In the earliest days of film, people in Paris actually paid to go to a local restaurant showing a movie. The subject? There really wasn’t one. Paying customers only watched in fascination as people walked on the streets, came out of factories and kids played. This from the Lumière brothers, early pioneers in the art of film. From that humble beginning, movies finally began to appear with at least the makings of a story and eventually, the film story was born.
But still, the only sound came from the installation in many theaters of a piano and a pianist to accentuate the action with appropriate music. Sometimes the film actually came with sheet music for the pianist so he could be sure to play something the producers felt would be most suitable to enhance their little masterpiece. In some instances, phonograph records were used for the same purposes.
But then the birth of sound in film changed everything. While some poo-pooed the idea, claiming it was unnecessary, it caught on immediately and in a big way.
Despite the difficulty of picking the top ten best movie soundtracks of all time, research has shown that the following are right up there and never to be forgotten.
List of Top 10 Best Movie Soundtrack Songs of All Time until in 2017
Banana Boat. This film with its newly resurrected theme song, Banana Boat. A hit long before and nearly forgotten with so many new songs appearing every day, Mr. Belafonte’s charming voice rang out perfectly to add to the charm and brilliance of this outstanding film. Combined with an ensemble cast that meshed like the engine of a Rolls Royce, the film just wouldn’t be the same without Banana Boat. We can’t forget the background music from genius Danny Elfman, a composer whose music has so adroitly and appropriately adorned many a film. This amazing soundtrack spiced up with Harry Belafonte’s everlasting hit, Banana Boat (Day O’) fans get a real bang up twofer in this hit movie.
9. Planet of the Apes
The theme song for Planet of the Apes from the wonderful composer Jerry Goldsmith brings its own special tone to this unusual film with its background of sound echoing in our heads, we leave the theater still haunted by the implications of the frightening and unsettling possibilities that accompany the mere thought of such an event actually happening. A soundtrack that couldn’t be changed without losing a great deal of the film’s charm and interest.
My Heart Will Go On. Although a number of hits were featured in Titanic, its theme song, My Heart Will Go On, is a memorable hit that accompanies the sad theme of this great movie. The incredible story of the luxury, the social issues of this mighty new vessel hosting so many passengers, both rich and poor, but kept strictly separate from each other’s worlds, captivates us when a penniless stowaway, Leonardo DiCaprio meets and falls for the rich (well, soon to be rich) Kate Winslet, the hearts of the audience under the influence of this pervading theme music cannot help but cheer for them, despite the tragic future that unknowingly lies in wait to engulf them.
7. West Side Story
With Sondheim and Bernstein borrowing heavily from Shakespeare the soundtracks from this classic will never be forgotten by fans all over the world. This huge ensemble cast of talented actors along with the smooth script make this another film that will never be forgotten, and without the soundtrack, it could never have been made, at least not in the way that would make it a landmark in the history of filmmaking. An amazing tour de force from Rodgers and Hammerstein — unfortunately, to be their final work — will go down in movie history as one of the great films.
6. The Wizard of Oz
Harold Arlen’s ever popular hit songs filled out this charming film made so famous with its amazing cast, with Dorothy, Toto, The Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow, not to mention the mighty and all-powerful Wizard himself. This is one amongst the Top 10 Best Movie Soundtrack Songs of All Time until 2017.
5. The Godfather
Nino Rota’s lyrical soundtrack for the Godfather will remain with us always. Every nuance of this musical triumph evokes the life and times of The Godfather from his youth all the way to the present when we join the party to celebrate his daughter’s marriage.
4. Purple Rain
In his short lifespan, Prince stood out as one-of-a-kind with his unique take on the music industry and in this film, Purple Rain with its combination of off-beat songs winding up with Let’s Go Crazy, keep this film and the musical soundtrack in the running for all time.
3. A Fistful of Dollars
For us at least, we came to make an instant and loyal acquaintance with Ennio Morricone when Clint Eastwood’s innovative Man with No Name appearance in this film, a film that almost outshone the star with its hit soundtrack with this outing from Il Signore Morricone. His specialty seems apparently to be “spaghetti” Westerns (at least from our standpoint). This film and his other outings wouldn’t be the same without the clever and engrossing soundtracks from Il Signore Morricone.
These days, whenever menace is in the air, we’re likely to hear echoes of the nearby great white shark, just waiting to leap unexpectedly out of the waters to devour us, bite by bite. A haunting and almost frightening song from the eminent and distinguished composer, John Williams. Even the average citizen knows the opening of this unsettling theme music and is likely to begin to hum it whenever danger or imagined danger might be present. That music will outlive the shark by many many years, that’s for sure.
1. The Pink Panther
Henry Mancini’s classic music we know and love as The Pink Panther is a catchy and merry classic that continues to live long after this film and its sequels have been mostly forgotten. They should not, however, be forgotten, considering the innovative humor the late Peter Sellers brought to avid audiences all over the world, in particular, his clumsy, quickly recovering performances as Inspector Clouseau. And his relationship with his boss, the poor long-suffering Herbert Lom, will never be forgotten.
Used later in cartoons and of course, in commercials as well, The Pink Panther is a haunting melody that evokes the hilarious and memorable days of the late great Inspector Clouseau aka (applause) Peter Sellers.
So, these above are the Top 10 Best Movie Soundtrack Songs of All Time until 2017. Of course, with so many wonderful films having come out over the years and so many great soundtracks, every fan will have his or her own list of favorites. We love the happy tongue-in-cheek music from Ghostbusters and The Addams Family, La Bamba, Flashdance so many other wonderful film songs and great theme music but there just isn’t room to get in every possible choice to please each and every reader. But having researched the popular choices of thousands of film buffs, young and old alike, we’ve come up with this list of ten of the greatest movie musical soundtracks of all time. Not an easy task, but it had to be done.