Classical composer Edvar Grieg wrote In the Hall of the Mountain King for the play Peer Gynt which premiered in 1876. As such, it had a cinematic soundtrack quality to it, long before cinema became a broad popular pastime. Because of this it has long been a favorite background music for television and film. Most recently a rendition by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross popped up on the award-winning soundtrack of The Social Network.

A lot of musicians covered or sampled it, without it being specifically intended to accompany moving images. Notable covers are the versions by The Lancasters (titled Satan’s Holiday in 1965) ELO (1973), Apollo 100 as Mad Mountain King (1972) The Who (recorded in 1967, released in 1995), metal cello-quartet Apocalyptica (2000) and Epica (2009).

But sampling it has been done quite a lot too. Whistle used the melody as a short hook in Just Buggin’ (1986). Master-sampler Coldcut featured a sample in Stop This Crazy Thing (1988) from (I think) the jazz-cover by Hugo Montenegro. Tango used it in the acid-track Can’t Stop the Rush. The song is among the classical tunes used in the title theme for the Sonic the Hedgehog-cartoon (1993). Vibes & Wishdokta used it in Motorway Madness (1996). A personal hardcore favorite: Juggernaut’s Ruffneck Rules da Artcore Scene (1996) Eurodance-artists Captain Jack used it in Dream a Dream (1999 and the 2009 version too). Delinquent Habits used it impressively in The Kind (1999). Most recently parts of it were used by Votchi in Unicorn (2004).

As a bit of trivia, according to the Wikipedia-article the tune also served as the basis for the Inspector Gadget theme.

Like this? Buy me a drink!