Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Top 10 The Most Enduring Film Scores

By Thao Pham Mar 26, 2024

10 Top Gun’s Official Video of Kenny Loggins’s “Danger Zone”

The United States Navy’s flying programme received a flood of new applicants following the mid-eighties release of Top Gun. Why not, though? Fighting piloting is now officially cool, thanks to Tom Cruise. The opening sequence of the film, which takes place between an aircraft carrier and Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone, is just breathtaking.

During his prime, Loggins was a movie soundtrack specialist; he composed the song for the film, and it today sounds like the very definition of corny 80s pop. While the vocalist concedes that it lacks solo appeal, the song soars in its filmic setting that it justifiably ranks among the all-time greats. It becomes a recurring joke in the animated TV show Archer to mention the song all the time; eventually, Kenny Loggins even makes a guest appearance in a later season. That, together with the Top Gun reboot that is slated to feature the song again, means that Danger Zone will probably inspire a new generation of aspiring pilots in the near future.

9 On Saturday Night Fever (1977), the Bee Gees performed “Stayin’ Alive.”

Remastered Version of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees

During the opening credits of Saturday Night Fever, a youthful John Travolta struts down the street while one of the most famous Bee Gees songs, Stayin’ Alive, plays on the soundtrack. Despite the band’s dismay, the infectious tune solidified the Bee Gees’ image as a dance outfit, fitting for the film’s theme. They were bitterly opposed to being lumped into that category, but Saturday Night Fever was so successful that the term remained.

The film depicts a young man whose monotonous weekday life is shattered by his weekend adventures at his beloved nightclub. Therefore, the song’s lyrics, which encourage going for one’s dreams regardless of what others say, are a perfect addition. Not only did the song revitalise the Bee Gees’ career, but the American Heart Association has chosen it as the ideal music to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to due to its 100 beats per minute (BPM) tempo, giving the title a new, literal meaning. By the way, if you’re looking for a song with a comparable tempo and effective lyrics, go no further than Another One Bites the Dust by Queen. However, the title of the song makes it sound less fitting when it comes to efforts to save lives.

8 Bryan Adams’s “Everything I Do,” from 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

On occasion, the score of an excellent film can enrich the viewing experience. The situation can also be reversed at times. Furthermore, there are occasions when a song reaches new heights despite a poor film. Although it wasn’t bad, the 1991 film that retold the Robin Hood story was also not very good and included too much violence. The soundtrack’s inclusion of Bryan Adams’ multi-talented love ballad “Everything I Do” I Do It For You was the film’s one saving grace; the song swiftly became associated with the score and the movie itself.

Adams used the movie’s sentence “I do it for you” in his heartfelt love song, which he wrote in just an hour. The song was buried halfway through the credits after failing to gain Hollywood’s approval. The filmmakers’ complete lack of intelligence was demonstrated when the song became one of Bryan Adams’ best-selling compositions. I Do It For You demonstrated the singer’s energy and won over new followers, despite the fact that many of his former admirers were unhappy with the change from his signature guitar-driven rock sound. After that, he repeated the feat on the scores for Don Juan DeMarco and The Three Muskateers, proving it wasn’t an isolated incident.

7 Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” from Fight Club’s soundtrack.

Eleven long years passed between the release of Where is My Mind in 1988 and the song’s appearance on the film Fight Club, which brought The Pixies a new wave of fans. The lyrics were influenced by lead vocalist Frank Black’s snorkelling adventures in the Caribbean and are unrelated to the film, so if you’ve ever found them confusing, that’s why. However, the title, Black’s distinctive singing voice, the basic yet eerie guitar riff, and the overall offbeat style and concept of Fight Club make it an ideal fit.

The storytelling approach and the mind-bending shock at the climax of Fight Club, which is based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel in its original form, are the film’s strongest points; nevertheless, the excellent performance and superb ensemble further elevate the film to new heights. As the credits roll, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter stand shoulder to shoulder, seeing the catastrophic conclusion of Project Mayhem. It’s a sequence that flawlessly brings it all together. At that very time, the ambient layer of Where Is My Mind begins to play, adding depth to a story that is already packed with deeper significance. It complements one of the best endings in recent memory and sets the ideal mood.

6 Elton John’s “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King” (1996)

“The Lion King” by Elton John – Circle of Life (Official Video)

The Lion King’s fantastic score, to which Elton John was the principal composer, undoubtedly contributed to the film’s critical and commercial success, as is well known. In the epic opening sequence, when all of the animals in the kingdom come together to celebrate the birth of their new ruler, Tim Rice’s The Circle of Life plays. While Carmen Twillie sang the movie version, the official soundtrack features Elton John’s rendition, thus it’s clear that he is the true master of the song.

Sir Elton was left out in the cold when his other contribution to the film, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, won the Oscar instead of the song. The singer only frequently performs Circle of Life, one of his Lion King compositions, live, and he thinks it’s the better of the two. He found personal significance in the song as well; working on the film’s score freed him from the monotony of recording, releasing, and touring, and he went on to produce a string of high-quality film scores after The Lion King’s popularity.

5 Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith (Armageddon, 1998)

I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Armageddon – Original Soundtrack by Aerosmith | SPOILER ALERT!

