Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jay's Playlist: Kick-Ass score (sorta)

Welcome to my playlist, where I discuss the music which is currently entertaining me. Below you will find a video, press play to begin the song and then read my feelings on the album.

Today's music is the score selections from the soundtrack to Kick-Ass (well not quite, read below)

(Warehouse scene)
Whenever movies release soundtrack albums and soundtrack scores I usually choose the scores. Most of the time the albums have a selection of current day pop music that will be forgotten in a few years, although a few albums from decade-specific movies (such as Dazed and Confused or Forrest Gump) have a nice "best of the decade" mix. Another bonus about score albums is it is new music, the score to a move is composed specifically for that movie and beyond hearing it in the movie you won't find it anywhere else.

While watching Kick-Ass, I noticed a lot of non-score song selections and assumed the movie would be an album-only soundtrack. But a few times some amazing score music played and I knew I had to find the soundtrack as well. Yet when I tried to find the score online I could only find an the album and not a single mention of the score music even on the album. "How odd" I though, "I know I heard score music but why doesn't it exist anywhere". Only by stumbling onto another movie's soundtrack on youtube did I find the answer: there is no new score music to Kick-Ass, the score pieces used in the movie are from other movies' soundtracks!

(burning daddy scene)

The soundtracks are usually added as one of the final pieces to a film. A composer needs to see the (near) final movie in order to be inspired and even time the music to the actions on screen. But when the movie has test screenings they need to add a temp soundtrack so the editor throw some temporary music on the film which is usually from other films. And, in some cases, the directors like they mood of the temp music so much they ask their composers to create themes similar to the temp music. Case in point: below you will find the soundtrack to King's Row (1942) which was used as a temp track to the original Star Wars:

Suddenly the Star Wars (or Superman) theme doesn't sound so original.
Anyways, from what I've gathered, the director to Kick-Ass liked the temp tracks (from the movies 28 Days Later and Sunshine, among others) so much that rather than have a new composer imitate them he just paid the original composers to re-use the same music just like they were radio hits from years past. As such, the score to Kick-Ass is actually a "best of other movies scores", and I quite like it! I haven't found all the score pieces used, I will have to wait for the DVD to listen to everything, but if they others used as as good as these two then I need to check out some awesome soundtracks I may have missed!

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