Eddie the Eagle
Composed By: Mathew Margeson
Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on a true story, Eddie the Eagle is a film about Michael Edwards (Taron Egerton) and his quest to become the first British Olympic ski-jumper. Seeking the help of an American former champion ski-jumper (Hugh Jackman), Eddie soon finds himself training in rather unorthodox ways in an effort to refine and condition him. Though Eddie finds his road to Calgary often impeded, he does eventually make it to the 1988 Calgary Olympics, thus achieving what some would have said was impossible.
The musical score of Eddie the Eagle was created by American composer and pianist Matthew Margeson who studied at the Berklee College of Music before earning an apprenticeship at Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions in 2003. Since then, he has contributed music to a number of feature films, including Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, X-Men: First Class, Wreck-It Ralph, Captain Phillips, Into the Woods, Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service and more. He is currently working on the score for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiars.
The Eddie the Eagle Soundtrack is heavy on synths and guitars, reflective of the 1980s time period of the film as well as Eddie's upbeat and optimistic attitude towards his goal. According to Margeson, "The film is set in the ‘80s and the goal was to create a throwback ‘80s score. I knew it was going to be a fun task from the get-go and it was... I ended up going on craigslist and eBay and getting a bunch of old digital synthesizers from the time period. I played all of the keyboards, and did the programming of the synths myself. We did have some guitar and bass players, and some live woodwinds for a few of the emotional moments." Horn fanfares and percussion are used to define the Olympic tryouts and the Olympics themselves. Pianos and somber, quieter moments are representative of those moments in which it seems Eddie's hopes and dreams are about to be dashed. Ominous and dark undertones are present as well, leaving the listener with the impression that Eddie is up against more than just his own physical setbacks.
The score of Eddie the Eagle is definitely reminiscent of the score for Top Gun. The military flare is missing, but that synth score is incredibly memorable and uplifting. There is a sense that this young man will not be deterred from his goal and that he just might actually achieve what he has set out to do. I loved the throwback synth score and the feeling up inspiration and optimism it offered. I wanted to see this movie prior to listening to the score, but after hearing the music, I now want to see it more than ever. Excellent job, Mr. Margeson!