So anyway, time to throw my 2 cents in I suppose (although, with me it's usually something closer to change for a buck). I thought, seeing as how Brad's comment section for his post is getting a little...bloated, I'd go ahead and post my response here on my own blog. And let's face it, The Pikey's blog's been a little dry over the last few months, so why not pad it a little. So without further ado...and in absolutely in no particular order whatsoever, here we go:
"Adagio and Transfiguration" - Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (Elliot Goldenthal): I know Brad's more partial to "Toccata...", but for me this cue is where the score really shines. I liken the pivotal moment in the cue - when the whole orchestra is just roaring near the end - to nothing short of an orchestral orgasm. I've rattled windows in my car and home from having this up so loud.
"Death Camp" - X-Men (Michael Kamen):In what is perhaps arguably the most underrated score in the superhero/comic book adaptation genre, this particular cue really stands out for two reasons. One, it's brilliantly orchestrated and emotional. And two, it is perhaps one of the finest examples of excessive over-scoring I've ever heard. I picked up the CD before the film came out. After my first listen through this track, I replayed it...about 9 more times (each a little louder than before). After absorbing it, I was fully expecting to go into the theater and see some monumental mutant moment (say that 3 times quickly), with special effects out the wazoo. Instead, we get a kid in a concentration camp bending a fence with is mind...woo hoo. Still, the music is phenomenal.
"Fed Net March and Klendathu Drop" - Starship Troopers (Basil Poledouris): Let's face it, this is really one cue...and a hell of a cue at that. There's something just so balls-out gung-ho about it that really turns one on. I'm not sure what I love more - the brass blaring away, or all those intricate wind and string lines underneath the brass blaring away.
"Hand of Fate, Pt. I" - Signs (James Newton Howard):I couldn't very well leave off any of the cues from my original list from months back now could I. See The Best 19 Minutes Ever posting for my thoughts on this one.
"Lighting of the Beacons" - The Return of the King (Howard Shore): I have to totally agree with Brad on this one - one of the best marriages of music and film ever. I would however like to augment and include the sequence immediately after this - as Aragorn bursts into the great hall of Rohan to announce that the beacons are lit...Theoden replies, "...and Rohan shall answer!". The fanfare version of the Rohan theme that starts right at that moment in the horns is just so, so...well...TOTALLY KICK-ASS AWESOME!!!
"The Last Giant Piece" - The Iron Giant (Michael Kamen): See "Hand of Fate" above...
"Duel of the Fates" - The Phantom Menace (John Williams): The first time I heard this, I was in the Western Music Computer Lab (ha - a closet with a dozen old Macs) with Brad, Amanda Giese, and Elvis...it was about two or three months before opening day and Elvis had just found it on the web. When it was over, I think all I could muster was, "Holy Shit!". And I just sat there, with a semi-wood, dying to hear it again.
"Buckbeak's Flight" - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (John Williams): The real travesty is that this cue isn't included in any shape or form in the Hal Leonard Signature Series score. It's just so grand and sweeping and epic...If I ever learn to fly, I want this playing in the background as I do it.
"First Contact" - Star Trek: First Contact (Jerry Goldsmith): Granted, this was actually a 1996 film, but since it came out right before Christmas that year, for me, it's close enough (and after I gave Reed a hard time about his list - shame, shame). I love the "First Contact" theme anyway, and Jerry just really hit it out of the park with the way he put it together in this cue. I remember seeing this in the theater, getting swept away as the the music began to swell when the "aliens" came down the ramp of their ship. I remember thinking, "OH IT'S GOT TO BE THE VULCANS!!!". Though honestly, I'm not sure if I was just thinking it, or actually said it really loud. As the Vulcan pulls his hood down and the cymbal crashes, I think I was literally bouncing up and down in my seat. Anyway, long story short (too late), even today, almost 11 years later (wow), I still get excited hearing that moment on the album.
"Glamdring" - The Two Towers (Howard Shore): Again, I'm in total agreement with Brad. The chorus is especially fantastic - it sounds like it could fill an arena when the glow of the Balrog emerges from the hole in the ceiling, and the entire cavern below is lit up like Times Square. The joining of the two (music and visual) at this moment is near perfection.