The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled with colorful characters and thrilling adventures, but there’s one thing some of the films are missing — memorable musical scores. Though it looks like that might change with director Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok.
According to The Wrap, the upcoming Thor film will have a score composed by Mark Mothersbaugh. The musician gained fame as the frontman for ’80s New Wave band Devo, but since then has had a hugely successful career composing music for movies and TV. You’ve probably heard his work in animated hits like The Lego Movie and the Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs movies as well as Wes Anderson releases Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. He also wrote the memorable theme to Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, which has been stuck in our heads for the last 25 years.
Get ready for Ragnarok and watch every MCU end-credits scene here: Mothersbaugh’s unique style is sure to bring something fun to Ragnarok, which is shaping up to be another exciting entry in the MCU. And while fans and critics alike have complained about music in the Marvel movies, there are definitely some gems hidden in the films.
So, we’re taking some time to look at the best marvel movie songs.
Note: We’re only covering MCU entries in this post, so famous themes from the X-Men franchise or Sony’s Spider-Man movies aren’t eligible (even though they’re awesome).
1. The Avengers — “Main Theme”
Composer Alan Silvestri’s longtime collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis has resulted in some of our favorite film scores, most notably those for the Back to the Future series, but thankfully the composer is open to working with other filmmakers.
His score for 2012’s The Avengers has resulted in one of Marvel’s best yet, with the main Avengers theme as a highlight.
Silvestri’s theme captures the hopeful, heroic feel of the MCU perfectly, and has popped up in various movies since as a noticeable nod to the team. Silvestri’s slated to return for 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and its 2019 follow-up, and we can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next.
2. Avengers: Age of Ultron — “Main Theme”
Silvestri may have laid down the groundwork for the main theme to Avengers: Age of Ultron, but composers Danny Elfman and Brian Tyler put a fresh spin on familiar territory with an added element of complexity and darkness.
We hear snippets of Silvestri’s original Avengers motif, but the new theme has more moving parts, signaling the film’s darker tone and the conflict within the Avengers team that we see on screen.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier — “The Winter Soldier”
Though he hasn’t anchored his own film just yet, Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier received one of the MCU’s more memorable themes with his debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Composer Henry Jackman creates a creepy, industrial inspired theme for the fallen hero that perfectly reflects his troubled mind and dark past.
4. Captain America: Civil War — “Siberian Overture”
Jackman’s successful work on The Winter Soldier no doubt lead to his gig on Captain America: Civil War, bringing us even more memorable tunes. His “Siberian Overture” from the film’s opening perfectly sets the stage for the tense affair to come by impressively mutating the main melodic line from his original electronic Winter Soldier theme into a moody orchestral piece.
5. Ant-Man — “Main Theme”
2015’s Ant-Man brought a unique flavor to the MCU, going for a more comedic approach that added elements of heist movies to the traditional superhero formula. Composer Christophe Beck’s main theme for the film plays to that combination well, opening with smooth strings and percussion that sound like something out of an old school caper before the full orchestra comes in for some Hollywood superhero flavor.
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6. Thor: The Dark World — “Main Theme”
Mothersbaugh will no doubt be challenged when it comes to composing the music for Thor: Ragnarok, especially considering Thor: The Dark World featured one of the MCU’s best themes. Composer Brian Tyler, who also worked on Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, brings an epic scope to the film’s main theme by pulling in a full chorus in addition to soaring strings and brass that coast over a driving drum beat. It really captures the fantasy element of the Thor movies, transporting you to Asgard and the Nine Realms for another epic adventure.
7. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. — “Overture”
Thankfully, good music extends beyond Marvel’s movies. The main overture for Marvel and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is another solid piece that works so well because it brings a real cinematic feel to the series. S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t have the budget to stack up to the Marvel movies, but its epic music helps tie the series to the films, furthering Marvel’s success in the world of TV.
8. Jessica Jones — “Main Titles”
Thankfully, Marvel’s Jessica Jones has brought some strong music to the company’s Netflix brand. The show’s opening is filled with atmospheric, impressionistic art and the theme goes hand-in-hand with that style, flaunting a tango-inspired feel unlike any other music we’ve heard accompany a Marvel property.
9. Iron Man 3 — “Can You Dig It”
The Iron Man movies haven’t fared so well in terms of music, but Brian Tyler’s first foray into the MCU brought us some solid tunes for Marvel’s first hero. Tyler’s “Can You Dig It,” from the film’s end credits, expertly captures the high-flying adventure of the Iron Man movies with a heavy rock influence that accompanies the symphonic elements. Even better, Tyler brings everything together by pulling in motifs from throughout the film’s score for its final tune, giving a sense of closure to his score with one rollicking composition.
10. Guardians of the Galaxy — “Hooked on a Feeling”
Okay, it might be cheating to include Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” on this list considering it wasn’t actually written for Guardians of the Galaxy, but considering the importance of Star-Lord’s Awesome Mix Vol. 1 we think it’s only fitting to highlight the song. “Hooked on a Feeling” really captures the funky, eclectic style of Guardians, and is a defining piece of music when it comes to the film.
11. Captain America: The First Avenger — “Captain America March”
Alan Silvestri started his collaboration with Marvel Studios on 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, and with the “Captain America March” provided Marvel’s most classically heroic theme. This one’s memorable because of how well it echoes the period flavor of the movie. The march would fit in the score of a ’40s adventure serial just as much as it suits its contemporary source material.
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