After what seemed like their musical zenith in the early to mid-1990s, Aerosmith’s career took a sharp turn for the worse when their cover of “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” was featured on the soundtrack of 1998’s biggest hit, Armageddon. Diane Warren, the film’s iconic composer, had U2 in mind when she initially penned the song. As the saying goes, “the rest is history” when lead singer Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv was cast as the primary female character, and Aerosmith were suddenly in the conversation.

The use of a full 52-piece orchestra in the album adds to the idea that the moving song really portrays the agonising essence of losing a loved one. The end product is massive in scale and scope, just like the film. Even though Aerosmith gained a new fan base despite Warren’s criticism that the song is “treacly” in spots, the band still managed to sell millions of copies. Famously, after defeating Vladimir Klitschko in 2016, British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury famously broke into a passionate performance of the song in the ring, dedicating it, of course, to his beloved wife. The song was so popular that the band played a snippet of it during their 2001 Super Bowl halftime performance.

“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion from the 1997 film Titanic

4 A Music Video for Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On”

The superb plot, which centres on the passionately implausible love connection between Rose and Jack as the ship approaches tragedy, is one of the numerous reasons Titanic was a smash hit at the cinema and is still popular today. Together, the inclusion of Celine Dion’s instantly recognisable love ballad “My Heart Will Go On” and the knowledge that the ship’s doom is certain give a degree of dramatic irony to the plot, elevating it to a higher level.

Anyone who hears the song today is more likely to frown than smile because it has become cliched and was so overplayed in the late 90s. However, that is only because to its extraordinary popularity and the almost endless broadcasts it garnered on television and radio. As cinephiles are aware, Titanic is tied for the most Oscars with eleven, with Celine Dion’s musical contribution, My Heart Will Go On, winning Best Song.

3 Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” from Pulp Fiction (1994)

Streaming Video: Pulp Fiction’s “You Never Can Tell”

Given the stellar quality of Tarantino’s other films, the claim that Pulp Fiction is among his best is justified. Pulp Fiction is a film packed of iconic sequences, unforgettable quips, and breathtaking photography. One of the most memorable parts is when John Travolta and Uma Thurmann get down during Jack Rabbit Slims’ twist contest. Ultimately, it’s all about that timeless rock ‘n roll vibe of You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry.

Nothing Quinten Tarantino does is accidental, and the song was obviously selected with care for a number of reasons, including the fact that it fits the scene’s historical tone and the lyrics’ allusions to unanticipated love. This provides a fascinating contrast to the uncomfortable dynamics between hitman Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace, his boss’s wife, whom he is ordered to spend the night with on a strict “look but don’t touch” premise. While the twist contest victory marks a turning point for the couple, their ending is far from pleasant, unlike the couple in Berry’s song. Given that Tarantino is directing, we shouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be a memorable cinematic moment.

2 Seal (Batman Forever, 1995) – Kiss From a Rose

Seal, Kiss From a Rose, and Batman Forever

Nowadays, superhero moviegoers have a lot of options, but that wasn’t always the case, and neither were the films that did come out as good as what we see now. An example of this is Batman Forever. It had all the makings of a fantastic film—a well-established series, a stellar cast, and compelling characters—but critics at the time felt that director Joel Schumacher had permanently damaged the Batman film franchise, as the film’s title suggested. Kiss From a Rose is still one of the things most people remember about Batman Forever, and even though the movie was a little disappointing, it did expose the world to Seal, a singer-songwriter who was struggling at the time.

Seal composed the song in obscurity many years ago, but his lyrics are ideally suited to the darker theme that runs through all Batman stories. The hero grapples with the inner turmoil that comes with being a law-abiding billionaire during the day and a masked vigilante at night, often being pursued by the police while he undertakes their mission. Kiss From a Rose’s use of light and dark, love and death, to depict Bruce Wayne’s struggle with his dual identities is particularly effective in a romantic setting. Following the premiere of the film, the song gained widespread notice due to its enigmatic interpretation, outstanding vocals, and distinctive, waltz-like rhythm, all of which stood out on radio play. Although there have been several successful Batman films following the failure of “Forever,” the British singer’s career-defining single “Kiss From a Rose” continues to be associated with the superhero and stands out among Seal’s numerous subsequent hits.

Survivor (Eye of the Tiger, Rocky III, 1982)

1 “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor—Official High Definition Video

Eye of the Tiger, which debuted on the Rocky III soundtrack in 1982, has been motivating gym-goers for exercises ever since. It is widely considered to be the most popular inspiring song of all time. The song features an unforgettable introduction, a rhythm that won’t soon be forgotten, and lyrics that portray Rocky’s inner turmoil as he gets back into the ring after a long layoff and faces the unstoppable Mr. T.

Although Survivor is solely responsible for penning the song, Sylvester Stallone requested that it be composed for the film, and Sly played a key role in the song’s development, offering suggestions that would later become iconic. The movie’s title is derived from a passage where Apollo Creed, the boxer’s former adversary, encourages him to rediscover his “eye of the tiger,” or his previous level of motivation and resolve to achieve. Even though we all know how it ends, we still love it because there’s something magical about a story of an underdog who comes out on top. That, in particular, is the spirit of Rocky III and many other great films, and it is well stated in the classic song by Survivor.

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