My Favorite Film Overtures

You never see overtures at the beginnings of movies anymore, and I think that’s a real shame. A film’s musical themes are often pulled together for an overture making for a beautiful mashup, a quick taste of the movie you’re about to watch. I wish they were still used in modern films, and they add real class to the older gems. Here are a few of my personal favorites!

Ben-Hur (1959) It’s personally one of my favorite movies of all time (in my top ten favorite films to be precise.) I do believe that one of the reasons I value it so highly is because it has one of the strongest film scores I’ve ever heard. The film opens with powerful brass, followed by delicate harps, and a glorious orchestra of instruments after. It is quick to carry you into an ancient time and land with its rhythms, before settling into its sweeping themes filled with romance. And it manages to always be epic.

The Sound of Music. This is one of the best examples of an overture giving a sample of several notable themes in about four minutes tops. Lovable songs that so many of us know are given their moment to shine. I love this movie to death, but the opening credits here is actually one of my favorite parts of the movie to watch…just to hear this. ❤

The Ten Commandments. This is much like Ben-Hur’s overture, in which power and epicness and romantic themes all blend together. This overture, however, for most of its runtime, does focus on the strong brass. Which I think is magnificent. It truly captures the raw power of one of history’s greatest exoduses and most humble princes.

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. This overture is a little different because it multitasks.  It plays recurring themes while ALSO scoring the film’s beginning, like the train’s arrival and Gladys glimpsing the military in the distance. I really do love the man theme, and it sounds so beautiful here.

El Cid. This is an example of a film I have not yet seen (shame, I want to!) but who’s overture I very much love! SO. MUCH. BRASS. AND. POWER. I love the more military vibe to this overture with the use of the drums. This overture is quite aggressive and fun; really draws my interest to what this story could be about.

101 Dalmatians. You will probably never hear a more energetic and unique overture like the one that begins Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (a huge personal favorite film of mine.) It makes for one of the most interesting beginning credits as well, which you can witness here if you wish. The use of the different instruments, like the xylophone, drums, cymbals, wind instruments and brass are so playful and delightful!

The Jungle Book (1969). This seems like a different one to include, but I’m doing so because this portion of the film captured my attention even as a very young child. I remember starting this VHS film and as simple scenery and text rolled by, I was COMPLETELY drawn in. That mystery, that ethnicity: it was so alluring and captivating! It says a lot when simple music can completely settle a very energetic child, like myself once was, to hold still during simple credits. That’s power.

But that’s music.

~Jamie

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ABC Challenge || “I”

pop/contemporary

I’ll Show You by Justin Bieber. I knew immediately this would be top pop song for I. In the past I never dug Justin Bieber very much, but his new album is actually genuinely good and full of more uplifting messages. And after honestly giving it try, I’ve grown to love his new sound. But this song really struck a chord with me. It’s incredibly humanizing and I really connect with both the lyrics and the emotion. Just wow. I love a Justin Beiber song. LOL ❤

I Took A Pill In Ibiza by Mike Posner. I just love the sound of this song. It’s incredibly addicting and I love all the instruments usages and claps.

soundtrack

Is She With You? from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Not seen the movie yet but a friend made me immediately listen to this after he saw it. It’s Wonder Woman’s theme and it’s just kinda legit awesome. LOL But listen to that guitar!

Iyanayokan from Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace. THIS MAKES ME WANT TO BE A DETECTIVE. I just love how sneaky, playful and mysterious this is!! The violin is wonderful; it reminds me of Sherlock Holmes in a sense. I love all the different instruments you can pick out as it goes on. jaskldfjaklsdjf I just really love this track. ^_^

Intermission-Entr’acte Music from Ben-Hur. This is an all time favorite movie, a must-see epic, with one of the most powerful soundtracks of all time. This begins very dark and serious, and then about 40 seconds in the classic opening from the Overture begins and we get to hear all the beautiful themes. I love all the light plucking, followed by the tragic-sounding strings. Then we get 2:20 mark we get the romance theme with some wonderful brass and string work together. Then we get the epic finale again at 3:50 as the movie gets ready to begin playing. Just ugh. What a wonderful score for such a stunning movie.

classical

In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edward Grieg. I have a for real classical song today LOL! But I love this song so much! It’s so much fun to play on the piano too!! And just wow, it’s so crazy at the end!! XD

independent/instrumental

Into the Wild Chapter 1 by Axl Rosenberg. This is the 2-minute version to a very emotional, powerful instrumental peiece. When those percussions and the strong violin come in…I get chills. I’ve written powerful book scenes to this piece and it’s longer 6-minute sibling.

