Spotlight: Film Scores

Top 100(ish) Film Score Tracks

I can’t tell you how many years I have been wanting to make this post for but every time I sit down to listen to my film score collection, I keep getting distracted halfway through and I lose momentum.  Never mind, here is the epic list, finally.

(And yes no Star Wars because I have never seen the films ….)

I couldn’t possibly put these in order of favourites so they are in alphabetical order

A Gift Of A Thistle
James Horner
Braveheart

Images of a romantic Scotland.  The end.

A Narnia Lullaby
Harry Gregson-Williams
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

EXTREME LOVE.  That is all I have to say.

Armageddon Suite
Trevor Rabin
Armageddon

All about the guitar solo.

A Window To The Past
John Williams
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban

In every film which has a good score, there is a moment where you notice the music, really notice.  And just like ‘A Narnia Lullaby’, this track really stands out.  Picture that moment on the bridge in the newly transformed Hogwarts.

Bad Dream – New York City
Hans Zimmer
Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted

Love the Madagascar theme tune with a rocky drum beat behind it.

Barbossa Is Hungry
Klaus Badelt
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

One of key examples where the film would be nothing without the fabulous music that goes along with it.

Becoming a Geisha
John Williams
Memoirs Of A Geisha

John Williams + Yo Yo Ma

Ben
Trevor Rabin
National Treasure

This track says American History adventure all over it.

Best Friends
Hans Zimmer
Madagascar

Ukulele and whistling.

Beyond The Forest
Howard Shore
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

The elven choral singing.

Born Free
Hans Zimmer
Madagascar

Clever use of the well known theme tune from another film and then sliding into the Madagascar theme tune.

Broken
Blake Neely
The Mentalist

This tune some up Patrick Jane for me.

Buckbeak’s Flight
John Williams
Harry Potter and the Prisoner Of Askaban

My favourite film and a pretty amazing accompanying soundtrack.

Changes
Alan Silvestri
The Parent Trap

I LOVE this score.  Just like the score for Twister and The Holiday – this is an unexpected gem.

Cibola
Trevor Rabin
National Treasure: Book Of Secrets

Gosh, I love this soundtrack.  LOVE.  The opening tune (clarinet?  Oboe?  Followed by the flute), THE VIOLIN AT 1.00, followed by the soaring orchestra and a bit of the ‘National Treasure Theme’, random jig music, then something which I suspect is ripped off ‘The Twilight Zone’ theme, adventure music, the quiet ‘theme’ ending.

Coming Back Around
John Powell
How To Train A Dragon

A lucky discovery considering I have never watched the film.  Weirdly enough this song kind of makes me think of Quidditch …..

Concerning Hobbits
Howard Shore
Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

It’s one of those tunes that you can’t help but associate with the beginning of the film/album/mix.  The staccato jumpy notes just screams “hobbit”.

Doug & Carol
James Newton Howard
ER

A ship with a theme.

Dragon Racing
John Powell
How To Train A Dragon 2

Uses the themes from the first film and adds something of the swashbuckling nature.

Durin’s Folk
Howard Shore
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

I like how the dwarf film starts off quietly before growing into a majestic crescendo.

Earth
Hans Zimmer
Gladiator

I remember playing this in orchestra practice.  One of my earliest film score obsessions.

Enchanted Suite
Alan Menken
Enchanted

One of my favourite Disney films and accompanying score.

Erebor
Howard Shore
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Makes you journey from New Zealand to Scotland.

Fairytale
Harry Gregson-Williams
Shrek

I’m not a massive fan of the Shrek franchise but I do love this track.

Farewell No. 1
Shigeru Umebayashi
House Of Flying Daggers

The artistic beauty of this film extends to its music.

F5: God’s Finger
Mark Mancina
Twister

Love the choral voices.  After the storm.

Fawkes The Phoenix
John Williams
Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets

The lone standout track of this film.

Finale
Alan Silvestri
The Parent Trap

This track goes from cheeky and happy to romantic and then back to cheeky.

Flight
Hans Zimmer
Man Of Steel

I can’t remember anything about this film but its score does have a couple nice tracks.

Freedom Of The Wa
Klaus Badelt
The Promise

Ethnic chanting

From Western Woods To Beaversdam
Harry Gregson-Williams
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

I think this Narnia is one of my most played scores.  It really is perfection.  It IS Narnia.  I cannot imagine anyone composing a more beautiful score for this universe.  I would probably include the whole soundtrack here if I could!

