Now I'm sure some people might be able to listen to this compilation without cue identification but I'm a bit of a nut about it. I always need to know WHAT the scores were originally made for, WHERE they came from, so at least I can put them on a playlist in some semblance of chronological order. I searched for as long as I could trying to find if someone had IDed these released scores, but with no luck. If there is someone out there who had figured them all out, my google skills obviously suck, because I was never able to find it. So I just did it myself.
I’m not sure how many people actually care about scoring enough to actually make a post for it. But at any rate, I figured it deserved its marker on the internet. Because whether people realize it or not, it really MAKES the show what it is.
Some might not find the SPN score any more special than any other show on television, which is fine. But as my poor film music class knows, I'm picky about scores. So when I find one that pleases me so, I like exploring it. In my mind, it's like...score is like salt. Add too little and your dish is bland. Add too much and you can ruin your dish completely. The skill is in adding just the right amount to accent the taste without interfering with its creation. Any composer can throw together music and take over a scene with loud swooping sounds and pull a viewer their own direction. It's the ones who know they are subservient to the source, who work with the visual material, understand it and accent importance, yes, but more importantly, who know how and when to HOLD BACK...that makes scoring such an art to me.
The difference with this show, as some of you might know, is that it actually has TWO composers. Christopher Lennertz and Jay Gruska, brought in by executive producers Eric Kripke and Robert Singer respectively, who share the composing responsibility by alternating episodes. This makes the show uniquely interesting to me. It really is amazing just how cohesive the score sounds. They both yield an eclectic sound for the show, and as the first season progressed, they were able to adopt more of each other’s style to incorporate between. I honestly didn’t hardly realize the difference between the two until I looked at it later. There is none the less a distinct difference.
So as it turns out, that score compilation (which was never officially released but leaked on the internet months ago for online viewers to obtain) was made by Lennertz containing his scores alone from the first season. I went through and identified these first, before turning to other score cues missing on the compilation.
Lennertz seems to prefer a style of scoring for SPN similar to the Bernard Herrmann idea, focusing on the irrational by consisting of small dissonant repetitive pieces that rest on "unfulfilled" endings or just pure Jerry Goldsmith-stamped clangor. If you’ve ever found yourself on the edge of your seat in anticipation or just scared absolutely shitless, he’s probably the reason. He uses the strings more for the unsettling, scary action and turning to the piano keys for the creepy tension. He works with a lot of extended notes and swells with diverse percussion but mostly, his approach is very anti-melodic. His pieces are perfect for the visuals that accompany it but they are very indistinct. Its effect is incredibly embedded in the unconscious which is fabulous but...it's a bitch to ID.
In the end, I think I got them all. But if anyone finds anything wrong, just holler and I'll change it.
- And So It Begins - 101 - Heard in the opener as Mary gets out of bed to check on baby Sam. The beginning strains are heard again in 114 as Max tells Sam his mother died in his nursery. (Can be considered The Demon's Theme.)
- Let‘s Go Hunting - 101 - Heard as Dean opens up the trunk and tells Sam what John was hunting
- On the Bridge - 101 - Heard as Dean and Sam spot the Woman in White who falls from the bridge
- Sam Understands - 103 - Heard as the father sits on the deck through the son talking to the boys
- A Father‘s Despair - 103 - Heard after the boys first meet Lucas as the Sheriff tells them what he’s been through
- He Can‘t Speak - 103 - Heard as Dean colors with the kid in the park
- Not The Lake - 103 - Heard as the boys find the father in the boat on the lake through the attack
- A Lonely Picture - 103 - Heard as Dean talks to the kid the second time, realizing he’s scared and telling him his father would want him to be brave
- The Water Attacks - 103 - Heard as Andrea gets attacked in the tub
- Evil Awaits - 103 - Heard as the old lady tells Dean and Sam about her boy’s disappearance through the father sitting on the dock.
- The Hidden Terror - 103 - Heard throughout the climactic scene, starting as Andrea says “Tell me you didn’t kill anybody” and all the way through to Dean saving Lucas
- The Morgue - 105 - Heard as the boys examine the body in the morgue. Theme throughout the episode
- Dean Comforts Sam - 105 - Heard when Dean pulls over the car to tell Sam Jess’s death wasn’t his fault
- Searching History - 107 - Heard as Dean and Sam first get the boxes to go through papers at the library
- The Library - 107 - Heard as Sam and Dean return to the books after the pastor gets attacked
- No One Believes Me - 107 - Heard at the end as Laurie and Sam talks while Dean watches in the mirror
- Fighting the Beast - 109 - Heard as the boys fight the poltergeist in the house through Mary appearing
- Nightmare - 114 - Heard when the brothers are at the wake at the house, starting as Dean asks the mother about the house, through Sam talking to Max
- Into The Loft - 116 - Heard as Sam follows Meg through the streets and into the warehouse
- Dad Is Alive - 116 - Heard throughout the reunion of John and the boys
- Hell House - 117 - It’s got to be in 117 right? But hell if I can find it.