I Can Feel It Humming by The Flashbulb. This is an instrumental piece from my writing playlist and I love it. I love the tempo and play of instruments. It’s an almost anxious song, with gentle piano and then urgent guitar work and soft violin. Then that piano bit at the end. ❤

alternative

I Want You by Savage Garden. I heard this in the credits of an anime set in the 90s and just fell for this song immediately. I’ve yet to get tired of listening to it. I love the tune and the tempo a lot. Just, the 90s had some good songs. XD

I’m in Control from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. This is actually a song off the soundtrack and I’m really quite addicted to it. I love how it opens up; strong percussion, amazing middle eastern influence, excellent beat. Then at the minute mark we get the song and it’s strong electronic influence. I love that the singer actually sings in English (this is from a Japanese anime) so it’s really fun getting to sing along with such a kick-butt song.

It’s You by Super Junior. This is a softer more romantic song for the first part with a great tempo; the chorus is my favorite part, otherwise I would probably get bored with it. But it’s truly one of my favorite KPop songs. I love all the vocal work in the chorus and the melody and beat. And then some English to sing along with!! ^_^

I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys. Please ignore how EVERYTHING IS SO RIDICULOUSLY CHEESY IN THIS HILARIOUS 90’s MUSIC VIDEO. XD No, actually, enjoy it and a get a good laugh out of it. ANYWHO as to the song itself…I love it. It’s almost embarrassing how much I love this song. I just….I just really like this song. XD

musicals

I Wan’na Be Like You sung by Fall Out Boy. My friend Grace turned me on to this song and I’ve loved it ever since. I don’t generally like Disney songs when they’re re-recorded by bands, but wow. This is the exception to the rule because dang. It’s SO ADDICTING AND FUN. I kinda loose it at 2:05 for the rest of the song.

If I Were A Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof. This movie is actually almost like a family treasure to me and it has some wonderful songs! I especially love this song; singing with Tevye is just one of the most enjoyable things to do. ❤ And I totally feel the song LOL. Don’t we all wish we had a little bit more money. XD

I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady. I’ve only seen this film once and it wasn’t a favorite of mine. But. BUT. I’ve never been able to forget this song. If I was going to share one song from this musical, it would be this. Just, so so beautiful. ❤

Dang, I think this was my longest post yet. If anything, it just really shows how wide my tastes are. XD

~Jamie

ABC Challenge || “H”

pop/contemporary

The Heart Wants What it Wants by Selena Gomez. I wrote AN ENTIRE BOOK to this song because I just loved the sound of it so much. Plus the emotions matched exactly; utter heartbreak and angst. Selena’s voice is just beautiful in this song and you can hear the pain in her voice. ❤

Hold Tight by Madonna. I LOVE the tempo and rhythm work in this song, just wow I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It’s also incredibly similar to Gwen Stefani’s Baby Don’t Lie, which I adore to death. So I really appreciate having a similar sounding song to listen to. However, I really love Hold Tight’s lyrics; I personally really connect with the message so that just makes it extra special.

soundtrack

Hide and Seek from Finding Dory. I’m just really in love with Thomas Newman’s music in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. I love this playful track! Love that pizzicato!

Hyouri from Bakemonogatari. I’ve also shared this song before, but I will just never get over how haunting it is. I also wrote much of my book to this song while on repeat. So dangerous and delicate sounding all at once.

independent/instrumental

The Hooded Man by Peter Gundry. Breathless and haunting and mysterious; The Hooded Man is the perfect name for this song. I love the vocal work, the delicate harps, the strings; it’s just very haunting and beautiful!

alternative

Happiness by NeedToBreathe. I was literally only just introduced to this song two days ago, but I’m so happy I can include it! Definitely one of the best songs I could include in this song!! Utterly addicting, excellent tempo and rhythm, and fantastic chorus work! Just wow, I love it!

Heartbeat by Beckah Shea. Here’s another song I’ve listened to religiously while racing to get to class on time on my bike. Tempo and interesting percussion work, you might have noticed, is often very important to me and often one of my hooks to giving songs a full listen through. This has a VERY STRONG percussion and tempo and when I running late and trying to make a bus, I’d flip this song and start riding as fast as I could. The song kept my stamina and pedalling up as long as I remembered to breathe right. XD

musicals

The Hairbrush Song from VeggieTales. Haha, I just had to. XD

Hakuna Matata from The Lion King. IT’S SO CLASSIC. HOW CAN I NOT SHARE THIS. #childhoodagain.

~Jamie

ABC Challenge || “F”

pop/contemporary

Fix a Heart by Demi Lovato. I love Demi as a role model and I enjoy her music. I really love this song as it touches very clearly on what it feels like to have a hurting heart.

soundtrack

Far East Suite from Fullmetal Alchemist. LONG TIME FAVORITE of mine! Just ugh, love that pizzicato!! So chirpy and peaceful!

classical

Fire by Brian Crain. I’m currently learning this song on the piano. I love how bittersweet it is; dark and glowing.

independent/instrumental

Fairy Forest by Adrian von Ziegler. Such gorgeous harp work! Dainty, magical, shy, playful; if this isn’t what a forest full of fairies sounds like, I don’t know what else could!

alternative

Flyers from Death Parade. I will forever love this song; will never get tired of it either! Paired with its visuals, its just one of those songs that makes you want to jump up and start dancing; to get completely lost in its world. Bouncy and spirited to say the least!

