Since the invention of the moving pictures, music was an essential part of cinema performance. Movie soundtracks provide emotional context to the film-watching experience. This page presents a chronologic collection of the greatest movies scores I have ever seen. Click on each one to see details.


TOP 23

Non, Je ne regrette rien

1956

Charles Dumont

The tune will catch your breath from the first second, and it will keep you at the edge until it ends. This song was made for Édith Piaf, and her performance has made it immortal. It was used in many events, TV series and movies including “Inception.”

Movies:

  • Seventeen Moments of Spring
  • Bull Durham
  • Monamour
  • Intolerable Cruelty
  • The Dreamers
  • Tower Bawher
  • Mesrine
  • Inception

  • James Bond theme

    1962-1987

    Monty Norman

    It has three fathers – John Barry and Vic Flick have arranged the original Norman’s tune to produce one of the most famous movie themes. It has this “secret agent feel” that gives any scene a “spy context”.

    Movies:

  • James Bond

  • The Pink Panther main theme

    1963

    Henry Mancini

    Provocative, intriguing, and funny, this music theme even has a color – it is pink. This theme is associated with both inspector Jacques Clouseau and the cartoon character. This tune won three Grammy Awards.

    Movies:

  • The Pink Panther

  • The Ecstasy of Gold

    1966

    Ennio Morricone

    Master of trumpet and fanfare gave music spirit to many westerns, and this one is the most famous of all. Metallica has created a metal version of this theme that was nominated for a Grammy Award.

    Movies:

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  • Also sprach Zarathustra

    1896

    Richard Strauss

    Kubrick used a lot of classical music in his 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. After this movie, the opening to the still relatively unknown opus of German composer became a prominent theme of space exploration.

    Movies:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey

  • We Have All the Time in the World

    1969

    John Barry

    This song was performed by Louis Armstrong to be used as a secondary musical theme the James Bond film. An incredible sadness of the tune combined with beautiful lyrics and an unforgettable voice makes it too good for any movie.

    Movies:

  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service

  • Time, Forward!

    1977

    Georgy Sviridov

    When you hear something so powerful for the first time, it leaves a mark that you will carry through your whole life. You would not believe how much energy can be delivered by a simple melody. This tune became a symbol of progress, and it inspired millions of soviet people.

    Movies:

  • Time, Forward!
  • The Heart of the World
  • Tower Bawher

  • Star Wars main theme

    1977-2005

    John Williams

    The epic fanfare cascades of the movie title theme have become one of the most famous and well-known musical compositions in modern music history. It is also so organically integrated with the Star Wars film series that it is impossible to imagine one without another.

    Movies:

  • Star Wars

  • The Lonely Shepherd

    1977

    James Last

    This melody was first recorded with Gheorghe Zamfir for the album “Memories from Russia”. The combination of a string band and Romanian pan flute makes a mesmerizing sound that gives you a relaxing Déjà vu.

    Movies:

  • Paradise
  • Golden Soak
  • Kill Bill, Volume 1

  • Siberiade main theme

    1979

    Edward Artemyev

    That is one of the most memorable tunes of this pioneer of Russian electronic music. The unique sound of his synthesizers can be recognized in many movies of Tarkovsky, Mikhalkov, and Konchalovskiy.

    Movies:

  • Siberiade

  • Chi Mai

    1981

    Ennio Morricone

    The incredible feeling of deep sorrow and suffering delivered by this piece makes it stand apart from other compositions of the maestro. This piece was used in two movies and several TV series.

    Movies:

  • The Professional

  • Chariots of fire main theme

    1981

    Vangelis

    That extraordinary hymn is probably the most popular theme song of the early '80s. The astounding combination of leading melody, fanfares, and background rhythm became a symbol of inspiration.

    Movies:

  • Chariots of fire

  • Starlight

    1982

    Alexey Rybnikov

    Listening with a sinking heart to the whispering stars you have a growing feeling that gates to the universe will open soon. And suddenly, they are…

    Movies:

  • Per aspera ad astra

  • Who Wants To Live Forever

    1986

    Brian May

    Many believe that most noticeable Queen song that came out of the film is “It’s a kind of magic,” however, the decisive moment of the story is when you have realized what it really means to be immortal.

    Movies:

  • Highlander

  • Unchained Melody

    1955-1990

    Alex North

    This song was written in 1955, and it has a countless number of versions. However, the magical performance of Righteous Brothers makes this song undeniably dreamlike.

    Movies:

  • Ghost

  • Dreams

    1993

    The Cranberries

    That song was released for the album, but it was then used in several movies and TV shows. The music gives you such wonderful elevating feeling of joy and excitement that when it stops, you may think it was just a dream.

    Movies:

  • Safe Passage
  • The Next Karate Kid
  • You've Got Mail
  • Inception

  • X-Files main theme

    1993-2002

    Mark Snow

    Dark and mysterious sounds combined with chilling image sequence make the opening theme of the X-Files TV series a distinguishable mark in cinema music.

    Movies:

  • The X-Files

  • Mission Impossible main theme

    1996

    Danny Elfman

    Your heart is pounding, your eyes are narrowed, and you feel rush of adrenalin. You are focused, confident, and determined. You have nerves of steel, lightning-fast reaction, and a trained body. You are unstoppable, and nothing is impossible for you. All these feelings are just from listening to this theme.

    Movies:

  • Mission: Impossible

  • My Heart Will Go On

    1997

    James Horner

    The theme tune was used in several film scenes, but the director did not want to have the song. Moreover, Celine Dion did not want to perform it. It took time an effort to make them both try, and as a result, it became one of the best-selling singles of all time.

    Movies:

  • Titanic

  • Truman sleeps

    1998

    Philip Glass

    One of the most controversial of modern composers has created several masterpieces, including this one. His music runs deep, and if it touches your soul, then it resonates with it. That is an exceptional experience.

    Movies:

  • The Truman Show

  • You'll be in my heart

    1999

    Phil Collins

    The song was written as a score for the animated movie that was able to reach a new level of reality. It makes you take it seriously and feel real compassion to the characters.

    Movies:

  • Tarzan

  • Clubbed to Death, Kurayamino variation

    1999

    Rob Dougan

    Written in 1995 this composition was used in the film four years later. The intro was adopted from a classical piece and mixed in a techno-rock style. Even though it was definitely used and played too much on the web, it still makes a fantastic soundtrack.

    Movies:

  • The Matrix

  • Time

    2010

    Hans Zimmer

    The miraculous, impressive, and a little depressing music leads you through the whole movie. For the first time in history, a film score has achieved such level of significance. This sound is so powerful, so it puts you in a trans that is necessary for you to comprehend the plot.

    Movies:

  • Inception