James Horner (1953-2015) It is hard to put to words what James Horner has meant to me as a film score listener. His scores were always something to look forward to in a new film and his past scores were always a joy to return to. Upon ranking his best scores, I always find myself adding more films onto the short list I originally started with.
For so much of the 1980's and 90's, he defined the sounds of films - he put his heart into all genres and made the film stand out.
And to think of the audiences he reached with his music. He became a household name with Titanic with millions buying a score album that probably wouldn't otherwise. His music brought out the best in a film, holding some spectacular moments from Resolution and Hyperspace of Aliens, The Launch in Apollo 13, the Charging of Fort Wagner in Glory, the zip of The Rocketeer and Zorro, the Execution from Braveheart or Leaving Port in Titanic.
Those dramatic moments are memorable beyond the film - the emotions always stay with you. After the blockbuster successes of Titanic and Avatar, he was more selective of his films, wanting a real collaboration. He even recently wrote concert music, which he hadn't done in years. I was so invigorated with his "return" with The Amazing Spider-Man, but his smaller films like Wolf Totem and For Greater Glory still stood out. This year, we are lucky to hear his last two films: The 33 and Southpaw. It is sad to think that will be the last of the scores of this talented man.
So, let's honor James Horner: pop in your favorite score and enjoy.