R.I.P. James Horner (1953 – 2015)

For the second time in less than a week it is with a very heavy heart that we announce that another legendary individual has passed away. On June 22, 2015 film composer James Horner died in a plane crash. The 61 year old had garnered 158 credits in his career, working on everything from Humanoids from the Deep to The Amazing Spider-Man.

So many of his soundtracks are in my collection. So as we dim the lights down here in the Retroist Vault to honor the legacy James Horner has left behind I hope you will join me in listening to some of my personal favorite soundtracks the composer had worked on.

This was actually the first score I heard of Horner’s, 1980’s Battle Beyond The Stars, which I saw at the 62 Drive-In when I was eight years old.

[Via] James Horner Community

In 1982, my Father and I had to sit about 8 rows apart to see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan on opening night. It’s soundtrack even at that point became one of my absolute favorite.

[Via] James Horner Community

A year later I would fall in love with not just Lysette Anthony as Princess/Queen Lyssa in Krull but Horner’s rousing soundtrack as well.

[Via] 200Verde

Then in 1986 at the 62 Drive-In I would be amazed by James Cameron’s Aliens and terrified and enthralled by the creepy and at times still moving score.

[Via] James Horner Community

In 1991, Horner would create a soundtrack that to this day is still in my top five of all time, his score and Joe Johnson’s direction merged perfectly to capture the thrilling heroism and beauty of the Dave Stevens comic character, The Rocketeer.

[Via] James Horner Community

Four years later, Horner would have Jade, Jumanji, Balto, Casper, Braveheart, and Apollo 13 all within a couple of months apart from each other…and while I adore the Braveheart soundtrack I think Apollo 13 was better.

[Via] James Horner Community

By 1998 we had wonderful soundtracks such as Titanic, Deep Impact, Mighty Joe Young, and one of my favorite films of that year, The Mask of Zorro. At this point I was already working where I am now, I played this soundtrack over the lobby speakers so many times that my manager gave me Fifty dollars to never play it again. True story.

[Via] James Horner Community

Though I am heartbroken over the loss of such a talented individual I find some comfort in the many films he worked on that will endure as a testament to his talent. These were just a few of my personal favorites, please share your own in the comments.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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