By Troy-Jeffrey Allen
Just a little something I’ve been working on…
With the latest installment of the X-Men franchise ready to hit theaters this weekend, I thought it would be fun to revisit the musical scores of X-Men (Days of Future) past with a playlist.
Somewhat frustratingly, the series has never had a dedicated musical identity since the death of Michael Kamen, the first film’s composer.
Kamen’s work on 2000’s X-Men comes off surprisingly experimental for the man who gave us Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. Still, he seems most comfortable and at his best when he’s allowed to do his usual blues-y flourishes. Specifically, the track “Logan and Rogue” starts off masterfully. Quite an emotional musical signature.
Kamen was succeeded by John Ottman, director Bryan Singer’s frequent collaborator.
For my money, with X2: X-Men United, Ottman gave the series the best main/team theme. You get to hear it in all its triumphant glory with the opening track on the playlist titled “Suite from X2.” It is quite possibly the strongest march of the most recent crop of superhero films.
After X2, Ottman exited when director Bryan Singer left the franchise. The series would continue to be passed along from director to director and composer to composer. Particular stand outs include John Powell‘s slightly bombastic score for X-Men 3: The Last Stand, Harry Gregson-Williams‘ moody X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Henry Jackman‘s aggressive and equally elegant X-Men: First Class, and Marco Beltrami‘s incredibly under-appreciated The Wolverine.
This weekend, after 14 years without thematic inconsistency, John Ottman returns to the X-Men with Days of Future Past. The full score is included after my playlist below, and I’m happy to report that Ottman brought his previous efforts with him.
Troy-Jeffrey Allen writes about action/adventure for Action A Go Go. He is a comic book writer whose works include Bamn, The Magic Bullet, Dr. Dremo’s Taphouse of Tall Tales, and the Harvey Award nominated District Comics. In addition, Allen has been a contributing writer for ComicBookBin.com, OfNote Magazine, and ForcesOfGeek.com. His work has been featured in the City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, Bethesda Magazine, The Examiner, and The Washington Post. Yes, he wrote this bio.