Top 10 Scores Turning 30 in 2016

Time to take a look back at the musical score time machine and see what I consider some of the best from the year 1986.  So here is my list of the 10 Best Scores Turning 30!

Let's start the ranking!

10. The Three Amigos (Elmer Bernstein)
Bernstein had several straight-faced comedies in the 1980s, this one a riff of the many 1960s Westerns he scored.  It's not often composers get to write a parody score of one of their own score/styles.  Throw in the over the top Randy Newman tunes and you've got a new classic.   
9. Platoon (Georges Delerue)
While the standout of the film is Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, Delerue offered his own similar version and more that wasn't used in the film.  Thankfully his (mainly unused) score was released on album.
8. The Great Mouse Detective (Henry Mancini)
A generally forgotten Disney film (shortly before the animation renaissance), Mancini's first animated film features plenty of mickey-mousing, a heroic main theme, love theme and decent songs.
7. Labyrinth (Trevor Jones)
While generally overshadowed by David Bowie's songs, Jones' synth score is seeping with pure magical 1980s sound.  
6. The Fly (Howard Shore)
For this Croenenberg film, Shore turned to a large operatic orchestral style.  Utilizing an atonal sound, he vamps up the horror and romantic aspects.  Years later, Shore turned The Fly into an actual opera. 
5. An American Tail (James Horner)
Somewhere Out There may be the takeaway hit theme/song for the film, but the rest of the score has a lush orchestral sound, exciting melodies and a strong Russian influence.
4. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Leonard Rosenman)
One of the lighter Star Trek scores, Rosenman brought a heroic and very cheerful sound to the franchise.  While not necessarily fitting the mold of previous or future scores, it remains a well written, lighthearted score.   
3. Hoosiers (Jerry Goldsmith)
A strong sports score, featuring a strong main theme mixed well with the electronic elements.  The use of themes at the end is a particularly memorable moment.  A stirring score, topped only by Goldsmith's later score to Rudy.  
2. Aliens (James Horner)
Even given Horner's penchant for reusing bits of other works, this score stands out as Horner's best action work.  This thrilling score is just a strong without the film - with driving percussion and virtuosic ensemble performances.  The process was horrible for Horner, who vowed to never work with director James Cameron again....  
1. The Mission (Ennio Morricone)
Matching the beautiful scenery, the score is often in the forefront through the film.  Morricone crafted some of his most stunning thematic material, notably Gabriel's Oboe.  The serene score also heavily features choir and emphasizes the crossing of cultures musically.      

Any favorites of yours from 1986 that I didn't include?  Comment below!

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  1. Wow that is a great list. I need to get my hands on the "Three Amigos". I've heard some samples from it and it sounded great.