Michael Mann I like your sound
June 29, 2016 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Okay, friends. It has been nearly an entire year since I discovered the Manhunter soundtrack, and the shine has still not worn off. It is so great. Seriously, go listen to it. I want more movie (or tv, I suppose!) scores/soundtracks like this. Please.

This is NOT a what are the best/your favorite soundtracks question. This is a please gimme more soundtracks specifically like this soundtrack question.

Things I like about it:
-the music is super dreamlike
-and intense
-and creepy
-and totally 80s
-and excellent
-like the movie it came from

It's really great for background listening and for turning off the world and escaping reality for a bit.

To be perfectly honest I could just continue to listen to the Manhunter soundtrack forever and ever to the exclusion of all other music or life activities but I thought, hey, maybe I'm missing out on another Manhunter out there somewhere. And that would be a tragedy.

posted by phunniemee to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: you would probably really like Tangerine Dream's soundtrack for Risky Business and Giorgio Moroder's for Midnight Express.
posted by cakelite at 11:52 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (or for a super great guilty pleasure, Tangerine Dream's sountrack to the another Tom Cruise vehicle, Legend!)
posted by cakelite at 11:53 AM on June 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

I am very fond of the American Beauty soundtrack. I dunno about 80s, but dreamlike and creepy, definitely.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:53 AM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is it too obvious to suggest Peter Gabriel's 1980s albums? He did do instrumental soundtracks, to Birdy and The Last Temptation of Christ, that might scratch your itch. It isn't the same combination of film-score-plus-pop-songs that you get on Manhunter, though.

It's not all 80s music, but you might take a look at the playlist on, for instance, Director's Cut: Music from the Films of Michael Mann to see if it stirs you. There's also The Keep, with music by Tangerine Dream. And maybe the Legend soundtrack.
posted by Mothlight at 11:54 AM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

At the risk of too much 80s cheese - I wonder if the Miami Vice soundtrack albums might be somewhere near where you're aiming?
posted by rd45 at 11:57 AM on June 29, 2016

Response by poster: [Should add: doesn't have to be 80s! I love the feel of this soundtrack, and I also love that it is super of its time.]
posted by phunniemee at 11:57 AM on June 29, 2016

Ed Shearmur's soundtrack for K-PAX has got your dreamy covered, I think.

When you're talking Tangerine Dream soundtracks you can't miss theirs for "Thief," another Michael Mann film.
posted by kindall at 12:05 PM on June 29, 2016

A quintessential 80s soundtrack is Escape from New York.
posted by essexjan at 12:19 PM on June 29, 2016

posted by Obscure Reference at 12:23 PM on June 29, 2016

Drive comes immediately to mind
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:26 PM on June 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Seconding Drive... these may or may not fit:
It Follows
Das Boot
Social Network
TRON Legacy
Moby's song from Heat
posted by starman at 12:38 PM on June 29, 2016

I was thinking Nick Cave has the right gritty kind of voice and his earlier stuff has a lot of eerie qualities. If you are looking specifically for soundtracks, maybe Far From Men? One track here Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Loin Des Hommes. Checking out the whole soundtrack on iTunes, it sounds like it meets more of your requirements.
posted by Beti at 12:43 PM on June 29, 2016

The Heat soundtrack (another Mann film!) is another good one (and definitely a product of the 90s.)

Maybe the soundtrack album from The Limey, although unfortunately I'm only finding bits and pieces on YouTube. Cliff Martinez' Suite from the Limey is indicative of the overall mood, though, and there are some well-chosen 1960s rock tracks mixed in as well.
posted by usonian at 12:44 PM on June 29, 2016

nth anything that Tangerine Dream did... especially Thief and The Keep.

The same ex-boyfriend who got me into Tangerine Dream was also way into Vangelis (my rec: Blade Runner), and Edgar Froese (he did the soundtrack to Kamikaze 1989, which I haven't watched/heard, but I would recommend Ages, which plays like a soundtrack)

What I'm hearing of the Manhunter soundtrack is also giving me serious vibes of the Lost Boys soundtrack, which is more upbeat/rocky than you might be looking for.

For dreamy, and late 20th century jazzy, I'd point you at Angelo Badalamenti's Fire Walk With Me soundtrack.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:49 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Edgar Froese is the founder of Tangerine Dream, just BTW, and his solo work sounds a lot like TD.
posted by kindall at 12:59 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I recommend Cliff Martinez's score for The Knick. Part of what I like about it is that it's a dreamy, pulsing, synth score for a period procedural medical drama, but it works so well with the show because of how dreamily scenes are shot. It owes a lot to John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream. Cliff Martinez, also involved in the Drive score/soundtrack mentioned upthread, has done a lot of interesting work for Stephen Soderbergh projects, but I think The Knick's is the closest to what you're interested in.

