When you mention Katharine Hepburn, you immediately think of Hollywood
Pop music and movies go well together. So much so that sometimes rock stars go into writing music for popular movies. Here are 11 rock stars (and rapper) who composed movie scores.
- Mark Mothersbaugh (Rushmore). While DEVO was a pop sensation during the late 70s and early 80s, one of its creative force Mark Mothersbaugh went into composing original music for movies. He moved into TV work during the late 80s, while his first movie Dumb & Dumber was a smash hit in the mid-90s. Mothersbaugh is most known for his work with Wes Anderson, including Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums.
- Danny Elfman (Batman). Not a lot of people remember, but Danny Elfman was the lead singer of the 80s New Wave band Oingo Boingo. He started a career in film composition with Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985. He’s mostly known for his work with Burton, including writing the iconic Batman theme from the 1989 film.
- Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood). Jonny Greenwood is mostly known as one of the guitarist for Radiohead, but also is starting to make a name for himself in Hollywood as a film composer. Greenwood’s work with Paul Thomas Anderson is notable with wonderful scores for the movies, The Master, Inherent Vice, and There Will Be Blood.
- Trent Reznor (with Atticus Ross The Social Network). While he’s known as the frontman for Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are becoming frequent collaborators with David Fincher, for the movies The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl. Reznor and Ross won an Academy Award for their score of The Social Network in 2010.
- Daft Punk (Tron: Legacy). The French dance pop duo work the score for the Disney film Tron: Legacy. While the sequel film was underwhelming, the score is outstanding and definitely worth giving a listen.
- The RZA (Kill Bill). While he’s most known as one of the founding members of The Wu-Tang Clan, The RZA AKA Bobby Digital AKA Robert Fitzgerald Diggs also started a career as a film composer with Kill Bill under his belt. He also did the music for Jim Jarmusch’s Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai.
- Cliff Martinez (Drive). Although we do think of Cliff Martinez as a film composer, with Contagion, Traffi, and Only God Forgives, he was also one of the founding members and the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers during the early 80s. In fact, Cliff Martinez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with RHCP.
- Arcade Fire (Her). Spike Jonze enlisted William Butler and Owen Pallett from Arcade Fire to do the music for Her..
- Kevin Shields (Lost in Translation). Kevin Shields is the lead singer and main creative force for My Bloody Valentine, but he also composed the music for Sofia Coppola’s breakthrough hit film Lost in Translation in 2003. Fun fact: French pop duo Air did the music for her first film The Virgin Suicide in 1999.
- Chemical Brothers (Hanna). Director Joe Wright called upon The Chemical Brothers to write the action film Hanna’s score. While Joe Wright’s film are considered period pieces, Hanna is a contemporary action film, so the director felt a contemporary approach to the score would be more apt.
- Basement Jaxx (Attack the Block). British electronic dance duo Basement Jaxx composed the score for the science fiction movie Attack the Block. They’re music gave the film a gritty, urban, and eerie feel to the overall movie.