- Boys Break In - 119 - Heard as the boys break in the auction house to destroy the painting
- Sam Can Love Again - 119 - Heard as Dean confronts Sam about moving on after Jess
- Sam Opens Up - 119 - Heard as Sam tells Sara about Jess
- Penance/Murder - 121 - Heard from the moment the episode begins (the beginning vocals were taken out of the real ep track) through Meg’s arrival and subsequent attack on Pastor Jim
Gruska, in comparison, has a much more melodic hand. He’s the one that helps give the show its big beating heart. While Lennertz tends to be more focused on the scare, Gruska tends to be more focused on the sentiment. I’ve personally grown more accustom to favoring his scoring because I like the balance he’s seemed to create between the two aspects. What struck me when I first started watching was the amount of actual emotion contained in the show, and how they could balance it in just being real instead of going over the line into the corn most shows would make it. I’ve found Gruska’s scores to be really integral in all the most important scenes, skilled in being just prominent enough to be effective while being careful enough not to be intrusive. It’s unconscious enough to let a viewer live in a scene alone, but when you are listening for it, you realize why that scene worked so well for you before. It truly LENT something to the scene. If you’ve developed a connection to these characters and their journey, most likely it’s because of Gruska’s score that has effected you along the way. Of course, because this IS Supernatural, he also plays the needed amount of creepy Lennertz favors so much. But generally, he's more willing to use strings and woodwinds (including some fabulous oboe uses) especially in terms of sentiment where Lennertz leans more on the lone piano keys. He’s also more likely to use an acoustic guitar (as opposed to Lennertz's electric) and less-commonly used folk instruments to make a much more rustic Midwestern sound for the show.
So, since the earlier compilation was missing one half of the series scoring which contained some of my personal favorite melodies of the season, I decided to rip them from my AVIs for myself. And I’m not sure how much of an interest there is for them, but since I went and did it, I figured I’d share them for those who might like to have them.
Unfortunately, since these obviously were pulled from finished episodes, these are not exactly CLEAN versions. They all contain sound effects in them, and even worse still, a good number of them have dialogue on them [which I’ve denoted with by an asterick (*) for those who have no interest in them.] But all of them I have ripped because they struck me personally as noteworthy. There’s still tons of other pieces used throughout the episodes, but this is only a small piece of them.
- For Jessica* - 102 - Sam’s dream of visiting Jess’s grave
- We‘re Gonna Find Dad* - 102 - End of episode as Dean assures Sam they’ll find John
- Triumph - 104 - The muted horn victory as the plane returns to safe flight
- On Solid Ground* - 104 - The passengers return to safety of the airport
- Dad‘s Message* - 104 - Sam and Dean call John’s cell and hear the new message. Melody heard again in 120 when John tells Sam this was never the life he wanted for him. (Can be considered Sam and John's Theme)
- Mirror Murder - 106 - After Dean shoots the shapeshifter, as he examines the body and retrieves his necklace
- Never Disappointed* - 108 - Dean assures Sam John was never disappointed in him
- To Find The Truth - 108 - Native melody heard as the boys visit the tribe to find information
- Sam Wants To Find Dad* - 108 - End of the episode as Sam admits to Dean he does want to find John
- Opener* - 111 - Beginning as the couple comes out of the restuarant in the town
- Dad‘s Call* - 111 - Throughout John's call to the boys
- The Split* - 111 - As Sam gets out of the car, Dean declares he's selfish, through Sam walking away and Dean leaving him behind
- Coming Into Town - 111 - Dean drives into Burkittsville
- Brothers' Goodbye* - 111 - Throughout Dean's conversation with Sam on the cell
- To Boston - 111 - A short melodic piece heard as the boys see Emily's bus off
- Stuck With Sam* - 111 - Sam tells Dean he's staying
- Sheriff Checks Out The House - 115 - As the Sheriff walks up to the hillbillies' house
- Don't Ever Do That Again* - 115 - The ending as Dean expressing his sympathies to the sheriff, through Dean and Sam walking away to the close
- The Hospital Walk (Full Episode Theme)* - 118 - Heard as the boys first investigate the hospital corridors through talking to the doctor
