As a guy who watches a good amount of movies I tend to often listen in on the soundtrack. And not necessarily on when you hear a licensed track and go “Oh shit, I know that song!”. I mainly talk about the original score for the movie. You know, the music a composer has spent countless hours writing and conducting. So today I am here to give you my list of favorite theme songs from different movies! Time to lay out the rules!
Rule #1: Same as always, this is my list. If you disagree with something then you can’t complain about it. Maybe you can write a comment on what song you would have included on the list.
Rule #2: Even though some songs are really recognizable as the movie theme song (Example: “Born to be Wild” in the movie “Easy Rider”) I will only include songs that someone has composed.
Rule #3: The song has to truly be recognized as the main theme to make this list. So even though I absolutely love the song “Time” from “Inception” it will not make the cut as it isn’t called or known as the main theme of the movie.
Rule #4: Listen and enjoy!
Ladies and Gentlemen… My Top 15 Movie Theme Songs.
Number 15: River Kwai March – The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
First up on the list is the main theme from a movie I haven’t even seen yet… oops. But I am still putting it here on the list because of how catchy and memorable it is. Whenever I hear it I want to start marching to some place and have this play the entire way. (Sidenote: First time I heard this was when it was in one of my sheet music books a few years ago).
Number 14: Lux Aeterna – Requiem For a Dream (2000)
At number 14 we have this beautiful piece of music composed by Clint Mansell and also happens to be the theme song to the most depressing movie ever. Don’t get me wrong, I fucking adore the movie, it is just depressing. I am also not ashamed to say that it is the scariest movie I have ever seen. Seriously, after I was done seeing the movie I still had chills down my spine and I wanted to go hug something. And this was the perfect theme tune to accompany it. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go cuddle with my dog because of scary “Requiem” flashbacks.
Number 13: Claudia’s theme – Unforgiven (1992)
Next up on the list is the fantastic, beautiful and almost tear inducing theme tune from Clint Eastwood’s final western. Not only does this songs fit perfectly for the movie, but it also happens to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. Lennie Niehaus’ composition combined with memories of the fantastic movie it is part of always brings a smile to my face. I mean, that god damn guitar… fantastic, simply fantastic!
Number 12: Intro theme – Fight Club (1999)
You think you would be safe from me talking about “Fight Club”, huh? Well whoop-de-doo, you’re not! This song really catches you off guard the first time you hear when you decide to finally watch “Fight Club”. I know I was at least thrown off guard when I sat there, waiting for the movie to start and then *BOOM, BITCH* it kicks in and I knew I was going for one hell of a ride! Hell, this song just sums up what “Fight Club” is… a big, crazy ride!
Number 11: Main title – Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
At number 11 is the metallic, badass and kind of awesome theme tune from the metallic, badass and kind of awesome action/sci-fi movie “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”. And yes, I know the first “Terminator” movie has the same theme song, but “T2” has the better version (In my opinion). It starts with some heavy bangs, continues with some slow(ish) synth sound and finishes off with some more heavy bangs. But I have an even better description for the song, here we go… DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN!!!
Number 10: James Bond theme – Dr. No (1962)
I will admit, I have not actually seen “Dr. No”. But I can say that I have listened to this song more than a few times trhoughout my life. Why? Because it’s awesome! The brass, the guitar, the… EVERYTHING! It is a classic theme that will live through to the end of days and will get covers and remixes as long as people still exist on this planet. I also like it because it feels very… agent-y. I don’t know how to descrive any other way, it’s just good.
Number 9: Pacific Rim – Pacific Rim (2013)
One of the newer songs on the list. This song combines two things I absolutely love; Epic orchestras with a good amount of string instruments, and guitar. This song wa composed by Ramin Djawadi who you may know from things like “Prison Break” or “Game of Thrones”. And for this song he got help from none other than the Nightwatchman himself… Tom Morello who does the badass guitar stuff. You probably know him from the band “Rage Against the Machine”. Either that or you know him from playing “Guitar Hero 3”. Anyway, this songs is really badass, really epic and really awesome. I want it played at my wedding when I walk down the aisle… I know, I’m weird.
Number 8: Main title – Jaws (1975)
Duuuun DUN, Duuuun DUN… that is all I have to say to scare your butts out of the ocean. This theme is as iconic as a theme tune of a movie can get and it has been mimicked many a time. Also, if you love the movie like I do, this song makes you smile you son of a…!
