There’s a famous scene in the movie APOCALYPSE NOW in which the U.S. air cavalry is flying their helicopters into battle. On the way the commanding officer plays Wagner’s RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES. It’s an intense moment, full of bravado and pride. These flying warriors are ready to kick butt! Woe to the enemy below.
That scene has always got me to thinking. If I were rolling into battle, what music would I want to hear? What would be my battle soundtrack? What would be my battle mix tape?
Pretty much anything from the CONAN THE BARBARIAN soundtrack by Basil Poledouris would suffice, but ANVIL OF CROM is always a favorite.
Then there are the many great tunes from spaghetti westerns, especially the music of Ennio Morricone. Many fans prefer his music from the classic movie THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, but I’ve always had a preference for Morricone’s work in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, especially his MAN WITH A HARMONIC THEME. Regardless, any of Morricone’s music from the spaghetti western era would suffice as battle music.
Of course there’s Metallica, especially early Metallica. SEEK & DESTROY would make an awesome song for rolling into battle, but so would FOR WHOM THE BELLS TOLLS and HARVESTER OF SORROW. Truly, just about anything from one of Metallica’s first four or maybe five albums would suffice as battle music, as would some of the band’s later works.
All of these are obvious choices, however. What about you? What music would you want to hear as you’re going into battle? Do you want to hear something strong but classical, such as the 1812 OVERTURE by Tchaikovsky, or would you prefer something more modern, something really heavy, like RAINING BLOOD by Slayer. Or would you prefer something soothing, something that keeps you calm, such as SUMMER BREEZE by Seals & Croft. Maybe you’d prefer something that really gets your blood pumping, such as BATTLE HYMN from Manowar.
Whatever your preference, I’d like to hear about it. Let me know in the comments below.
About the author
Ty Johnston is vice president of the Rogue Blades Foundation, a non-profit organization focused upon bringing heroic literature to all readers. A former newspaper editor, he is the author of several fantasy trilogies and individual novels.