5 great military soundtracks to study or just relax to – We Are The Mighty

Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:00 am


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MIGHTY MOVIES

Miguel Ortiz

The military isnt all action and adventure. There are plenty of dull tasks required of service members that can send even the most motivated of troops to sleep. Whether its writing an after action report, studying for your promotion board, or trying to figure out the convoluted requirements to get your leave approved, here are some of the best military soundtracks to listen to and keep you on track. Note that this isnt a list of the most epic military soundtracks, hence the omission of legendary film soundtracks like Das Boot, Black Hawk Down, and Crimson Tide.

1. Band of Brothers

If youre like me, youve lost count of how many times youve watched Band of Brothers. From watching reruns on TV to popping in the DVD/BluRay for a mini marathon, Michael Kamens arrangements have graced the ears of thousands of viewers. The combination of beautiful orchestral melodies combined with the almost haunting choral work makes this soundtrack an excellent choice for some calming background music. That said, youd be forgiven if you kept the Main Titles, Suite One, and Suite Two on repeat. After all, they are the most used songs from the legendary mini-series. Its spiritual successor, The Pacific, also has a noteworthy soundtrack. However, its a bit too intense with its dramatic swells and drum beats to make the list for studying and relaxing music.

2. Saving Private Ryan

It makes sense that the forerunner of the previous entry be on this list too. Band of Brothers took a lot of production cues from Saving Private Ryan including its score. Produced by the legendary John Williams, the same man that brought us the music for iconic films like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, E.T., and Jaws, the soundtrack from Saving Private Ryan does not disappoint. The opening song, Hymn to the Fallen, is iconic in its own right and is often used for Veterans Day and Memorial Day events and videos. Additionally, the soundtrack itself is over an hour long, so you can get plenty of work done while it plays. If you enjoy this soundtrack, I also recommend giving the original Medal of Honor video game soundtrack a listen. The game was conceived by Spielberg after he completed Saving Private Ryan and Michael Giacchino, the games composer, was heavily inspired by Williams and went on to compose for eight more WWII-based video games.

3. Gladiator

Come on, this one counts as a military movie. After all, Maximus Decimus Meridius was a Roman general commanding an army in battle at the films opening. At any rate, composers Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard built a truly inspirational soundtrack for the film. You dont even need to have seen Gladiator to appreciate its music as a studying or working accompaniment. Additionally, the album won the 2001 Golden Globe for Best Original Score Motion Picture.

4. The Thin Red Line

Yes, its another Zimmer entry. Anyway, the 1998 film is a bit of a departure from other war films of its time like Saving Private Ryan or Platoon. At any rate, its soundtrack was nominated for Original Dramatic Score at the 71st Academy Awards. Although it didnt win, its impact on movie music is long-felt. The films main theme, Journey to the Line, has been used in the trailers for Man of Steel, 12 Years a Slave, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. It was also used in the trailer for Pearl Harbor, the soundtrack of which was also composed by Zimmer and features heavy influence from The Thin Red Line. Pearl Harbor didnt make this list due to its more melancholic tones.

5. Dunkirk (Honorable Mention)

Hear me out. This one is absolutely not a good choice to study or relax to. Its time ticking theme and anxiety-inducing builds are not the kind of sounds you want to hear if you need to slow your heart beat. However, if youre on a time crunch, this might be just what you need to get yourself in the zone. Picture this: Its 0400 and youve been up since 0300the previous day. Youre running on pure caffeine and adrenaline and both are running dangerously low. Your task, whether its a slide deck, a new SOP, or a stack of evals, is due first thing in the morning. Some people thrive under the pressure, and if thats you, why not add some epic background music to your sprint to the finish line? The satisfaction garnered from completing your last minute task just before its deadline will be sweetened by having the films End Titles play you through to your victory.

Ben Weaver

Fighting fires is hungry work. And since firefighters spend long hours, even days, at the fire station, it naturally falls to some schlub rookie to lace up an apron and put food on the table. Thats normally how it goes.

But Meals Ready To Eat doesnt profile normal.

In South Philadelphia, theres a fire station where things go down a bit differently. Thats because the members of Phillys Fire Engine 60, Ladder 19 are lucky enough to count a gourmet chef among their ranks. In fact, he outranks most of them. Hes Lieutenant Bill Joerger, hes a former Marine and this kitchen is his by right of mastery.

