in music, videos

Superman Soundtracks

After many attempts, I finally managed to cobble together some rambling thoughts on how John Williams’ Superman soundtrack compared to Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel soundtrack. Both are great works, worthy of acclaim in their own ways.

I’ve gotten pretty good feedback on these features in the past, but I always feel like my grasp of music theory is too rudimentary to deliver a solid explanation of what these soundtracks are doing. Still, I don’t know of anyone else that tries to explore and interpret film music in this way, using the media that I use. If you know them, please point them out! I’d love to get inspired and educated.

  • Hi Dave,

    I enjoyed your podcast comparing the Superman The Movie score to Man of Steel. Very good insights.

    However, I just want to point out that the John Williams theme (for me at least) is forever tied to the opening titles sight and sound. I cannot think of one without the other.

    At the beginning of Superman the screen shows a black and white copy of Action Comics while the quiet opening of the mail title plays. A projector whirs as a young boy narrates. The camera zooms in on the comic panel of the Daily Planet and the screen dissolves to the real Daily Planet. The camera shifts upwards and zooms to the moon in the background while the screen widens to full width. The black and white shifts to colour and the Superman logo fills the screen in perfect sync with the Williams music. We then see the rest of the titles swooping out of the screen. In my mind i hear the music and the sound of the titles.

    I am reciting this from memory and it still gives me chills.

    Younger audiences may not have as much of a connection – especially if they have not seen Superman the Movie on the big screen.

    While I like the Hans Zimmer score it does not have this connection.

  • Dave

    Fantastic job. I really enjoyed this. Just wanted to let you know that your work and thoughts here are appreciated.