Revealed: The Most Memorable Movie Soundtracks of All Time – communicationsfashion

Revealed: The Most Memorable Movie Soundtracks of All Time


The power of movie soundtracks is often overlooked, but musicin film can have a huge impact on the audience. From suspenseful to emotional, the power of a good score should not be underestimated. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most memorable movie soundtracks of all time and discuss how they impacted their respective films.

Star Wars – Iconic Score and Lasting Influence

Without question, John Williams’ score for the original Star Wars in 1977 could be considered one of the most influential soundtracks of all time. Combining elements from classical music and extraterrestrial sounds, Williams created a theme that was widely praised for its catchy melody, yet also carried an emotional depth that many credited with adding a whole new layer of artistry to the movie.

Williams would continue to compose for all eight of the main series movies, continuing the renowned Star Wars themes and bringing us memorable songs such as “The Throne Room and End Title” from A New Hope, “Across the Stars” from Attack of the Clones, and “Rey’s Theme” from The Force Awakens. Without this unforgettable score, the Star Wars saga would not quite be the same.

The Godfather and its Influence on Modern Soundtracks

Nino Rota’s score for ‘The Godfather’ has gone down in cinematic history, along with the movie itself. With its epic symphonic score, Rota crafted a soundtrack that captured the awesome power of the Corleone family and the perils of organized crime.

The influence of this soundtrack is far reaching. Every time we hear a slow piano and strings combination in a modern movie score, we can be sure to thank Rota for inspiring it. What makes the score so iconic is that it is both gentle and powerful, matching the contrasting themes of the movie.

Its main theme is still instantly recognizable and the iconic feel of it continues to influence composers to this day.

Jurassic Park

One of the most memorable soundtracks of all time is that of John William’s from the 1993 classic Jurassic Park. From the iconic opening theme, to the suspenseful and thrilling accompanying score throughout the film, it enhances not only the excitement and danger of the movie, but also the wonder of seeing this incredible world of dinosaurs for the first time.

The soundtrack draws the audience in with its distinct timbre, leaving them on the edge of their seat as they witness the movie’s events unfold. Williams’ choice of instruments, including deep brass sections, strings, chimes and xylophones gives the score a unique feel, which won him an Academy Award for Best Original Score.

The music is also essential in allowing the audience to explore the emotional journey of the characters, such as viewing the Brachiosaurus for the first time, which is matched by a fanfare of woodwinds and strings. It is these moments that truly capture the imagination, and stay with us long after we’ve left the cinema.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

The Lord of the Rings is a revered film series that captured the attention of worldwide audiences. Howard Shore’s grandiose soundtrack greatly contributed to the movies’ success, immersing viewers in Tolkien’s fantasy world.

Shore composed an expansive soundtrack, which had to be divided into multiple discs due to its sheer size. He composed music for each of the characters and used unique musical themes for each species, including one for the elves, dwarves, hobbits, and orcs. He also wrote several variations of the Sauron theme, which changes according to the character’s various moods.

The score of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is unforgettable. From the iconic “Concerning Hobbits” to the haunting “Isengard” theme, Shore uses music to effectively create a unique ambience and amplify the emotion of every scene. His distinctive score follows Frodo’s journey and enhances almost every scene.

James Bond

The James Bond movie franchise has seen its fair share of iconic theme songs and soundtracks throughout its long-standing existence. From the classic Shirley Bassey-sung “Diamonds Are Forever”, to the modern Adele-driven “Skyfall”, the series of composers have tackled the signature themes over the years and crafted unforgettable music. John Barry’s score for ‘Goldfinger’ is a great example – using horns and strings to create an intense, suspenseful tone that still stands the test of time. Even with each new generation of composers, the music of a James Bond movie will always remain timeless.

E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial

John Williams’ unforgettable score for E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial has become one of the most recognisable movie soundtracks in history. Its theme of adventure, friendship and emotion was integral to the success of the movie.

The various hummable motifs and sounds in the soundtrack are instantly recognizable. One of Williams’ most outstanding uses of a melody is the theme that plays when E.T. dies. With its big orchestra and stirring strings, it captures a powerful moment of grief and solace.

The music also serves as a narrative device. It conveys emotion and foreshadows events. When the kids are escaping their parents, the theme plays softly in the background to build tension and excitement. Similarly, it builds further suspense towards the climax of the movie, as the spaceship takes off.

Williams’ score was certainly part of the success of E.T. It’s earned him an Academy Award nomination and multiple other accolades. His timeless music continues to bring joy to viewers of all ages.

The Mission

Ennio Morricone’s acclaimed score for the 1986 British war drama The Mission was filled with a mix of orchestral beauty and haunting melodies. These two aspects helped to elevate the tension of the movie, and its success led to an Oscar win for Best Music. One of the most memorable parts of the score is when panpipes are used as the main accompaniment to a scene, adding a unique texture to the already-rich movie. This combination of Morricone’s score and the distinctive sound of the panpipe made The Mission stand out and become one of the most iconic film scores of all time.


The classic thriller Psycho is widely considered to be one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest achievements. It’s no surprise then that Bernard Herrmann’s score was equally iconic. Herrmann’s soundtrack played a key role in creating the tension and suspense of the film. The score is made up of dissonant notes and woodwind instruments, which gives the film an eerie atmosphere akin to a psychological horror. Herrmann’s work on Psycho is specially notable for its use of strings, as his arrangements were revolutionary for the time.

Psycho’s score was immensely influential and has been used to further heighten the suspense of many other famous films. Composers have referenced Herrmann’s work on Psycho in their own soundtracks, showing just how important this soundtrack truly is.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

When it comes to memorable movie soundtracks, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a classic. Composed by Ennio Morricone, this spaghetti western soundtrack is filled with some of cinema’s most iconic whistles and instrumentation, perfect for the Wild West feel. Morricone’s score is frequently cited as one of the most memorable movie soundtracks of all time, and remains just as beloved today as it was when it originally released over fifty years ago.

One of the most recognizable tracks from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is the main theme, known as “The Ecstasy of Gold”. This piece starts out quite slowly, gradually building until the signature whistles come in and take centre stage – and what a remarkable stage they grant! Without the whistles, the score would be nothing special, but with them, this track transcends time and place, allowing us to feel the thrill of the western genre in all its glory.

The whistles weren’t the only stand-out instrumentation used in the soundtrack. Other motifs included heavy use of classical guitars, banjos, harmonica, and percussion. Together, this collection of instruments builds a unique atmosphere, one that transports listeners back to the old west and allows them to explore an unfamiliar but captivating world.

Ennio Morricone’s score for The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly has truly stood the test of time, and is highly regarded as one of the greatest movie soundtracks ever written. With its well-crafted blend of classical instruments and spine-tingling whistles, it is no wonder this soundtrack continues to delight audiences of all ages.

Blade Runner

Often cited as one of the most influential soundtracks of all time, Vangelis’s Blade Runner soundtrack is a mesmerizing mix of ambient and electronic music. From the glistening, iconic main theme to the minimalistic tones of cues like “Memories of Green”, Vangelis captures the film’s mood and atmosphere perfectly. The score elevates the movie’s scenes to soaring heights, and helps to create an unforgettable cyberpunk experience.


When it comes to truly defining memorable movie soundtracks, it is hard to think of many that have had more impact and staying power than those on this list. From John Williams’ grandiose scores that thrilled us in Star Wars and Jurassic Park, to Ennio Morricone’s whistle-driven motifs and sheer mastery in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, these soundtracks have given us the soundtracks of our lives. All of them have had lasting effects not just on the film industry, but on culture as a whole, making them some of the most memorable and important soundtracks of all time.

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