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A good example of how presentation is everything: Rescue Me makes "Empire Stateof Mind"awesome. (Alicia's vocals are fairly incredible to begin with, but combined with the visuals, it's enough to give you goosebumps.)
The FreeCreditReport.com songs, from Pirates, to Cars, to Girls, to Rockstars, to Bikes, to Renaissance Faires, to Cell Phones, to Rollercoasters, to Reno, they can write a song about anything! Too bad they're replacing the band...
The BBC's version of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day", originally done for a licence fee spot to illustrate the wide range of music played on the Beeb, later released as a Children in Need single. You will never hear all those people doing one song ever again...
They may just be shoes, but damned if Air Jordan commercials don't have some epic music. Case in point, and even Lacrimosa.
In V for Vendetta, there's an original song, "This Vicious Cabaret" with written music and really great lyrics. And the fact a recorded version exists is just the icing on the cake. The unexpectedness factor is part of what makes it so awesome, but it really is pretty epic on its own.
Believe it or not, the mixed medium fan production Neon Genesis Evangelion R actually has some of this. Take, for instance, The Human Complement.
Neon Genesis Evangelion doujinshi RE-TAKE manages to surprise with its music. Especially "Asuka" (name of the piece) and "Retake After". Which are both AWESOME. Especially if you watch "Asuka" with the sacrifice in volume 2. There is a link in youtube somewhere, under "Asuka's sacrifice".
Check out the score for With Strings Attached, listed in the back of the published book and on the website.
The God Squad gives several grand moments. From the author, Derpy, Dinky and Doctor Whooves singing 'Nothing Suits Him Like a Spoof', to the epic full cast reworking of 'One More Day', to the hilarious 'Make a Babe Out of You'. For a fic that is all about humor and mocking... there is some great music.
In the Animated Adaptation, the Big Stadium Production of "The Messenger" at the Ankh-Morpork Free Concert is the most awesome of several Awesome Music examples. Especially since (as in the book) it's recognisably the same tune as the quiet and haunting "Sioni Bod Da".
While Awesome, the music is so moody, ominous, and Grim Dark that it counts as horrific. The track "Nine Wounds" has lyrics sung by Saint Sabbat describing her gruesome martyrdom. "Mindlock" does nothing less than Mind Rape the listener. "Too Many Ghosts" sounds like something out of Silent Hill. And "Sabbat" makes it clear that in this setting, saints don't guide you to heaven, they promise "rivers of blood and oceans of sorrow." In conclusion, Warhammer 40,000 is 'effing metal.
John Ringo's A Hymn Before Battle. The ACS assault at the end uses a massive hologram and playing Immigrant Song (led zepplin) on max volume to break the morale of moronic aliens (read zerg)
The multimedia project Shadows of the Empire has a soundtrack to go with the novel. There are different tracks for different parts of the book, and there are of course elements of John Williams' music in it. It's not bad just in general, but Night Skies, which plays Xizor's and Vader's leitmotifs more slowly and thoughtfully and eventually surges into the Force Theme, is highly regarded by just about everyone. Also, The Destruction of Xizor's Palace.
In Life, the Universe and Everything, Arthur once, on a video tape, hears the people of Krikkit sing a happy song and thinks about Paul McCartney "sitting with his feet up by the fire on evening, humming it to Linda and wondering what to buy with the proceeds, and thinking probably Essex".
They later sing a ballad "which would have netted McCartney Kent and Sussex and enabled him to put in a fair offer for Hampshire".
This is all topped, when, during the climax, someone at the back of a (real) crowd starts singing a tune, which would have enabled McCartney to buy the world.
Get enough Cicadas together, and it sounds like a 1950's horror movie!
Pick an R&B or Soul tune made from the mid 50's to the late 70's. Any R&B or Soul tune made during that time. Chances are it was written by Smokey Robinson, and if not, then it was probably written by Curtis Mayfield, both of which wrote dozens to possibly hundreds of songs, and started when they were teenager, and both of which who were innovative bandleaders who inspired artist after artist for decades, from tunes of the pains and wonders of love, to deep songs about the anguish of poverty. It's no wonder they're considered two of the greatest songwriters and composers of the 20th Century.
Art Tatum. There's a reason why many consider him the best pianist of the 20th Century, and the best jazz pianist of all time. Hell, there's even a scientific term named after him (the fastest tempo possible that is still recognizable as a rhythm).