The two sides of Lt. Bill Joerger (Go90 Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

and both are delicious. (Meals Ready To Eat screenshot)

It is a little weird for a ranking officer to spend hours rustling the chow. Its a little strange that he goes to such lengths to source ingredients for his culinary art. Its a bit outlandish when those meals are complex enough to necessitate a demo plate.

But Bill Joerger doesnt care about any of that. When not actively saving lives, he cares about honing his cooking skills, eating well, and creating in the midst of a chaotic work environment some small sacred space where everyone can relax and just be people together.

Meals Ready to Eat host August Dannehl spent a day with Joerger at the firehouse, experiencing the often violent stop-and-start nature of a firefighters day and, in the down moments, sous-cheffing for the Lieutenant. The story of how Joerger found his way from the Marine Corps to a cookbook and then to the firehouse kitchen is a lesson in utilizing ones passion to impose some order in the midst of lifes disarray.

Fatherly

Remember how awesome The Empire Strikes Back was? You can stream that particularly great Star Wars movie on Disney+ right now. And, as of Nov. 15, 2019, Disney+ just added some context to one classic Boba Fett and Darth Vader beef. In the latest episode of The Mandalorian, we finally understand why Darth Vader said no disintegrations.

Spoilers ahead for The Mandalorian Chapter 2: The Child.

In the second episode of The Mandalorian, our titular bounty hunter continues his make-it-up-as-you-go-along journey to protect a little baby Yoda-looking creature. Throughout his misadventures in this episode (which culminate in getting a giant space rhino egg) the Mando tangoes with a bunch of Jawas who have stripped his spaceship of much-needed parts. In an effort to get his stuff back, the Mando busts out his nifty rifle, which, as it turns out, turns anyone he points it at into a puff of smoke. He vaporizes a few of the on the lizard-like Trandoshans who ambush him at the top of the episode, and later on, a few pesky Jawas.

The Mandalorian gets ready to disintegrate some punks.

(Lucasfilm)

Later, when he has to make peace with the Jawas to barter for some of his parts back, he mentions I disintegrated a few of them. In terms of what weve seen in the Star Wars movies so far, this specific tech hasnt been witnessed, but it has been mentioned. When Vader hires a bunch of bounty hunters to capture the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back, the Dark Lord very pointedly shakes his finger at Boba Fett (a dude who rocks Mandalorian armor) and says no disintegrations.

Boba Fett and IG-88 in The Empire Strikes Back

(Lucasfilm)

So, there you have it. Vader was well-aware that this weapon was probably in Boba Fetts arsenal, and now, just a about six years after the events of Empire Strikes Back, in The Mandalorian, we get to see what that weapon looks like. The most surprising thing? In The Mandalorian, the disintegrations are shockingly mess-free. Less like a blaster, and more like a civilized vacuum for a more elegant bounty hunter.

After every episode of The Mandalorian you watch on Disney+, it invariably suggests you watch The Empire Strikes Back. Kind of makes sense now, right?

This article originally appeared on Fatherly. Follow @FatherlyHQ on Twitter.

Blake Stilwell

John Rambo changes lives. Not just in movies, but in the real world. From the flawed antihero of First Blood to the immortal god of death and destruction in 2008s Rambo, Sylvester Stallones action-hero prototype isnt just the forerunner of modern, big-budget action stars, hes a real-life game-changer. A cinematic visit from John Rambo has historically been an omen of big changes to follow in the real world.

Stallone just announced the production of a new Rambo movie and it couldnt come at a better time. Hes definitely going to take on Mexican drug cartels in the film, which is a good move, but there are many other places that need the help. Call it the Rambo Effect.

For the uninitiated, Vietnam veteran John Rambo goes off to find some personal peace after the war, meeting up with old Army friends and traveling the world, looking for meaning. What he ends up finding is a personal war everywhere he goes. He fights the bad guys in the movies and wins but in the real world, something always happens in the country he visits, often within a year of a films release, changing them for the better.

Anyone whos a big fan of Sylvester Stallones Rambo series knows the sequels are a far cry from the story and intent of the first film. In First Blood, he was a flawed Vietnam veteran who became a rallying cry for a generation of vets who were all but ignored by society. Seriously, this is a really great, thoughtful movie with a good message.