Number 7: Raider’s March – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Oh if nothing has gotten me any flak yet, this sure as hell will. Putting “Indiana Jones” as low as number 7. But hey, it’s at least still in the Top 10. This song always gets me pumped to go on an adventure and look for ancient treasures in an old temple in an old jungle! But really I would end up looking at rocks and sticks in the woods. But it would still be really fucking epic with this song playing! Also, it is a John Williams track… those are always great and you know it!
Number 6: Main theme – Speed (1994)
This seriously reminds me of how I forgot to put “Speed” in my “Top Action Movies” list. I feel so embarassed. Oh well, no use crying over spilled milk. This track, composed by Mark Mancina, is badass, epic and perfectly fits the high speed, high tension action movie it is used in. You also got to love that part early in the song when you have several consecutive hits. I don’t know how to explain it in text, but I hope someone out there knows which part I am talking about! Someone!
Number 5: Gonna Fly Now – Rocky (1976)
Hearing this song makes me want to work out which is weird because I am one lazy son of a bitch. It is also a little weird to have this here because… *sigh*… I have unfortunately not seen “Rocky” yet. I know, slap me all you want, I don’t fucking care. I just know this song is amazing. I even chose it as one of the songs I have as homework to play on my trombone. It is going pretty well so far. But this song composed by Bill Conti is the infamous song that plays during that one scene I know of where Rocky is just working out like crazy to become the greatest boxer ever or something. I should probably see the movie…
Number 4: Theme song – The Rock (1996)
Here we have a movie that I have actually seen (and even reviewed here on the blog *Shameless self-promotion*) and that I really enjoyed. This silly action movie from Michael Bay is one of those action movies that not only had great action scenes but also showed some good emotion, mainly thanks to the amazing score by Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams and Nick Glenne-Smith. And this theme tune is what really drives the score home and shows what music can do for a movie. Having parts with some genuine emotion in them, then more action-y bits and some more emotion really helps sell this as a great song.
Number 3: Main theme – Star Wars (1977)
“WHAT THE FUCK, STAR WARS NOT NUMBER 1, I’LL KILL YOU YA LITTLE BITCH!” said the moron in the audience who didn’t read the rules. But come on, “Star Wars” in the Top 3 is still really good if you think about it. I love “Star Wars” as much as the next guy, I’m not lying about that. This theme is as recognizable as can be since it’s been used in 6 official movies, 1 animated movie, 2 animated shows and more video games than I have fingers. So it is really well known. It will probably be used in the upcoming “Star Wars” movies as well and it will never lose it’s popularity. It will also never leave our hearts as it is part of all our childhoods, adulthoods and elderly years.
Number 2: Theme song – Jurassic Park (1993)
While “Star Wars” is John Williams’ most iconic score, I personally prefer “Jurassic Park” over “Star Wars”. At least when it comes to the “main theme song” department. While the “Star Wars” theme was one of the first themes I ever heard that stuck to me, “Jurassic Park” somehow holds a deeper emotional resonance to me. I don’t know why, maybe it is my everlasting love of dinosaurs that brings me back to the movie and it’s main theme song. But I think we can all agree that this song is beautiful and captured our hearts just as fast as the amazing visual effects of the timeless classic simply known as “Jurassic Park”.
Before we go to number 1, here are some honorable mentions (Sidenote: Reason they are honorable mentions is because of me thinking about them AFTER I started the list.
Pink Panther theme (1963)
Axel F – Beverly Hills cop (1984)
Mortal Kombat theme (1995)
Speak softly Love – The Godfather (1972)
Hedwig’s theme – Harry Potter (2001 – 2011)
NUMBER 1: Il Buono, il Brutto e il Cattivo – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Fuckin’ A! This is my number 1 pick for “Favorite Movie Theme Songs”. The epic, the classic and the badass theme from the amazing western “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”. This song is THE example that shows off the fact that Ennio Morricone is one if not THE best composer ever. Okay, to be fair there are composers up there at his level, if not better. But with this song and even the entire soundtrack to the movie he shows that he IS fantastic. The ocarina, the guitar, the percussion… I just love all of it! There is nothing about this song I dislike (Not that there was anything wrong with the previously mentioned tracks). I absolutely adore this song, let it live on FOREVER!!!
So those were My Top 15 Movie Theme Songs. What are some of your favorites? Leave an answer down below and let me know!