Incredible Soundtrack #8: Tron: Legacy (Daft Punk)

The music attached to a film creates the environment, I believe, moreso than the literal environment depicted through the visuals…

I think everyone has agreed that the best thing about Tron: Legacy was the soundtrack. On the one hand we have electronic duo Daft Punk creating the score. The use of pop artists creating scores goes right back to Simon and Garfunkel creating the soundtrack for The Graduate and Badly Drawn Boy composing the score – and songs – for About A Boy. In terms of electronic artists, who I love, we have Underworld who composed the soundtrack for Sunshine with John Murphy and, already discussed, Trent Reznor working on The Social Network with Atticus Ross, whilst The Chemical Brothers have only recently worked on the soundtrack to Hanna and, what looks like as part of their job, they are mentioned on pretty much every trailer too.

What is interesting is that Daft Punk, in the liner notes, thanks Hans Zimmer and John Powell. Aka, John Powell of The Bourne Identity and, recently Oscar-nominate, How To Train Your Dragon and, well, we all know Hans Zimmer. I think it is clear that some of their styles of soundtrack feed into Daft Punk’s efforts. I’ll mention it in the notes at any rate…

2. The Game Has Changed – This track presents how accomplished Daft Punk are in combining modern electronica with a more classical use of strings. I think, as previously mentioned, there is more than a hint of John Powell’s Bourne scores influencing this track …

13. Derezzed – This is just a Daft Punk track on a soundtrack. Works well in the film (when the musicians make their cameo) and, my only problem, is that I wish it was longer… 

20. Flynn Lives – This is my favourite track, by far. Daft Punk use the entire Orchestra to branch out and, as the song begins with the pulsating strings before the calming – what sounds like a heart monitor – continues the pace. The use of the ‘Tron’ theme is used throughout the soundtrack and this is where the theme is used to an epic scale as brass slowly, almost hum the theme, on the top of the strings in the background. I think this is where Zimmers influence seems much more apparent – and as a fan of James Newton Howard, I am sure that Newton Howard’s Signs soundtrack may have played a part too. 

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  1. The more I think about Tron: Legacy, the more I like it. It really does take you to another world. I think The Game Has Changed is amazing. The biking sequence in which that plays is one of the purest pieces of cinema I've seen in a long time. What would you call those Inception/Dark Knight like booms?

  2. Its funny how soundtracks change the opinion. Ironically, the second viewing alone can be tough to get. I know, I haven't seen many films twice, but purely on the soundtrack alone, it would be worth seeing TRON again to see the images alongside the Daft Punk score.

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