The Vietnam War took a toll on America in a way the country still hasnt fully recovered from. It was the first time Americans learned to distrust the President of the United States and this fostered a general mistrust of the government ever since. First Blood takes America to task about things Vietnam veterans still talk about today: Agent Orange, public indifference toward veterans, public perception of crazy Vietnam veterans, veteran unemployment, post-traumatic stress, and more.

The 80s were a crazy time for everyone.

What people really noticed while watching First Blood is how awesome that Green Beret stuff really was, so by the time First Blood Part II came about, Rambo was a full-on action hero the mold for the Bruce Willises, Arnold Schwarzeneggers, and the Steven Seagals yet to come. The real message was lost amid big-budget explosions and fight sequences.

Crewmen of the amphibious cargo ship USS Durham (LKA-114) take Vietnamese refugees from a small craft, April 1975

(U.S. National Archives)

The second installment of the Rambo series was released almost ten years to the day after the fall of Saigon. In the real-world, reunified Vietnam under Communist rule, chaos ensued. Thousands were herded into reeducation camps, a crippled economy suffered from triple-digit inflation, the state went to war with Cambodia and then China. Thousands of refugees took to fleeing by boat to anywhere else.

Still, some things just dont age well.

The year after First Blood Part II had Rambo return to Vietnam, the Vietnamese government began implementing massive reforms to move away from the strict Communist structure that dominated it for the previous decade. In the intervening years, the economy began to recover as the government moved to a more socialist form.

In 1988s Rambo III, John Rambo sets off to rescue Colonel Trautman after hes taken captive in Soviet-dominated Afghanistan. Of course, Rambo goes right into Afghanistan, destroys every Soviet in his wake and rescues his old friend in a blaze of fiery glory. That same year, the Soviet Union began its final withdrawal from Afghanistan, a war that was a major contributing factor to the fall of the Soviet Union.

Coming to theaters of war near you.

In 2008s Rambo, the former Green Beret joins a group of missionaries headed to Myanmar. 2008 Myanmar was a brutal totalitarian dictatorship scarred by rampant human rights abuses both on screen and in the real world. In the film, a warlord is brutalizing the Burmese people and the missionaries become victims. A team of mercenaries goes back into Myanmar with Rambo. Rambo kills everyone who isnt a good guy.

Two months after the films release, the actual Myanmar government suddenly held a real constitutional referendum intended to guide the country down the path away from the military junta and into democratic reforms. By 2010, Myanmar held contested, multiparty elections. The military government was fully dissolved in 2011 and, by 2015, there were serious elections held in the country.

Im not saying John Rambo had anything to do with any of this, all Im saying is that John Rambo could be the harbinger of positive change in the world. Which is good, because there are a few place that really need a change.

Even though this is hardly the worlds longest ongoing conflict, it has to be one of the most intense and well-attended. Anyone whos anyone is sending troops to Syria, and soon Germany may even join the party. All joking aside, this is a conflict that has, so far, killed more than a half-million people in seven years by moderate estimates, but no one really knows for sure.

A war this intense should end sooner rather than later. Even though Richard Crenna (the actor who portrayed Col. Trautman) died in 2003, maybe Rambo can be sent to Syria to rescue Trautmans son? Ill leave that for Stallone to decide, but hes got to get Rambo there somehow.

Just one North Korean parade and its all over.

While the intensity of this conflict peaked more than 70 years ago, the ongoing human rights abuses and detainment of North Koreans in prison camps is exactly the kind of thing John Rambo would hate to see.

And if theres anyone who could reach Kim Jong Un on his own, its John Rambo.

Pictured: Rambo sneaking back into Burma.

Even though his first visit to Burma (Myanmar) foretold the coming of democratic reforms, an argument could be made that they didnt exactly reach what anyone would call true quality before the law. In fact, a number of civil conflicts are ongoing in Burma, including the Rohingya slaughter and insurgency read so much about in the news lately, but there are others at least 18 different insurgent groups operate in Burma to this day.

