Die Hard Soundtrack

Die Hard Soundtracks

Die Hard Soundtracks
Die Hard Soundtracks | Source

Die Hard Soundtrack

The Die Hard soundtrack has called on the distinctive sounds of Beethoven's “9th Symphony”, Jean Sibelius’ “Finlandia” and the civil war marching tune “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”, and have set the tone of their respective Die Hard films almost as much as a John McClane wisecrack. The Die Hard movies pit antihero New York City police detective John McClane, against a group of terrorists as they attempt to perform a robbery or heist.

The soundtracks for the first Die Hard films were composed by Michael Kamen, who died in 2003. Marco Beltrami took over for Live Free or Die Hard in 2007. However, he used a number of the themes composed by Michael Kamen for the original three films. Kamen based the scores for his Die Hard films on one or two well known pieces and composing variations for it based on what was happening on the screen. “Beethoven's 9th Symphony” was used for the distinctive Die Hard soundtrack, as well as "Singin' in the Rain". For Die Hard 2 Kamen used "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius extensively. "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", the Civil War marching tune was used in Die Hard with a Vengeance. The themes selected for Die Hard (1988) and Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) paid homage to legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and Dr Strangelove.

Die Hard soundtracks have been released for each movie, although the original Die Hard movie soundtrack only had a limited release so is difficult or expensive to source.

Die Hard Movies Trailer

Die Hard Soundtrack

Michael Kamen composed the Die Hard score in 1988. Tracks from Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange were chosen as homage to the legendary director and varied to inspire much of the score. “Beethoven's 9th Symphony” was used extensively and "Singin' in the Rain" was used as a theme Theo, technical expert for the terrorists. Because the film occurs during Christmas time, Christmas sounds like sleigh bells can be heard occasionally in the score. Some Christmas songs, such as “Christmas In Hollis” by Run-D.M.C. and "Winter Wonderland" are played in the movie but are not on the soundtrack. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn is played over the beginning of the credits and an instrumental version is the final song on the Die Hard soundtrack releases.

Michael Kamen's score for 1988’s Die Hard was released as a limited edition of only 3,000 Die Hard soundtracks in February 2002. The soundtrack is still not available as a digital download, although its first track, “The Nakatomi Plaza” by Michael Kamen, can be downloaded as a single From the Album 20th Century Fox: 75 Years Of Great Film Music. "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven Symphony 9 can also be found and downloaded.

Die Hard Track Listing

Track listing for the 1988 Die Hard Soundtrack

Track 1: The Nakatomi Plaza by Michael Kamen (1:50)
Track 2: Gruber's Arrival by Michael Kamen (3:40)
Track 3: John's Escape/You Want Money? by Michael Kamen (5:52)
Track 4: The Tower by Michael Kamen (1:49)
Track 5: The Roof by Michael Kamen (3:57)
Track 6: The Fight by Michael Kamen (1:07)
Track 7: He Won't Be Joining Us by Michael Kamen (3:53)
Track 8: And If He Alters It? by Michael Kamen (2:39)
Track 9: Going After John Again by Michael Kamen (4:33)
Track 10: Have A Few Laughs by Michael Kamen (3:29)
Track 11: Welcome To The Party by Michael Kamen (1:00)
Track 12: TV Station/His Bag Is Missing by Michael Kamen (3:52)
Track 13: Assault On The Tower by Michael Kamen (8:16)
Track 14: John Is Found Out by Michael Kamen (5:03)
Track 15: Attention Police by Michael Kamen (3:38)
Track 16: Bill Clay by Michael Kamen (2:02)
Track 17: I Had An Accident by Michael Kamen (2:37)
Track 18: Ode To Joy by Beethoven (3:36)
Track 19: The Battle by Michael Kamen (10:15)
Track 20: Gruber's Departure by Michael Kamen (1:56)
Track 21: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Instrumental Version) by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn (2:00)

Die Hard 2 Soundtrack

Michael Kamen returned to provide the score for 1990’s Die Hard Soundtrack, Die Hard 2: Die Harder. He took some of the distinctive Die Hard musical cues and incorporated them into the new score, which created a consistent sound and vibe. As he did with the Die Hard score, Kamen took a well known musical piece and adapted it into the score. For Die Hard 2 it was Jean Sibelius's "Finlandia". Just like Die Hard, Die Hard 2 was set during Christmas, so once again "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" played at the beginning of the credits, although this time it was performed by Vaughn Monroe.

The Die Hard 2 soundtrack is available as an iTunes download or as an album from Amazon - see links on the right.

