A little while ago while watching TV I saw a commercial for the movie I Am Number Four. Now this movie didn’t last in theatres for too long and was basically pretty forgettable, but I always remember seeing the preview because the song that played during the commercial was so memorable. That song was Rolling in the Deep by Adele, who is pretty much the most talked about artist of the year, as is that song. So while the movie looked just ok, every time I hear that song it reminds me of the movie. In fact I think that at some point I will actually see that movie strictly because of that song and how I associate it to the movie.
The theme song is very important to a movie, yet there are so many of them that are forgettable. So what makes a great theme song? A really great theme song will evoke memories or alter your mood the instant you hear it. Kind of like how I think of I Am Number Four every time I hear Rolling in the Deep. Imagine enjoying a nice quiet evening at home when the theme song to Psycho comes on the television. You know, that screeching music that played when Norman Bates pulls back the shower curtain and stabs Marion Crane over and over and over again?! Bet you’d be bypassing your evening shower after that! Or, when you’re out for a run and the Chariots of Fire music starts playing on your iPod. Guaranteed you’d start running faster, for longer.
Movies and television shows, regardless of how good they are, can be made instantly better due to a memorable score, and can even become more memorable than the movies that they are associated with. Take the Halloween series of movies – no matter how many incarnations of the story there are the music always stays the same. And because you love how that music makes you feel you want to see the movie even though after the original they were all pretty terrible! But that theme song sucks you in and makes you want to spend you r$10 to go and see it. And that is the power of a good theme song.
So that being said, here is a list of my all time favourite movie theme songs;
I still can’t hear that music without thinking that Michael Myers is in my closet. Did you know that famous score was actually written by director John Carpenter!
Gonna Fly Now, The Theme From Rocky
Written and composed by Bill Conti, Gonna Fly Now was nominated for an Academy Award and also hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. I challenge any of you to not immediate think of Sylvester Stallone running up those iconic stairs and pumping his fists in the air when you hear that music!
‘Who You Gonna Call, Ghostbusters!’ A phrase that is still widely used today, the song that was written and sung by Ray Parker Jr. was also nominated for an Academy Award and sat at the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 3 weeks. Did you know though Huey Lewis actually sued Ray Parker Jr for plagiarism, claiming that Parker copied the melody from his 1983 song "I Want a New Drug"? The two eventually settled out of court.
This music rarely reminds me of a specific Pink Panther movie, but always invokes images of that animated Pink Panther walking across a movie screen. The theme was written by legendary composer Henry Mancini and that cartoon pink panther was animated in time to the tune! Released as a single by RCA Records the theme song won 3 Grammy Awards and was nominated for an Academy Award.
Please – I don’t care who you are – as soon as you hear this music you’re afraid to go anywhere near water for at least an hour! That eerie theme song, which consists solely of two notes – E and F alternating in a simple pattern, was performed on a tuba, and is still one of the most iconic movie theme songs of all time.
So there are my favourite movie theme songs, now it’s your turn! Let me know your favourite movie theme songs and why! And if you want to hear the Pink Panther theme song make sure to tune in to TELETOON this Saturday (at 7pm ET/PT) when Pink Panther is their Big Ticket Movie!
Scene and Heard
Confessions of a Pop Culture Mummy
More upcoming TELETOON Big Ticket Movies on
Saturdays at 7pm ET/PT:
- June 18: Pink Panther II
- June 25: Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins AND Scooby-Doo: Curse of the Lake Monster
You can check out www.teletoon.com for more details.