As noted in my Five Came Back review, Thomas Newman‘s main-title theme stands out like a sonuvabitch. It makes you think that John Ford, William Wyler, George Stevens, John Huston and Frank Capra were up to something more daring and dynamic than just shooting war footage, which of course they were. But the music announces this. It delivers an urgent, aggressive vibe along with a sense of “uh-oh, wait a minute…are we okay?”
Newman’s French horns or trombones or whatever aren’t Beethoven or Wagner-ish, but the notes aren’t as plain as they initially sound either. You could be hearing them in your head before a beach landing. Organized, aggressive, battalion-strength fanfare, but with the willies.
Newman’s theme is part of that tradition of swelling military music that includes Richard Rodgers‘ Victory at Sea and Jerry Goldsmith‘s main-title Patton theme, except Newman’s also includes an echo of John Williams‘ Olympics fanfare theme (and maybe even a dash of his Towering Inferno score).
Jeremy Turner (A Birder’s Guide to Everything, A Year in Space, Trophy) wrote all the Five Came Back music that isn’t heard in the opening and closing credits.
Again, the mp3.