The Soundtrack Series: Stanley Kubrick


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.


Filed under Movies

13 responses to “The Soundtrack Series: Stanley Kubrick

  1. Great post. I’ll lap up anything Kubrick so I thoroughly enjoyed this. Also, totally hadn’t seen the boob planet and sun nipple before! *mind blown*

    • Ha… if you look, there are breasts and penises all over the place in 2001, which sort of fits with the whole creation of life/nurturing the advancement of civilization theme. The obelisks, the match cut of the bone tossed in the air with the space station, the space station later that has a giant round head (this one:… even breast-faced Hal is nothing more than a circle with a tiny red dot in the middle of it.

      (I honestly have no idea if any of those things were supposed to be boobs and wangs but it’s hard not to wonder)

      • I definitely reckon much of that will have been intentional, there’s too much of it not to be. Kubrick was so meticulous that I can’t believe it was all by accident. There’s plenty of phallic/sex stuff in Strangelove too, maybe Kubrick was just a massive perv. Or an immature child.

  2. I love soundtracks so this was a great read for me, looking forward to the the continuation of this series.

    • Thanks! I’m looking forward to it. I have quite a few more planned. The key is going to be writing about directors I don’t typically write about (for those familiar with TDYLF, there are a handful of directors I write about, frankly, too much, and they’re obvious candidates for this series).

  3. Serenity

    Nice post! I have seen The Shining, Eyes Wide Shut, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. I didn’t really care for A Space Odyssey. It seemed really long and boring. It seems his movies are and take a while to get into. But they are great masterpieces. I especially like the music in them. Chilling but compelling at the same time.

    • I’ll admit, it took me 2-3 viewings to really get into 2001. I even hated it the first time but I’ve done a 180 on it. Especially after the last time- I saw it in the theater, which made it a VERY different experience.

  4. I actually owned the ‘Full Metal Jacket’ soundtrack at one time. One side is all the songs from the movie and the other side is all of the dramatic tuneage by Abigail Mead. That side also has R. Lee Ermey doing A Marine Cadence running song. FLAAAAASHBAAAAACK!

  5. Love this new series. Great way to kick it off.

    • Thanks, Dave. I’m excited about it. It’s actually fun to do- hunting down all the right pieces. But it makes me want to re-watch all of the movies.

  6. This is great. Looking forward to your future entries.

    Unfortunately, “Surfin’ Bird” has been ruined for me thanks to Pink Flamingos.

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