The cultural phenomenon that is Game of Thrones has finally reached the end of this season’s run, leaving us with a gap of a year before the final season releases and gives us all the closure we so badly crave. The show has everything – action, adventure, incredible dialogue and even dragons! In the midst of such visual spectacle, it would have been understandable if the show’s musical score fell by the wayside, but the perfectionists behind the show simply wouldn’t let that happen. And thank goodness for that. We can’t even begin to think about the show without humming the main theme, which accompanies that iconic title sequence.
The musical genius behind it all is German-Iranian composer Ramin Djawadi, whose musical stylings set the tone for films such as Pacific Rim and Iron Man. And with Game of Thrones, we may just have his best work yet. In fact, the music of the show is so popular that a series of concerts which featured Game of Thrones music, called the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, took place earlier this year. But GoT isn’t alone in understanding the value of an iconic musical score. Join us as we go back in time and listen to the most iconic songs in film history.
Superman: The Movie
With the main title theme from Superman, John Williams captured the entire essence of everyone’s favourite boy scout and embodied him in music. And the filmmakers acknowledged the genius of the track by using it throughout the movie, especially towards the end of action scenes where the Man of Steel reigned supreme.
Requiem for a Dream
You’ve heard this track before in a hundred different videos, trailers and commercials over the years – that’s how iconic Clint Mansell’s score for Darren Aronofsky’s dark tale of drug addiction is. The unusual combination of orchestral music with a little electronica proved to elevate the score and, consequently, the film to heights never imagined for what was essentially an indie movie at the time of its release.
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In case you missed the memo, John Williams is the film score composer, who modern-day savants like Hans Zimmer put on a pedestal. When you listen to the film’s main theme song for the first time, you cannot tell that it’s a movie about terrifying man-eating dinosaurs, yet it fits just perfectly.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Ennio Morricone’s score perfectly captures the mood of the lone gunslinger that the movie is based on. So the next time you end up with a particularly tough task to handle all by yourself, pop this track on and get ready to ride on into that sunset, pardner.
Yes, John Williams is back and this time he uses just two little notes to put a lifelong fear of the deep sea into all of us. This track builds up atmosphere in the opening scene, as we watch a lone woman swimming in the ocean. As the sense of dread builds with the menacing music, so does the suspense, climaxing when she’s been dragged under by Jaws.
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Monty Norman’s Bond theme is the precursor to all the versions that have come after it, with every Bond movie sampling sections of this iconic track. And that’s what makes it special – the modern soundtracks have a lot of extra flourishes and vocal tracks, but this original score is just pure James Bond, dripping with the mystery, panache and sexiness that makes 007 who he is.
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Who better to score a film about Indiana Jones, the greatest adventurer the world has ever known, than John Williams, the greatest film score composer of all time? The main theme of Raiders is the best-known of all his work on the franchise’s many films and for good reason – it’s victorious and fresh, yet immensely nostalgic all at once.
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