15 great scores from rockers turned film composers

10.07.14 3 years ago 17 Comments

With “Gone Girl” in theaters, your ears are being treated to yet another untraditional feat of film music composition from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It's their third collaboration with director David Fincher, and maybe their most intriguing. We talked to Reznor recently and hope to go even deeper on the work later in the season, but for now, let's consider the tradition his and Ross' contribution joins.

From the moment sound and image collided in cinema, the entire medium was on a crash course with popular music. Soon enough, merely using pre-existing songs transitioned to filmmakers tapping musical acts, rock or otherwise, for actual score composition. The lineage is rich and intriguing and, more to the point, ever evolving (witness Jay Z's collaboration with Baz Luhrmann on “The Great Gatsby” last year).

With Reznor and Ross' latest work in theaters, and with other individuals like Mark Mothersbaugh, Jonny Greenwood and Danny Elfman joining him this season, it seemed a good time to dive into a cross section of popular musicians turned film music composers. Click through the gallery story below and listen to a dozen awesome examples. This is by no means meant to be a definitive list, just a quick zip through some favorites.

As always, feel free to offer up your own favorites in the comments section below.

(UPDATE: Had to add a few more. HAD TO. So make it 15.)

“Gone Girl” is now playing nationwide.

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