Predator 2 - Alan Silvestri - 1990
I heard the soundtrack to Predator 2 long before I saw the film (or the first film). In fact, I've only just recently seen the two films, and while I think they're fantastic films, I probably did enjoy them more because I was already familiar with the music, and I freaking love it. The Predator 2 soundtrack would probably make ANY movie better. I'd go see a Barbie movie with the Predator 2 soundtrack. Hell, I'd even see the Twilight films if they were set to Predator 2. That's how much I love this CD.
The best example of why I love it so much is the End Titles piece. Like many End Credits pieces, it's rather analogous to the Overture of an opera, in that many of the themes from throughout the film are featured in it, so you get a good overview of the entire work. My favorite portion is the final theme brought it, about a minute and half from the end, especially the transition to it with the big gong smash. I like gongs.
If I were buying this album on a track by track basis, the End Titles would be almost just enough to cover all the bases. But there is one more track that I really enjoy, that I don't feel is really represented in it. It probably is, but if so, the stand alone track still really stands enough alone that I don't notice it being present in the End Titles. Plus, it's got a fun name, El Scorpio, which jumps out at me for a couple of reasons, a silly one being that I am a Scorpio. But really, it's just got lots of great sound textures in it. I can't imagine how one could write something like this, it's just amazing.
My cousin and I recently had a big discussion about movie music composers, and he said that all Silvestri's music sounds the same, you can tell it's Silvestri. Predator and Predator 2 are the only things I'm really familiar with, but I just watched GI Joe: Rise of Cobra, and noticed at the end that Silvestri did the music for it. I liked it, and I would like to purchase the soundtrack, but it sounded nothing like Predator. I haven't heard anything that sounds remotely like this music, and no matter what else he's written, or what I think of it (I don't remember the music from Back to the Future, but I doubt it's any good), I will forever consider Alan Silvestri to be a genius, for these two soundtracks.
When I was in high school, freshman or sophomore year, something like that, for a friends birthday party we went and played laser tag. It was really fun. It was really dark, smoke machines in some places, black lights here and there, laser lights, a very dark, moody location, lots of boxes scattered around, and sheets hanging from the ceiling, plus a sort of balcony area were you could obsevere part of the playing area (but was still part of the playing area) really great layout for it. They let about, oh, I don't remember, 10 or so people on the field at once, but the area was large enough that you could roam around for a while without seeing the others. It was a free for all game, and there was a very heavy sense of foreboding and hunting and being hunted, and it was just a fantastic mood to the whole thing, not at all like the Halo games I've played online, where it's a frenetic chaotic mess of just running and shooting blindly and dying every 7 steps. It was a slower, dreadful, intense sense of carefully hunt your enemy and kill them before they kill you, you will not respawn, death is the end, sort of feeling.
I think we played two games, and about half way through the second, I realized the fantastic mood was in large part due to the music being pumped over the loudspeakers. It wasn't some loud, repetitive trance music, or God forbid, pop music like the Backstreet Boys or Michael Jackson or whoever was popular in the early 90s, it was moody, hunter/hunted music. I checked at the front desk before we left to find out what it was, and they actually had on display the CD cases to what was being played during the game, and it was the Predator 2 soundtrack. There may have been other CDs on display, but the only one I remember is Predator. The next time I saw my Evil Cousin Rish, I asked him to see if he could find that soundtrack for me (so I must have been a freshman, without my own transportation at the time). A couple weeks later he gave to me one of the first 6 CDs I had, purchased from his favorite used CD shop, and I've had it ever since.
Well, I hope somebody enjoyed all the rambling, or even better, I hope somebody enjoyed the music, I highly recommend this album, it's probably one of my top five albums ever, definitely top five soundtracks ever.
PS: Holy crap! He also did The Mummy Returns soundtrack, I'll have to give that a listen, I love that movie.