chunk of this video is basically: ‘why isn’t every movie composed by John Williams’? Star Wars, Raiders, Harry Potter and so on. John Barry composed FOURTEEN James Bond soundtracks. The big problem with many Marvel movies is they haven’t maintained a theme song from one movie to another, except for the Avengers movies (Alan Silvestri, mostly).

I’m not saying they don’t make valid points, I just think they overstate their case a great deal.


I remember a particular stanza from the Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza.

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So glad they included the gentleman singing the Spiderman theme as the last segment, because my brain had been playing the theme rather loudly during the video.

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I don’t really buy this. The Winter Solider had one of the best action scores I’ve heard in a long time. They may not be hummable themes, but they were kick ass and represented the action well.

Meanwhile, John Williams is far from original. He ripped off the temp music for Star Wars, most notably Erich Korngold’s “Kings Row” theme. And then spends the rest of the career ripping off himself. < /unpopular opinion >


Bahhh bah-bah Bad-aah!
Bahhh bah-bah BAD-AAH!!

Dun-dun dundundundun diddly…

Laurie Johnson is the boss. :smiley:

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The video isn’t saying that Marvel film scores are poor. It actually makes the case for how effective they are in supporting the visuals. Its point is more that they function more as an emotional sound-bed, as cues for how we should respond, than music that can stand on its own. As Danny Elfman says in the video, movie music used to stand out, but these days it’s not meant to be heard as much or be memorable as melodies.

But you’re right in that all artists steal. John Williams blatantly stole from Gustav Holst and Wagner while Danny Elfman admits that his early scores were more than inspired by Bernard Hermann.

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