‘Music from the Iron Man Trilogy’ soundtrack review

You don’t have a costly suit of cutting-edge armour, you don’t have a robot butler, and chances are you don’t even have a cool beard like Tony Stark (though really, if you do, good job sir). But fortunately lacking any of the aforementioned items doesn’t preclude you from enjoying the same music that Iron Man himself jets around to.

In a rare example of a different composer being used for each tip of a trilogy, five of the best tracks from each movie have been collected into a musical Iron Man melange, performed by the talented London Music Works. Each of the movies’ composers rockets at the notes from a slightly different direction, their signatures imprinted on a common smelt of electric guitar, red hot percussion, and limitless energy.

Ramin Djawadi – whose music recently fought with the clatter of metal men once again in Pacific Rim – lay the groundwork for the franchise with a cool electro-industrial soundtrack that perfectly communicates both the awesome power of the Iron Man armour, and the cockiness of its inventor.

Picking up from that, John Debney (composter of the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie soundtrack, trivia fans,) gives us a more brooding Iron McGann – excuse me, Man – score. It’s the suit upgrade of soundtracks; flashier, armed to the teeth with drums and percussion, but still retaining the thrust and fun of the original themes.

Brian Tyler’s score draws heavily from Alan Silvestri’s Avengers Assemble, but that’s in no way a criticism, given the jigsaw continuity of the onscreen Marvel Universe. In fact, it’s an impressive achievement. Tyler has managed to give Iron Man 3 its own distinct score while drawing on the hero’s inter-movie musical past: at several moments during ‘Attack on 10880 Malibu Point’ or ‘Stark’ you’re almost certain you’ll hear the rousing brass fanfare of Avengers before plunging back into the harmonious instrumental battle.

If you own the Iron Man soundtracks individually then of course this is all familiar: there’s nothing new here for you. But if you don’t, then it’s certainly thrilling music to grow that cool Stark beard to.

As always, we at CultBox slipped into our Mark XVI Reviewing Armour, told Jarvis to crank up the volume, and picked our five favourite tracks as we set about creating new elements and whatnot…

‘Driving With The Top Down’

A piece that’s been scattered to the four winds of superhero soundtracks, having appeared on compilation albums everywhere. That’s no surprise, as it’s a lot of fun. Worth cutting the roof off your car so you can pretend you too are driving with the top down? No… but still, fun.

‘Merchant of Death’

Got a tough Powerpoint presentation to the top dogs at the office? Need to flog those Jericho missiles/IT solutions/paper clips? Break out the Techno-cool synth and rock guitar of ‘Merchant of Death’ as you click through those clip art strewn slides, and you’ll have your boss not only eating, but rocking, out the palm of your hand. Sold!

‘New Element/Particle Accelerator’

Nothing flashy about this (though if you’re a fan of the old Justice League Unlimited cartoon, parts may remind you of its incidental music), but it is good music to work to, whether you’re doing your homework, knocking together flat pack furniture, or just messing up the entire order of the Periodic Table.

‘Attack on 10880 Malibu Point’

Tyler throws everything into this, creating a majestic roller coaster that soars and dips between the threatening and the victorious. Should you ever see a flock of helicopters heading toward your home, it’s time to cue this up, put a saucepan on your head, and press ‘Play’.

‘Can You Dig It’

We certainly can (dig it). There’s the bonkers excitement of a Saturday morning cartoon to this, a cheeky upbeat take on the Iron Man 3 theme. The ‘Pow! Zonk!’ sounds of the brass pumping away above a steady electric guitar strum makes for an end titles track that’s cheeky, cool, fast-paced and oh so very Tony Stark.

Released on Monday 30 September 2013 by Silva Screen.

> Buy Marvel’s complete 6-movie Avengers collection boxset on Amazon.

Which Iron Man film is your favourite? Let us know below…