There's also the not-quite-alternate score to Drive by Johnny Jewel, Symmetry.
posted by lousywiththespirit at 1:51 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by phunniemee at 2:10 PM on June 29, 2016 [5 favorites]

There is more Shriekback. Care is good, and Oil & Gold has a couple of the tracks from Manhunt but other good stuff as well. Their later albums are much more of a grab bag, one or two memorable tracks surfacing from among material that's trying too hard.
posted by zadcat at 4:20 PM on June 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Not sure if I'm taking this in a different direction than you want, but Goblin did soundtracks for a number of Dario Argento movies that are ur-horror soundtracks — 80sey, synthey, intense, creepy. See: Profondo Rosso side one.
posted by xueexueg at 5:00 PM on June 29, 2016


If you're digging them, you must listen to (in no particular order):
  • Exit
  • Poland
  • Tangram
But be careful; they have had several different styles over the years, and you may not like all of them. My favorite stuff of theirs is what they did from about 1980 through 1992, with the above three albums being my personal highlights. Of course with Spotify and the like, there is no risk to checking out their recordings from any era.

Sadly, Edgar Froese died last year and the group is no more.
posted by kindall at 5:12 PM on June 29, 2016

My favourite Tangerine Dream is their soundtrack for Sorceror... I could also highly recommend watching the film, it's an under-rated existential thriller with a moody tone and intense moments.

As mentioned above, much of the soundtrack for Manhunter used some of the sombre tracks from Shriekback's album Oil and Gold....
posted by ovvl at 5:56 PM on June 29, 2016

Jean Michele Jarre is the king of this stuff (not a soundtrack but it should be)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:40 PM on June 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had the Liquid Sky soundtrack on vinyl back in the day and it was good for annoying my family on a regular basis.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:44 PM on June 29, 2016

Seconding RD45's suggestion of Miami Vice. There is a Soundtrack album of the Score from the 2006 movie (produced, like the show, by Michael Mann). Youtube playlist here. There's also a more traditional OST for the 2006 movie which has some remixes of 80s pop, some Cuban music, etc.

Perhaps most importantly, Jan Hammer's "Crockett's Theme" from the original series.

The mention above of Jean Michele Jarre reminds me inevitably of the music compilation commercial for the album "Pure Moods," which includes "Crockett's Theme" and Jarre's "Oxygene Part IV." Give the 1-minute ad a viewing and see if you don't find more that scratches wot itches ya, or just watch and be transported back to every commercial break throughout 1994.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:28 PM on June 29, 2016

It's maybe a bit less dreamlike but much of the soundtrack to Labyrinth is intense, creepy and very 80's. Plus, Bowie!
posted by freya_lamb at 11:40 AM on June 30, 2016

You might like the soundtrack to The Crow? It's very "early 90s" and pretty creepy and dreamlike.
posted by salvia at 4:40 PM on June 30, 2016

Soundtrack to Ink (and I highly recommend the movie too).
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 5:07 PM on July 1, 2016

Response by poster: Hey folks, just wanted to update. I go through music very slowly (see above re: listening to the Manhunter soundtrack for a year before deciding to move on) so have barely even grazed the surface of this list but Tangerine Dream's stuff is working really well for me so far. Thank you thank you!
posted by phunniemee at 9:27 AM on September 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

You should check this out: Jean Michel Jarre: Electronica 1: The Time Machine. Features collaborations with many prominent electronic artists including the late Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream.

Also check out the Halt and Catch Fire soundtrack by TD alum Paul Haslinger, the first entirely electronic soundtrack he's done since leaving TD.
posted by kindall at 12:52 PM on September 27, 2016

I recently watched the remastered Neverending Story in a theater because I am a nerd of a certain age and Fathom Events did a whole thing about it.

There was a featurette before the movie where they talked about the soundtrack, and how it was unique in that they had a standard classical composer, Klaus Doldinger, do a first pass, and then had Giorgio Moroder (yes, this one!) add a more modern* touch for various scenes. Which made me think of your question, but then I forgot to come back here and mention it.

So, while Limahl's title track may not be your speed (you'd be wrong of course, because it is amazing), I think that the rest of the Neverending Story Soundtrack may suit the bill (especially since Moroder has already gotten a shoutout here).

I'm legit happy that you posted an update because it reminded me that I wanted to tell you about it and now I'm listening to the Neverending Story at work and it is improving my day.

*how much more 80s can it be? None. None more 80s.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:16 PM on September 27, 2016

Late to the party, but "Quietly into the Night" by Dance with the Dead makes me think of Michael Mann movies. It's in the vein of Sunburnt's big list.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 10:31 AM on December 2, 2016

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