3. Solaris, Cliff Martinez
Nobody had heard anything that sounded like this when it came out almost 20 years ago. Martinez used a combination of synth textures and heavily processed gamelan bells (mostly with delays and reverb). It all works together to create another wash of sound like Blade Runner does, but different. This score feels minimalist – meaning the art movement.
Did you know that Martinez came to prominence as the drummer for The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Captain Beefheart?
2. Escape from New York, John Carpenter
This score, composed by Carpenter and performed by him and Alan Howarth, was hugely influential. The music is quite minimalistic, driven by Memory Moog ostinatos, bass lines, and – uniquely for the time – very little percussion.
1. Blade Runner, Vangelis
Blade Runner has to be the winner, for two reasons. The first is that so many of you were seriously angry at us for not putting it on the list! One person on Facebook said it was the worst top ten list ever. Brutal!
However, the main reason for it being number one is that to this day, Vangelis’ masterpiece continues to have an influence on scores. It was very different from what John Carpenter was doing (see #2, his score to Escape from New York) – rather than ostinatos, he used big, beautiful synth texture washes of sounds. And using ethnic vocals and other elements along with the electronics was new.