If ever a war needed to end, its the ongoing Saudi-led coalitions war against Houthi-dominated Yemen. If ever any single country needed a John Rambo to finish things off, its this devastating embarrassment. For three years, Saudi Arabia and its 24 coalition partners have been hammering away at little Yemen and the Houthis who took it over, killing tens of thousands of people many civilians and are no closer to winning right now than they were three years ago.

Name a more iconic duo. Ill wait.

The Moro people of the Philippines have pretty much been resisting invaders since the beginning of time. For at least 400 years, the Moro have resisted Spanish, American, Japanese, American, and Philippine dominance over their traditional area of the country.

If theres a world leader that would make an excellent Hollywood villain, its Rodrigo Duterte, current president of the Philippines. Hes not crazy, he thinks hes doing the world a favor, and his methods are shocking. After a few centuries, this conflict should be ready to end and who better to bring that about than Rambo and a giant hunting knife?

Somalia has been in the throes of civil war since the 1980s and it has never even begun anything close to a recovery. After the fall of the Barre dictatorship, no one has held a controlling area of the country, including the United States, the United Nations, and even Ethiopia, who invaded Somalia not too long ago, crushing just one more in a long line of Islamic Insurgents who want to control the Somali people.

More than half a million people from all over the world have died in this conflict and it has displaced more than 1.1 million Somalis. It is time for this conflict to end thats your cue, Rambo.

Shannon Corbeil

Weve passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight, hints Mark Hamills Luke Skywalker.

(Well, Ghost Luke, Im guessing)

This week at D23, LucasFilm released new footage from The Rise of Skywalker, leading fans to speculate what it all means as the Skywalker Saga comes to an end.

I for one got excited for the first time in a long time.

Check out the special look at then lets break it down:

http://www.youtube.com

Of course, the most buzz-worthy scene is Dark Rey wielding a duel-bladed and red lightsaber. I dont want to fansplain to you or anything, but red blades are of course associated with the Sith, who often preferred synthetic crystals energized by the dark side of the force.

Reys blade could mean a number of things. Maybe she nicked it? Maybe she turned to the dark side? Or probably maybe its just a vision. Rey hasnt had a character flaw yet, but who knows? Maybe J.J. Abrams wants to throw us a curve ball.

(PS: Has anyone else noticed how dangerous these fancy lightsabers are? Like, how does Kylo Ren not chop his leg off any time he ignites his crossguard lightsaber?? The Force can only do so much)

I just want to know that he attended his safety brief.

Anyway, back to Rey.

Twitter user Alan Johnson has a different theory about Dark Rey:

twitter.com

Now that would be interesting to me. And Im going full nerd to tell you why.

A brief history on clones in the Star Wars universe: they were bred to fight as soldiers under their Jedi commanders during the time of the Republic (think prequels). Under Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the clone troopers fought the droid army of the Separatists during the Clone Wars.

But there was a hidden trigger implanted into every clone, and Palpatine (who of course we know was a Sith), issued Order 66, which named the Jedi Knights enemies of the Republic and called for their eradication. The clone militants purged the galaxy of the Jedi and gave Palpatine unchecked control of the Republic, allowing him to become the true antagonist of the original trilogy.

Emperor Palpatine was thrown into a deep shaft by Darth Vader during the Battle of Endor presumably dead and yet promo materials for the Rise of Skywalker have been teasing his return.

Could Palpatine have survived his fall? Id say yes any trained Force-user can levitate so its far-fetched for them to fall to their death. Theoretically he could have also hidden himself for all these years.

If he is alive, and Rey is a clone, that could pose many questions. Is Dark Rey also a clone? Could Palpatine Order 66 her? Are there more versions of her? (I mean, I wouldnt be unhappy with an Orphan Black situation)

As a fan, its fun to consider the possibilities, which makes The Rise of Skywalker even more fun to look forward to.

Fatherly

There are a lot of great moments in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but there is one very specific and hilarious scene in which Peter Parker very confidently misidentifies AC/DCs killer song Back in Black by saying I love Led Zeppelin! And though this seems like a funny throwaway, this is actually the exact moment where Far From Home brings the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe full-circle. You may have thought Avengers: Endgame was the end of this era of Marvel movies, but really, the latest Spidey flick is the real ending. And thats because it wraps up multiple storylines about the only character who can never return to these movies Iron Man.