KojiKondo is a strong candidate for best video game composer ever.
Keich Kobiyashi deserves mention among this crowd for his masterful work in the Ace Combat Series
Several composers for the Sonic series could deserve a mention. Among several others:
Jun Senoue (Crush 40 guitarist; and one of, if not the main composer for the series since Sonic 3)
Tomoya Ohtani (Sonic Adventure 2 onward; the lead composer for the Sonic '06 and Sonic Unleashed soundtracks)
Fumie Kumatani, Kenichi Tokoi (both Sonic Adventure onward, as well as Unleashed, the Sonic Riders games, and the NiGHTS series)
Mariko Nanba (Knuckles Chaotix, and several games from Sonic Heroes onward; as well as other SEGA gamesnote Panzer Dragoon Saga and Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg)
Tommy Tallarico deserves a spot here.
Junichi Masuda should get an Oscar for the soundtrack to Pokemon Red/Blue. Honestly, is there a single gamer who grew up in the 90's that DOESN'T have the Battle Theme branded on the inside of their skull?
Rob Dougan. Clubbed to Death alone would have given him immortality, but then add Furious Angels, Chateau, and whatever else he's got coming for us.
Technical excellence piano-wise doesn't make up nearly half of what Tom Lehrer will forever be remembered for: anyone who doesn't laugh on first hearing "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park", not to mention most of his other works hasn't a funny bone in their body.
Kristin Chenoweth. You might know her as Olive Snook from Pushing Daisies. Her moment of awesome of choice (and she has a wide rangefrom whichto choose) is "Glitter And Be Gay," from Candide. Watch. Just watch. This is the woman who sang a few notes before going on stage at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and received a standing ovation.
"If You Hadn't, But You Did." See ya later, Joe!
Charles Mingus. He inspired Yoko Kanno's work on Cowboy Bebop. An incredible bass virtuoso, the greatest jazz composer after Ellington, and a man who truly lived and loved through music. Try for yourself!
Imogen Heap is a legend. Not only does she have a fantastic voice, but her songs are so frickin' awesome. "Hide And Seek" is just amazing, "The Moment I Said It" is incredible, and the stuff she did while part of Frou Frou is just as good.
Hell, U2's entire catalogue is a lot like that. How did they advertise the release of a U2 Greatest Hits album? Just a title card with the album cover ... over which the Edge's opening guitar riff from "Where the Streets Have No Name" is playing. The crowd goes wild.
His two "Youtube Virtual Choirs" were created by Whitacre posting a video of himself conducting, while contributors posted videos of themselves singing accordingly. Hours of careful video-editing later, and voila: Sleep and Lux Arumque, consisting of singers from all over the world.
Water Night is probably Whitacre's signature piece, showcasing his dense, luscious harmonies, ability to set text, and tendency to write insanely complicated songs. Most choral songs are written with a maximum of four notes at once (soprano alto tenor bass). This one is written for fourteen.
Oh, and one word: Chanticleer. Listen to their Christmas Spiritual Medley. Now.
Their signature song, Franz Biebl's "Ave Maria". (It is a tad repetitive, but you can safely skip from 1:55 to 3:38 without missing anything critical.)
For those unfamiliar with the world of choral music (and let's face it: who isn't?), Chanticleer is an ensemble that does choiring as a day job. While no hard-and-fast figures exist, it's likely that there are no more than ten choirs in the world who can claim that.note The wide variety and scope of the human voice makes it hard to nail down what counts as a "choir". If you define it as, "Any group of musicians that use singing as their exclusive instrument", the number gets large, but begins to include ensembles who don't call themselves choirs: The House Jacks market themselves as a rock band, for example, and The Swingle Singers and The Real Group are jazz groups.
Anthony Warlow's voice is almost unparalleled in theatre. He's well known for playing the Phantom in Australia, and was Jekyll & Hyde on the 1994 studio recording, so he's definitely done softer and creepier stuff, but combine "This is the Moment" with his performance as Enjolras in Les Misérables and his incorporation of "Anthem" from Chess into his concert performances, and you cannot help but be awed and inspired by the man's voice.
Inon Zur has been quietly accumulating awesomeness under the radar. just check that discography!
George freakin' Strait. Find one country music fan who doesn't worship him.
Lisa Gerrard. Not only does the woman have amazing vocal talent, she invented her own language and sings in it. You really have to hear it to understand. It sends shivers up your spine. She performs in "Dead Can Dance" and has worked on several films. .