Glasgow Love Theme
Craig Armstrong
Love Actually

The best romantic comedy score.

Grissom’s Overture
John M. Keane
CSI

One of my favourite TV show themes.  Favourite bit is from 4.05 onwards.

Gumption
Hans Zimmer
The Holiday

Really hard choosing which tracks to include.

Harry’s Wonderous World
John Williams
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I love the first soundtrack

Hedwig’s Theme
John Williams
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Needs no explanation.

Hero
Hans Zimmer
Kung Fu Panda

Love the mixture of the traditional Chinese sounds with the rocky drum beat.  Absolute genius.

Homeland (Main Title)
Hans Zimmer
Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron

My favourite Bryan Adams songs are also part of this soundtrack.  Never actually seen the film itself though.

Kissing You
Craig Armstrong
Romeo & Juliet

This tune!  There are no words

Leaving Port
James Horner
Titanic

Again, I’m going to use the word majestic.  Picture the ship!  The ship when it is leaving port that is, not when it’s sinking.

Lightning Strikes
George Fenton
Sweet Home Alabama

Hidden gem of a soundtrack

Love Theme
Klaus Badelt
The Promise

Good use of traditional Chinese instruments mixed with Western ones.

Lovers (Mei and Jin)
Shigeru Umebayashi
House Of Flying Daggers

Something about the violin and orchestra always makes me feel sad when I hear this track.

Maestro
Hans Zimmer
The Holiday

Such a beautiful piano-based track.  If the score wasn’t so absolutely wonderful, I don’t know if I would like the film so much as I’m not a big fan of 3 out of the 4 leads.  As it is, I certainly have a soft spot for the film.

Maid In Manhattan
Alan Silvestri
Maid In Manhattan

I think Alan Silvestri gets unfairly overlooked when compared to his more famous counterparts.

Main Title
James Horner
Apollo 13

The trumpet gives me chills.

Main Title
Bruce Broughton
Miracle on 34th Street

Hearing this is like announcing Christmas is here!

Main Titles
Rachel Portman
Chocolat

A rare female composer

Minas Tirith
Howard Shore
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Another core theme.

Misty Mountains
Howard Shore
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

I remember hearing the dwarves sing this in the cinema and getting chills at the vocal harmonies.

Morning Routine
John Powell
Rio

Sounds like Madagascar but with more feathers.

Nine To Survival Job
Michael Giacchino
Jurassic World

The best track on the album which doesn’t use the original theme.

Now We Are Free
Hans Zimmer
Gladiator

I tried to limit my choice of tracks which had vocals but this song IS ‘Gladiator’.  This was one of the first scores that I bought way back at the start of my obsession and my first conscious introduction to Hans Zimmer.  Now it is nowhere near my favourite score in my list but at the time I did think it was something of a masterpiece.

Oklahoma: Downdraft
Mark Mancina
Twister

My love for the Twister score knows no bounds.  It’s like I’m out there in America chasing tornadoes you guys!

Oklahoma: Wheatfield
Mark Mancina
Twister

The wonderful tune that plays when everyone starts packing up and rushing to their vehicles to chase down the twister.

Once Upon A Time In Africa
Hans Zimmer
Madagascar: Escape To Africa

All the best animated films have Hans Zimmer scoring them

One Day
Hans Zimmer
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End

Love the combination of the “Pirates Theme” with the “At World’s End” Theme.

One Last Shot
Klaus Badelt
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl

Swashbucklin’ goodness right here.

Only The Beginning Of The Adventure
Harry Gregson-Williams
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

The soaring tune at 1.15 gives me chills every time.

Opening
Hans Zimmer
Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted

Love the African vibe.

Opening Titles
David Arnold
The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader

Most of the tracks I like on this soundtrack are plagiarized from Harry Gregson-William’s original themes apart from this one.

Page 47
Trevor Rabin
National Treasure: Book Of Secrets

Still sitting here waiting for the third National Treasure film. Please.

PM’s Love Theme
Craig Armstrong
Love Actually

Love, Actually.

Portuguese Love Theme
Craig Armstrong
Love Actually

You don’t really associate romantic comedies with beautiful score but this and ‘The Holiday’ definitely proves that theory wrong.  Isn’t it just beautiful?