If you squint through those special Tony Stark high-tech glasses, Spider-Man: Far From Home actually reads as Iron Man 4, and thats because a huge chunk of the movie is about how Peter Parker deals not only with a world without Tony Stark; but more specifically, a world which Iron Man created. Spoiler alert, but the entire conflict of Far From Home revolves around disgruntled former employees of Tony Stark; people who either got yelled at by Jeff Bridges in the very first Iron Man movie in 2008, or in the case of Jake Gyllenhaals Quentin Beck, had their inventions hijacked and turned into holographic therapy for Stark.

Like the next generation of young Marvel fans who are just getting into all this superhero stuff, Peter Parker inherits the mixed legacy of Tony Stark whether he likes it or not. Because this version of Spidey doesnt really have a fatherly-Uncle Ben figure, Iron Man was Peters next-best-thing to a dad. And in Far From Home, all the mistakes Tony made become Spider-Mans problem. Happy Hogan reminds Peter that although Iron Man was great that he was also all over the place, which is a nice way of saying Tony Stark was actually kind of a douchebag and may have given Peter and the rest of the world more than they really want to deal with. Anyone who has had been saddled with messiness after the death of a parent knows how this goes. For Spidey, his personal life is totally compromised in the post-credits scene (in which his secret identity is revealed) all of which is, indirectly, Tony Starks fault. In fact, the seeds for Peter inheriting Tonys problems are sewn in Spideys first official MCU appearance; in Captain America: Civil War. Back then, Tony recruited Peter to help him reign-in Cap, but we now know this movie also was where Tony ignorantly turns Beck into a bad guy.

http://www.youtube.com

Which brings us back to that AC/DC track; Back in Black. This is the song that opens the very first moments of 2008s Iron Man;Tony Stark sits in the back of a humvee speeding through Afghanistan, drinking a cocktail, acting like jerky the millionaire arms-dealer that he is. From that point, Tonys caravan gets attacked, and through the course of the movie, and a lot of snarky one-liners, he eventually becomes a slightly better person and you know, Iron Man. In fact, just like Far From Home, that film famously ended with Tony Stark revealing his identity in a press conference. And now, unwillingly, Peter Parker has become the new Iron Man insofar as his identity has been revealed too, albeit not by choice. Either way, Peters journey is very similar to Tonys at this point, the only difference is Peter didnt get much of a choice in the matter, whereas Tony did.

Despite everything that happened to Tony Stark, Captain America and Black Widow throughout all of their Marvel movie adventures, for the most part, these characters read as adults, and in the case of Tony and Natasha, adults who were not innocent people, like at all. But Peter Parker is the opposite of this. Even after everything, hes been through in five movies, hes basically still at the beginning of his heros journey. Which is why Far From Home is both an ending for the old Marvel movies and the beginning of the new ones.

http://www.youtube.com

Its unclear what new Avengers movies will look like in 2020 and beyond, but because Tony is 100 percent dead and Steve Rogers is 100 percent living in the past in secret, the big recognizable heroes of Iron Man and Captain America wont be around. (Also that rumored Black Widow movie is thought to be a prequel?) In any case, if the new Avengers are Captain Marvel, maybe Hulk, Falcon, and Bucky, then it seems like Spidey might become their defacto leader. After all, once youre secret identity is revealed, youve got nowhere to be other than with other superheroes.

The musical cues and plot similarities of Spider-Man: Far From Home help to complete Tony Starks story one movie after his onscreen death. But, our incumbent Peter Parker isnt Tony Stark. Like at all. He doesnt really know who AC/DC is, even if he likes the music. This Peter is the face of the future of the next big round of Marvel movies, and in some ways, thats reassuring. The MCU began with a tortured man-baby who drank too much and said sexist things. That guy accidentally became a hero, and of course, because of that journey of redemption, we all love Tony Stark. But now, it seems Marvel is going to do stories about different types of heroes, and those people, like Peter Parker, might be a little bit better than the generation before them. Marvel is done with the old guys. Its time to give the kids a shot.

Luckily, as Far From Home proves, the kids are more than all right. Theyre better than us.

This article originally appeared on Fatherly. Follow @FatherlyHQ on Twitter.

Blake Stilwell

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5 great military soundtracks to study or just relax to - We Are The Mighty

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December 19th, 2020 at 11:00 am

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