Just as Also Sprach Zarathustra marks the beginning of a new film, today’s article marks the opening of a new series- The Soundtrack Series. It’s as simple as can be. It’s a series that will celebrate excellent soundtrack pieces from specific directors. As you’ll see, there’s no better place to start than with Stanley Kubrick.
Waltz 2 from Jazz Suite, Eyes Wide Shut (2000)
This piece has earned a second life in recent years via the advertising world. But before that, it served as the perfect punctuation to Kubrick’s version of a Woody Allen-style psychosexual thriller on LSD, Eyes Wide Shut.
Requiem- Dies Irae, The Shining (1980)
If you need some synthesized Mozart to accent a slow, ominous climb into the mountains, heeeeeeeeere’s DIES IRAE!
Also Sprach Zarathustra, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Maybe it’s selection bias caused by the visuals of a giant boob planet with a sun nipple, but it’s hard to think of Also Sprach Zarathustra as anything other than the quintessential Kubrick sountrack song.
Der Treue Husar, Paths of Glory (1957)
Watching a gorgeous German blonde reduce a gang of wolf-whistling soldiers to tears with her singing ability is a particularly poignant moment in the film.
We’ll Meet Again, Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
If you want me to stop worrying and love the bomb, juxtaposing Vera Lynne’s World War II-era song with footage of bombs, death, and destruction is a fantastic way to do it.
Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary- March, A Clockwork Orange (1972)
Admit it. The second you hear the first few synth notes, you instantly think of droogs, milk, horrifying behavior, and equally horrifying punishment.
Surfin’ Bird, Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ooma-mow-mow Papa-ooma-mow-mow Papa-ooma-mow-mow, papa-ooma-mow-mow
Well, don’t you know about the bird
Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word
Love Theme from Lolita, Lolita (1962)
Awwww, other than the statutory rape, it’s shooooo shweeeet, snookums.
Masked Ball, Eyes Wide Shut (2000)
This scene was one of the most jaw-dropping from a controversial film. Think of it as a perfectly choreographed Busby Berkeley dance sequence if everyone was naked, masked, worshipping Satan or some bacchanal sex deity, and chanting. The scene is NSFW, obviously, unless you’re a Satanic priest or work in an adult toy shop.
Daisy Bell, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Normal versions of this song sound downright unholy thanks to Kubrick’s version, sung by Hal in a veeeeerrrry sllllooooowwww and llllooooooow voooooooice.
The Thieving Magpie, A Clockwork Orange (1971)
I promise you that if I ever pass an open window with a stereo on, even if it’s playing this song, I won’t viddy right at once that the right thing to do is stab people and smack ‘em in the junk with a cane.