Preparing
Hans Zimmer
King Arthur

As a whole the soundtrack to this was disappointing apart from this track

Pride and Prejudice
Carl Davis
Pride and Prejudice

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this TV series.  The score is ingrained on the inside of my brain.  In a good way.

Save Kung Fu
Hans Zimmer
Kung Fu Panda 2

LOVE.  Not just a bit of fun.  It really is an amazing piece of music.

Sayuris Theme and End Credits
John Williams
Memoirs Of A Geisha

John Williams + Yo Yo Ma

See You Tomorrow
John Powell
How To Train A Dragon

I really must get round to seeing this film if it is as good as its music

Sons Of Durin
Howard Shore
The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies

The Dwarves’ fighting theme.

Spirit Fight
Tan Dun
Hero

You can just picture yourself being in China with this tune.

Statues
Alexandre Desplat
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

One of my favourite scenes in the film and also one of my favourite tracks on the soundtrack, even if it is basically the same two bars of music repeated over and over again.

Stoick’s Ship
John Powell
How To Train A Dragon 2

A new theme which doesn’t appear in the soundtrack for the first film.

Test Drive
John Powell
How To Train A Dragon

So beautiful!

The Adventure Begins
Howard Shore
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The hobbit theme from LOTR that you know and love but with an extra bounce to it!

The Breaking Of The Fellowship
Howard Shore
Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

The Bridge Of Khazad Dhum
Howard Shore
Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring

Nothing sums up LOTR like that opening theme.

The Day After Tomorrow
Harald Kloser
The Day After Tomorrow

Love this film.

The Houses Of Healing
Howard Shore, feat. Liv Tyler
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

I still remember as a teenager fangirling over the fact that Liv Tyler was going to sing on the TORK soundtrack but then the film came out and there was no singing, then we learnt it was going to be over the Houses of Healing scene (something cut from the theatrical release which saddened me greatly), then the song leaked and I played it obsessively, then ROTK Extended DVDs were released and I watched the scene obsessively then the Extended score was released and I played this track obsessively ….

The Park Is Closed
Michael Giacchino
Jurassic World

A lovely piano/violin rendition of the original John Williams theme.

The Poseidon
Klaus Badelt
The Poseidon

I am positive the theme is similar to that of another soundtrack but I am struggling to put my finger on it at the moment …

The Resurrection Stone
Alexandre Desplat
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

This song really doesn’t sound like it’s from Harry Potter.  It’s so quiet and sad.

The Riders Of Rohan
Howard Shore
The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

It would be an impossible task to choose my favourite Middle Earth theme but the “Rohan Theme” with the violin would definitely be very near the top.

The Steward Of Gondor
Howard Shore, feat. Billy Boyd
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Chills.

The World Is Ahead
Howard Shore
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The majestic tune at the end.

Theme From Jurassic Park
John Williams
Jurassic Park

Bar the HP tracks, I think this is one of my favourite themes that John Williams has scored.  It’s just so ….. majestic.

Theme From Schindler’s List
John Williams
Schindler’s List

The violin haunts you.

This Land
Hans Zimmer
The Lion King

I like the score which then moves into the choral voices.

Thrice Welcome
Howard Shore
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

My favourite theme in the hobbit trilogy after the Dwarf one.

Titles
Vangelis
Chariots Of Fire

Most recognizable theme tunes ever?

To The Stars
Randy Edelman
Dragonheart

I have never seen the film but I can almost picture the whole story in my mind thanks to this track.

Under The Stars / Simba Alive
Hans Zimmer
The Lion King

African drumbeats.

Up Is Down
Hans Zimmer
Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End

I can’t remember the film that much but I think I remember thinking that the music was one of the best things about it

Vesper
David Arnold
Casino Royale

I don’t usually associate memorable scores with James Bond films but this theme really stuck with me.

What Are You Going To Do When You Are Not Saving The World?
Hans Zimmer
Man Of Steel

Is there any genre of film Hans hasn’t composed for?!

World Trade Centre Choral Piece (Soprano Soloist)
Craig Armstrong
World Trade Center

It’s very quiet and beautiful and angelic.

You Owe Me A Dance
George Fenton
Sweet Home Alabama

I have no shame in stating that this is one of my favourite films and for a long time Josh Lucas was my favourite movie boyfriend.  It was a good day when I discovered a score actually existed.

Zorro’s Theme
James Horner
The Mask Of Zorro

I recognised this theme even before I realised what film it was from.

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