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Lost Sounds and Soundtracks. Alternate Endings to Michael Mann’s “Heat”

Elliot Goldenthal’s commercially unavailable “End Titles” music to Michael Mann’s Heat.

The precisely hodge-podged sources for Michael Mann's musical cues—sometimes original compositions, sometimes culled from pre-existing pop, rock, industrial, and/or electronic groups—are as diverse as the dusty Los Angeles turfs he agilely vignettes in his consummate epic crime male-odrama Heat.

Film scorer Elliot Goldenthal's original cue for the end titles (performed by the Kronos Quartet) was ultimately replaced by a Moby track—the Reich-like "God Moving Across the Face of the Water" which appeared on "Everything is Wrong" that same year.  While both selections capture the enveloping electricity of an adrenaline rush effervescing into the blinking lights of a warm L.A. night, the Goldenthal better emphasizes a potential lack of resolution, thus providing an appropriate emotional bookend to that composer's hauntingly spare and ambivalent opening track.  The Moby, in a new version specific to the film, features an additional bridge that seems rather to triumphantly celebrate the story's fulfillment.

What you are listening to:

(1) "End Titles" by Elliot Goldenthal (commercially unavailable)


(2) "God Moving Across the Face of the Water (Heat mix)" by Moby



Music can be one of cinema's great pleasures. When used with inspiration—not dictating our viewing experience with a death grip or slathered like bad wallpaper over the rest of a sound mix—it can transform either solitary shots or spliced sequences of moving images into entirely new expressions, galvanizing details within the raw cinematographic material or contrapuntally complicating the initial impressions of the image.

Given our love for movie music in all its forms, whether a soundtrack features original orchestral compositions, near-abstract soundscapes, or acts as a curatorial force for collecting, exposing and (re-) contextualizing existent music, Lost Sounds and Soundtracks will serve to highlight some of our favorites, obscure and not so obscure, commercially available and ripped directly from audio-tracks where necessary. Unless analyzed within their original context, all will be divorced from their image-tracks in hopes that we might briefly give them their singular due.

Great stuff! The music in Heat is so sublime. Thanks for this.
Love it! Looking forward to future entries.
I love “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters,” but that Goldenthal track is surprisingly good. I actually think it might have worked a bit better.
More to come, and check out the previous two entries in the series. Since this might have used up my Michael Mann representation for a while, I’ll at least drop this in here too: Finally released on CD for the first time ever a few months ago. Wicked scary. Man, it’s unreal, the quality of electronic composers Mann managed to score for MANHUNTER.
YES!!! Thank you for posting that! I’ve been looking for the Heat mix to that song forever… I could only find a different version on iTunes.
That was so interesting, thank you. I find myself preferring the Goldenthal track for all the reasons you stated.
The Goldenthal theme was letter reused for the end of Michael Collins. I do love both though.
Here’s the MICHAEL COLLINS. Actually quite different for the use of piano alone, otherwise strong strong similarities though I still prefer it in its original HEAT incarnation. Granted, it’s been ages since I’ve heard the latter used in its original context of the film…anyone else’s thoughts? The wikipedia entry on the HEAT soundtrack says the COLLINS version has bagpipes instead of guitars, but it sounds to me like that element is just removed entirely.
It’s unfortunate that Mann keeps returning to Moby, one of the most insipid figures in pop. There are many others who do this sort of thing with more creativity.
In theory I agree with you Cao, but this song is a great ending piece and fits Mann’s work and his musical taste perfectly.
I really appreciate this post. Another great film soundtrack from this period was Stewart Copeland’s score for Fresh, which I have never found anywhere because the soundtrack released was filled merely with rap. Hope you’ll consider an evaluation of this overlooked music.
The Goldenthal theme was also echoed by the composer at the end of Mann’s “Public Enemies” in the ambiguously titled track “J.D. Dies”.

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