Forces from Berserk. Couldn’t not include Forces, it being my favorite song from all anime written by the brilliant Susumu Hirasawa. This is the anthem of bloody, dark world of Berserk, where there are no happy endings, tragedy and character angst, and gore, gore, gore. It’s a battle song, a rally song. It’s powerful and passionate, triumphant and wailing. It’s Forces. I will always love it.

musicals

Friend Like Me from Aladdin. Ahhhh the classic Aladdin song featuring the wonderful Robin Williams! I didn’t grew up with this movie, but this song sold it to me! ❤

~Jamie

ABC Challenge || “B”

pop/contemporary

Blank Space by Taylor Swift. It was a toss up between this and Bad Blood, but I’m going to share this song because one of the lyrics.  “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane, cause you know I love the players and you love the game.” Taylor Swift is one of the first pop stars I’ve heard to actually address both sides of chaotic relationships. People always focus on how girls fall for players, and yet no one ever points out how much guys love playing the game too.

soundtrack

Battle Training from Hero Acadamia. This sounds much more like crazy romp through the countryside then superhero battling, thanks to the incredible banjo and tempo! This is such an amazing blend of instruments, from the horns, electric guitar, modern percussion, banjo and electro sounds!

classical

Beautiful Memories by Adrian Von Ziegler. UGH THE PURE EMOTION IN THIS SONG. It’s so delicate and wistful and full of longing. To me this song is the embodiment of the emotions of love and long distance, which is no surprise as the composer wrote this for his long distance girlfriend (now beautiful wife. <3) Knowing the joys and aches of long distance love myself, I can hear and feel this song’s emotions within myself. It hurts so badly yet is worth every moment for the sheer beauty of knowing and waiting for true love.

independent

Bushido by Adrian von Ziegler. A world music piece, also by Adrian von Ziegler. I LOVE the percussion work in this piece. It’s one of my work out songs because the tempo and beat is perfection.

alternative

Begin Again by Purity Ring. I have a soft spot for electropop. I love haunting, angsty songs in general, especially if they can loop brilliantly like this.

musicals

Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast. Alongside The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast is a personal favorite Disney film for me. I love every moment of this film, but amongst all the perfection, this is truly one of the most magical songs (and animated spectacles) of the film. ❤

~Jamie

ABC Challenge || “A”

Anna Elizabeth on Facebook invited me to share in her ABC music challenge and I’m totally game to join in when I can. It’ll be a great way to help me find something post as I settle into my new job too. Today’s letter is A, so I’ll be posting songs that start with A below according to genre categories as I can find them. ❤

pop/contemporary

Alive by Sia. This song is incredibly personal to me. There have been so many points in my life when I’ve felt beat tp the pulp and left for dead emotionally, mentally, spiritually. But I’ve always tried to keep fighting. So Sia’s lyrics in “Alive” really connected with me. Its a really fight song; fantastic percussion and tempo that makes you want to take up kick-boxing, with delicate piano blended with electropop. And Sia’ voice is just amazing. “I’m still breathing. I’m still breathing. I’m still breathing. I’m alive. I’m alive. I’m alive. I’m alive.”

soundtrack

Almost Home from Finding Dory. I’m obsessed with the Finding Dory soundtrack right now. It stands up well with my long time favorite from Finding Nemo (as does the movie itself.) This is a softer, quiet song with some brief moments of suspense.

classical

Adiemus. I’m going to classify this as classical. XD This is a long time favorite of mine, I remember stumbling over a piece of it as a teenager while on one of those bunny trail-trips through Wikipedia links. The few moments of vocal work stunned me and a few years later I was able to find the full song. It’s very otherworldly and heavenly, tinged with a bittersweetness that’s incredible to listen too.

country instrumental

Autumn Love by Thomas Bergerson. I don’t listen to much country, so I thought I’d make this genre a personal change: either fpr another soundtrack or an independent’s work! I had several candidates for this song, but I chose this one because it’s so sweetly romantic. It’s quiet and blossoming and warm, like the beginning of a new season.

alternative

Always with Me from Spirited Away. This is kind of a freebie genre, so today I’m sharing the peaceful, incredibly memorable and moving song from the end of Spirited Away. It’s far from being my favorite Studio Ghibli movie, but this song as

musicals

The Aristocats from The Aristocats. MY CHILDHOOD. MY CHILDHOOD. MY CHILDHOOD. MY CHILDHOOD. MY CHILDHOOD. I JUST FEEL SO HAPPY LISTENING TO THIS. ❤

~Jamie