Hey, Enya did the same thing! She calls her language "Loxian", and sings many of her songs in it. And that's not even mentioning all the other songs she's known for, like this one, and this one!
Buckethead is the greatest guitar player ever. Ever.
Bruno Coulais. Nominated several times for the French equivalent of the Oscars. Often uses Mickey Mousing with the lighting. You might know him from the impossibly awesome soundtrack of Coraline.
Edward Lodewijk Van Halen. He popularized tapping and created shred guitar. So you think that Steve Vai, Buckethead and all of the other guitarists are great? Well, that is because of Eddie Van Halen. There was one man who did make that possible though.
Eric Clapton. Nowadays not as cool as in the 60's. But how cool was he then? Well his album with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers was the first album to feature modern rock guitar and he played in the first supergroup. The sunburst Les Paul, today considered a classic became that after Clapton started using one (it had been discontinued for years before he bought it). There's a reason people wrote Clapton is God all over London. How big of a god? Jimi Hendrix considered him to be the best guitar player ever and the reason he wanted to come to England. Eddie Van Halen mentioned above? To put it simply, Eddie Van Halen said that besides tapping (which came from Jimmy Page) his playing was based around Clapton's.
Clint Mansell. Apart from his well known offering in 'Lux Aeterna', there is also the brilliant gem of 'Dead Reckoning' from, the movie Smokin' Aces. Other things to look at are his work on the films Moon and Fountain.
The comedy-music group 'Axis of Awesome' have a brilliant song, 4 Chords Watch it now.
Members of the Spanish government were so inspired by the sight and sound of a crowd of Liverpool fans singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" that they made an (ultimately ill-fated) attempt to put lyrics to Spain's purely instrumental national anthem to give Spanish crowds a similar song behind which to rally.
"You'll Never Walk Alone" was central to a seminal Heartwarming Moment and Moment Of Awesome. Liverpool and Everton FC have been long time rivals. A few years ago, a 13 year old was murdered by an Everton fan because he was wearing a Liverpool shirt. That weekend Liverpool played Everton in the Premier League. A one minute silence was called in memory of the boy. A few Liverpool fans started singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" and the Everton fans joined in.
"Marching On Together", the team anthem of English football team Leeds United. Alex Ferguson (Manchester United manager) says that to this day despite Leeds' financial troubles and demotion to the lower leagues there is no more intimidating moment in football than when "Marching on Together" is played at the start of games at Elland Road.
Edinburgh side Heart of Midlothian FC's anthem, the "Heart's Song". Doubly so since they won the Scottish Cup in 2012.
A CFL example. For Saskatchewan Roughriders fans "Green is the Colour".
Her rendition is also used during the seventh-inning stretch of all New York Yankees home games. Keep in mind that all other MLB stadiums do this only on Sunday games or national holidays.
Not quite a team anthem, but Constable Lyndon Slewidge who sings the national anthems at pretty much all the Ottawa Senators home games is an outstanding singer, among the best to sing anthems at hockey games. Plus, all Sens fans know his trademark salute, blown kiss, and thumbs up.
If you ever go to a baseball game at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, make sure to get there early enough to watch the roof open. It's accompanied by a truly awesome soundtrack, including a CHOIR. The roof-closing music is equally awesome.
The Space Mountain rides have all had great music over the years, but none of them can hold a candle to "Space Mountain: De La Terre A La Lune". It was the first roller coaster in the world to have an onboard synchronised audio system (SOBAT), and a fully orchestrated soundtrack truly completed the experience.
A few attractions (such as Space Mountain, Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, and California Screamin') have on-board sound systems that play music through the duration for the rides. They all sound really good.
The Main Street Electrical Parade has always been awesome. During its original run from 1972 to 1996, more floats have been added to the parade, which also resulted in longer parade music. This compilation manages to round up as many float songs as possible in one single music medley. For those who have enjoyed the original parade, time to relive your childhood. Ditto for MSEP's successor Spectromagic.
The original version of "Illuminations" was pretty awesome in its own right, mixing together some of the best-loved classical music from the World Showcase countries — and even including a version of "It's a Small World" that's pretty cool!
The Theme from Soarin' Over California. Absolutly beautiful. So beautiful that when Jerry Goldsmith (the composer of the song) came down from his first ride on Soarin' with the music he composed, he was in tears.
At this point, we should probably just direct your attention to Mouseworld Radio, where you can often hear this music.