Die Hard Soundtrack Video

Die Hard 2 Track Listing

Track listing for the 1990 Die Hard Soundtrack

Track 1: Colonel Stuart by Michael Kamen (1:28)
Track 2: Baggage Handling by Michael Kamen (3:45)
Track 3: General Esperanza by Michael Kamen (2:11)
Track 4: The Annex Skywalk by Michael Kamen
Track 5: The Church by Michael Kamen (1:12)
Track 6: The Doll by Michael Kamen (3:48)
Track 7: The Runway by Michael Kamen (3:55)
Track 8: In The Plane by Michael Kamen (1:37)
Track 9: Icicle by Michael Kamen (2:53)
Track 10: Snowmobiles by Michael Kamen (2:40)
Track 11: The Terminal by Michael Kamen (6:08)
Track 12: Finlandia by Jean Sibelius (7:29)

Die Hard with a Vengeance Soundtrack

As with the first two Die Hard movies, Michael Kamen scored Die Hard with a Vengeance. Excerpts and themes from the earlier two films were incorporated into the new movie to go with the new material. Following the Die Hard soundtrack pattern, Kamen took a well-known piece of music and varied it for the score. In the case of Die Hard with a Vengeance, this was the Civil War tune “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” It is a fitting choice considering it is the first Die Hard movie where we actually see John McClane in his home town. Unfortunately the tune was not included on the Die Hard with a Vengeance soundtrack release.

There are more non-Kamen tracks on both the film and on the soundtrack than on the first two movies. Highlights include Summer in the City by The Lovin' Spoonful and Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Die Hard with a Vengeance Soundtrack was released by RCA Victor.

Die Hard with a Vengeance Soundtrack

Die Hard with a Vengeance Track Listing

Track listing for the 1995 Die Hard Soundtrack

Track 1: Summer in the City by The Lovin' Spoonful (2:44)
Track 2: Goodbye Bonwits by Michael Kamen (6:28)
Track 3: Got it Covered by Fu-Schnickens (4:13)
Track 4: John and Zeus by Michael Kamen (3:19)
Track 5: In Front of Kids by Extra Prolific (2:44)
Track 6: Papaya King by Michael Kamen (5:20)
Track 7: Take A-nother Train by Michael Kamen (2:55)
Track 8: The Iron Foundry by Alexander Mosolov (3:08)
Track 9: Waltz of the Bankers by Michael Kamen (4:13)
Track 10: Gold Vault (march of the ants) by Michael Kamen (3:45)
Track 11: Surfing in the Aqueduct by Michael Kamen (2:30)
Track 12: Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms (15:00)
Track 13: Symphony No. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven (9:46)

Live Free or Die Hard Soundtrack

After Michael Kamen passed away in 2003, Marco Beltrami took over the Die Hard score for the latest Die Hard movie, 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard. However, Beltrami still incorporated some of the iconic themes from the previous Die Hard soundtracks. There are a number of non-Beltrami songs in the film, such as "Rock & Roll Queen" by The Subways and "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. However, only the Beltrami pieces made it onto the soundtrack.

Record label Varèse Sarabande returned to release the Die Hard soundtrack for the Live Free or Die Hard after releasing the first two Die Hard soundtracks, a break of seventeen years.

Die Hard 4 Soundtrack

Live Free or Die Hard Track Listing

Track listing for the 2007 Die Hard Soundtrack

Track 1: 'Out Of Bullets by Marco Beltrami (1:08)
Track 2: Shootout by Marco Beltrami (3:41)
Track 3: Leaving The Apartment by Marco Beltrami (2:08)
Track 4: Dead Hackers by Marco Beltrami (1:31)
Track 5: Traffic Jam by Marco Beltrami (4:13)
Track 6: It's A Fire Sale by Marco Beltrami (2:57)
Track 7: 'The Break-In by Marco Beltrami (2:28)
Track 8: Farrell To D.C. by Marco Beltrami (4:36)
Track 9: Copter Chase by Marco Beltrami (4:41)
Track 10: Blackout by Marco Beltrami (2:03)
Track 11: Illegal Broadcast by Marco Beltrami (3:48)
Track 12: Hurry Up! by Marco Beltrami (1:23)
Track 13: The Power Plant by Marco Beltrami (2:01)
Track 14: Landing by Marco Beltrami (2:28)
Track 15: Cold Cuts by Marco Beltrami (2:00)
Track 16: Break A Neck by Marco Beltrami (2:47)
Track 17: Farrell Is In by Marco Beltrami (4:22)
Track 18: The F-35 by Marco Beltrami (4:13)
Track 19: Aftermath by Marco Beltrami (3:12)
Track 20: Live Free or Die Hard by Marco Beltrami (2:56)

Die Hard Movie Posters

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