- Full Episode Theme - 118 - Same place as above, just cut before dialogue for a cleaner version of the theme
- Drive Into Town - 118 - A short fragment heard as the boys drive into the hotel parking lot
- Second Flashback* - 118 - Heard throughout Dean remembering the milk and spaggetios memory
- Asher's Sick* - 118 - Throughout Michael telling Dean about his brother
- Old Woman (Theme) - 118 - Throughout Dean and Sam walking through the hospital to the old woman's room
- Fort Douglas, Wisconsin* - 118 - Throughout Dean's reveal of what happened before
- Do Anything For Your Brother* - 118 - As Michael comes back and agrees to help
- All Better* - 118 - As Dean, Sam, and Michael find out the kids are all well again
- Stake Out/The Colt* - 120 - As John stakes out the vamps with the boys, through him telling them about The Colt
- Not The Life John Wanted For Sam* - 120 - As John explains to Sam his mindset in their fight (Same motif as that used in 'Dad's Message' - 104)
- Leaving The Colt - 122 - A small response to Dean supposively giving into Sam and putting The Colt in the trunk
- Pulling The Alarm - 122 - As Sam pulls the alarm, Dean bothers the firefighters, and Sam gets the uniforms
- Attack - 122 - Throughout Sam being attacked, to Dean's bullet usage
- Dean's Family Dedication Theme - 122 - Heard as the Impala speeds down the road in the night, this is the clean version of the motif used for Dean later in 122, more fully heard throughout 201. The common thread in all of these uses seem to surround Dean's dedication to his family, hence what I've chosen to call it. Later in the season, it was heard in 209 during Dean's "I'm tired" speech and again in 211 after Sam makes him promise. A flattened version of this melody is heard in 220 as Dean realizes he has no relationship with Sam in his Wish!verse, appropriate since the need for his dedication is...gone.
- The Things Dean's Willing To Do (Dean's Full Theme) - 122 - In the cabin, the full motif is heard as Dean laments to Sam about killing for Sam, through John coming in and praising Dean
MORE LENNERTZ SCORES - RIPPED
That's not to say Lennertz hasn't done other cues that were noteworthy. There were a few lovelies that were not present in the compiliation. Obviously, the same note for the above scores goes for these too. Dialogue-ridden parts again noted by an asterick (*).
- Home Sweet Home* - 109 - The full opening sequence in Lawrence, Kansas
- Go Back Home* - 109 - Sam tells Dean where they need to go next
- What Happened That Night* - 109 - Sam and Dean discuss what they know
- Dean Calls Dad* - 109 - Self-expanatory, don't ya think?
- Goodbye - 109 - Towards the end as Sam and Dean leave
- Ending* - 110 - Sam and Dean sees the kids off, and Sam apologizes
- Let Sam Go His Own Way* - 116 - Through Dean's confession that he wants them to be a family again
- Let Dad Go - 116 - As Sam and Dean let John go, and watch him drive away
- Jim Murphy's Dead* - 121 - As the trunk and Impala drive down the road through John stopping and explaining what happened to Pastor Jim
- Finding The House - 121 - After Sam has the first vision, as he goes looking for the house
- Happy Family* - 121 - As Sam leaves Monica and Rosie, and watches the family from afar
- Holy Water - 121 - Throughout John saying his prayer and dropping the rosary in the water
- The Brothers' Confrontation* - 121 - Throughout Sam lamenting at Dean not letting him go back inside the burning house
NEW UPDATES (
END CREDITS: (Special thanks to starry_ice for figuring out the scheme)
- Lennertz's SPN S1 End Credits Music - This piece of score is used on the end credits of episodes scored by Christopher Lennertz (mp3 compliments of starry_ice)
- Gruska's SPN S1 End Credits Music - This piece of score is used on the end credits of episodes scored by Jay Gruska. This piece also heard at the end of 'Dean Man's Blood' and used for the S1 DVD menu.
- Silly Brothers Theme [(1)-(2)-(3)] - This is a theme used continually throughout the series during light brother moments. First heard during 101 on the bridge before (1) and after (2) talking to the cops. Later heard during 117 after Sam pranks Dean with the glued beer bottle (3).
OTHER SPN SCORE POSTS:
- Big Damn SPN S4 Score Post [Downloads] NEW!!
- Big Damn SPN S3 Score Post [Downloads] NEW!!
- Dean's Family Dedication Theme [Downloads for all Twelve Moments of the Series] NEW!!
- List of Episodes for Each SPN Composer
- SPN's Musical Motifs
- SPN Composer Interviews
- Season Two's Scoring Overview Meta
- SPN Pilot: Comparing The Pre-Aired Score to Aired Version's
OTHER FANDOMS' SCORE POSTS
- Josh Kramon: Veronica Mars Score
- Greg Edmonson: Firefly Score