Several, including the scores to Illuminations, Tapestry of Nations, Fantasmic!, "Horizons", and the Jeremy Irons version of Spaceship Earth.
Alton Towers has a HUGE list of Awesome Ride Musics, of note:
Six Flags Great America played a fantastically tongue-in-cheek creepy song/audio monologue to crowds in line for its horror-themed roller coaster, "The Demon". The original recording was destroyed, and the song believed lost for decades, until a former fan who'd taped it at the park put it up on a webpage just a few years ago; now, they're back to playing it while you wait.
A sequence in untitled featured a scene with a gangster and the ghost he doesn't know is following his every move driving along, merrily singing along to "Just What I Needed" by The Cars...right before hitting a cow. As the car flips through the next few panels, we can still see the lyrics playing from the radio.
The three Christmas comics at the very end of their 2010 year all sound good too.
The Most Awesome title has to go to Matthew's long awaited 400th comic: The History Of Nintendo. A webcomic glorifying Nintendo's game history? Cool. Freaking including the Ultra Hand, Love Hotelsand rhyming every major Nintendo employee. Awesome!
The comic's finally come to an end, but there's still time for One Final Song.
And this being Touhou, it wouldn't be complete if there wasn't at least one remix mashing up the ZUN canon with something from another work. Here'sMaiden's Capriccio ~ Dream Battle mixed with Sburban Countdown.
Ellen's Song, from El Goonish Shive. The most awesome part could be one of several things. It could be that Ellen was the only one to receive the fabled perfect score at karaoke, or it could be that Ellen is using it to tell Nanase that she knows, she feels the same way and that coming out as a lesbian is okay. Link to the original strip here. There are also two versions of the song on Youtube. Version 1.Version 2.
During the Falklands War, the crew of the sinking HMS Sheffield, freezing and wounded in the southern Atlantic, passed the time to their rescue by singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
During the Battle of the Black Sea, US pilot Michael Durant was captured. After 10 days in captivity, he was released. On the way to the medevac plane, the US Ranger Batallion stationed there started singing "God Bless America". That's right: The first music Durant heard after his stint in captivity was "God Bless America" as he's being evacuated. Boo-freakin'-yah.
Barack Obama became President while the John Williams composition Air and Simple Gifts, was performed by Itzhak Perlman on violin, Yo-Yo Ma on cello, Gabriela Montero on piano, and Anthony McGill on clarinet.note Although they weren't actually playing because it was too cold outside. It was pre-recorded.
The Lavender Song. It sounds like a (catchy, cabaret-swing-style) pissed-off gay-rights anthem - and it is. It was first sung in Berlin, in 1920. "We're not afraid to be queer and different - and if that means hell, hell, we'll take the chance!"
Becomes a Tear Jerker when you see the line "Round us all up, send us away, that's what you'd really like to do" and remember that German homosexuals were first arrested, then deported to concentration camps, then sent to death camps, and finally, when WWII ended and the camps were liberated, were released only to be immediately sent back to prison for violating sodomy laws (with the notable exception of East Germany, which did not uphold Nazi-era sodomy laws and eventually rendered all anti-homosexuality laws redundant by the 1960s).
This acappella version of Flight of the Conchord's "The Humans Are Dead".
Weather Report's album Heavy Weather. In particular, Birdland. Keep in mind that as of that recording the band had five members: Manolo Badrena on percussion, Alex Acuña on drums, Jaco Pastorius on bass, Wayne Shorter on sax... and Joe Zawinul on synth making it sound like an actual bid band. In this live video you can see Zawinul's synths.
"The Sacred War", one of the most famous Soviet songs from World War II. One can practically feel the utter fury of the lyrics, which called upon Mother Russia to rise up and give the Nazis hell for all it was worth — which the Soviets did over four years of the bloodiest fighting of the entire war.
"Abysmalaria", an original composition by one 8BitDanooct1 of Youtube, was created with FamiTracker, a music maker designed to faithfully emulate the Famicom's sound capabilities (which includes the default 2A03 sound chip; and the Nintendo MMC5, Konami VRC6, and FDS expansion chips). This song is quite possibly the crystallization of pure 8-Bit awesomeness.
"Der Heimliche Aufmarsch" by Ernst Busch, a German actor who was a communist, certainly is this. The fact that he was able to record this song before World War 2 and keep it away from Nazi attention just makes this song all the more awesome!