The list of great movie theme songs isn’t exhaustive. Without repeating composers, here are four that not only did the job of pairing well with their respective flicks, they continue to stand as just really good musical works.
“Star Wars Theme”
Composed by the legendary John Williams, the “Star Wars Theme” is one of the most notable movie themes of all time. Technically Luke Skywalker’s leitmotif, this piece, with its boisterous brass and swooping strings, epitomizes the DNA the series inherited from all its swashbuckling predecessors.
“Now We Are Free”
From the movie “Gladiator,” this piece composed by Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard, with its melodic arcs, drums and ethereal strings, manages to embody not only the ancient world but also an otherworldly peace. It’s quite an amazing feat considering the song’s lyrics are gibberish.
“Prelude” The Psycho Theme
This piece has all of the intrigue and violent fits as the film it belongs to. Composing this principally with strings, Bernard Herman manages within the first few seconds to attack our attention and inform us what the film is all about. Connections with one of the greatest films ever aside, it’s just an engaging piece of music.
“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”
You can thank Ennio Morricone for this one. Simple and memorable, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” the theme to the movie of the same name, is iconic for its whistles, vocals and chants with very minimal instrumental backing. I dare someone to not imagine a cowboy style standoff without having this song, or a poorly rendered knockoff, playing in the background.