The website The Hollywood Reporter gathered a selection of film music experts, composers and film music industry types to publish a list of the 100 greatest film scores of all time.
Here are the top 10:
01 – Godfather by Nino Rota (1972)
02 – Jaws by John Williams (1975)
03 – Star Wars by John Williams (1977)
04 – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly by Ennio Morricone (1966)
05 – Psycho by Bernard Herrmann (1960)
06 – E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial by John Williams (1982)
07 – Lawrence of Arabia by Maurice Jarre (who happens to be Jean Michel Jarre’s father) (1962)
08 – Gone With the Wind by Max Steiner (1939)
09 – Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams (1982)
10 – Chinatown by Jerry Goldsmith (1974)
Notice a few interesting things:
-40% of the top 10 scores were composed by John Williams (which i find kind of silly since i happen not to be crazy about his scores, although he has composed some really cool themes.. i mean, who can’t hum the Star Wars theme?)
-The newest Top 10 score as selected by the jury, was composed in 1982. This means that in more than 25 years, film composers have been wasting their time, as none of them have been able to crack the jury’s “top 10″. This is probably due, not to the quality of newer film scores, but to the demografic of the film selection jury, which is mostly composed of people approaching middle age, who probably think new film scores are just not as good as the “good old ones,” just like most people of their generation yearn for Classic Rock, etc.
-The scores in the top 100 are mostly for very popular “pop” movies and by very popular “pop” film composers. You are not going to find any indie film composers such a Angelo Milli (who did one of my favorite scores for the movie Satanas) on the list.
-Hooray for Electronic music cracking the top 20 with Vangelis with his Chariots of Fire score ranking at #18. Vangelis also ranks again at #35 for his score of 1982 sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner.
A few interesting scores that cracked the top 100 are
32 – Batman by Danny Elfman (1989)
53 – Shaft by Isaac Hayes (1971)
70 – Blue Velvet by Angelo Badalamenti (1986)
77 – Beetle Juice by Danny Elfman (1988)
88 – The Matrix by Don Davis (1999)
97 – Woman in the Dunes by Toru Takemitsu (1964)
Notably absent are :
-The soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is basically a remix of different classical music pieces by different composers, decades before remixes were popularized.
-Disco mastermind Georgio Moroder’s groundbreaking, Oscar winning Midnight Express soundtrack (1978)
-Andrey Dergatchev’s score for The Return