Soundtracks that get frequent airplay in my Fortress of Solitude: “The Fountain” (music by Clint Mansell/Kronos Quartet, with Mogwai); “Thief” by Tangerine Dream; “The Social Network” (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross); “The Thing” (Ennio Morricone); also various discs by Danny Elfman, James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann and Philip Glass (though I find his repeated motifs dull after awhile).
Despise John Williams’ oeuvre. Holst on HGH.
Hands down, the very worst soundtrack I can think of (for a fairly decent movie) is “Ladyhawke”. Good Lord, what was director Richard Donner thinking (or smoking)? Dreadful electronic mishmash that served no dramatic or aesthetic purpose. Awful stuff.
What are your favorite soundtracks? The stinkers? An instance when the music is absolutely essential to what’s transpiring on-screen? Imagine the shower scene in “Psycho” without Herrmann’s accompanying shrieks. Or the helicopter attack in “Apocalypse Now” with anything other than Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries” roaring away above the carnage.
Or is the perfect soundtrack unobtrusive, barely noticeable? The minimalist approach.