Lots of times you hear people humming or mumbling music that you recognize, but for the life of you you cannot remember the name of the song or the band / composer, then it hits you…I must have heard it in a movie or on TV!
Some of these songs extend to a level beyond that; you still would not know the name of the song or the composer, yet you can immediately relate it to a movie or a TV show.
There are seriously hundreds of these, I chose to only list the top 15 recognizable ever based on experience with people from different ages and generations.
You will find them listed in chronological order depending on the year they became recognizable and famous, this also helps me avoid quarrels keeping in mind that logically speaking if a theme was a success and we still know it, it means that the oldest ones are the most recognizable ones simply because they have been out there longer
Needless to mention, all these pieces are converted to lowest possible quality due to copyrights and bandwidth restraints!
You definitely know this one but not so sure about the source What’s great is that your father does too, and your grandfather for that matter! And his father as well if he’s still alive. All I can say is: A masterpiece. This has been featured in numerous sports events and radio commercials and jingles, and undergone many reproductions.
Man I can’t believe this goes back to 1960. We all know the movie (and the crappy Arabic version Adel Imam did), what helped this piece become more famous is that Marlboro decided to adopt this theme to all its commercials. That music officially represents the red brand today. The newer generations who are not familiar with the song call it as the “Marlboro” song.
It all started in 1962, this piece was composed and performed and people could not stop loving it ever since. Then came 21 movies for James Bond and the 22nd is in production, any clues? this can seriously be the most recognizable movie theme ever. I have given credit to Monty Norman and not John Barry since he wrote the very first version, Barry has taken all the credit ever since because he continued to do the soundtracks for the movie series, still, the court had given credit to its rightful owner eventually.
This theme is a global phenomenon, especially with the return of mission impossible through Tom Cruise movies. And speaking of Mr Cruise, I would like to thank him for destroying everything I ever loved about MI, and extend my thanks to the lousy bands who performed the soundtracks for completely trashing what was a kick ass theme. Thank god people would still go back to the original!
Oh come on, who would not whistle this tune whenever pretending to hold a gun?
This has become “the west” national anthem rather than just a movie theme.
I can safely say anyone can recognize this theme from the very first two notes! It has won lots of awards which some of them are actually recent. Kudos for Mancini who by the way composes lots of other breathtaking music.
A magnificent piece in every version I heard, this has become the Mafia theme in general and a representation of wealth and power. Too bad the soundtrack was disqualified from the Oscars because Nino Rota recycled some parts he delivered to another Italian movie in the 50’s!
I would not say you would know this when you hear the first two notes…because the whole piece is two notes! The most famous two notes in history! Thank you Mr Williams. Even sharks are sick of this one, it seriously became directly associated to the poor creatures. If you ever encounter a shark in the sea, the music will automatically start playing in your head.
The pride of Lucasfilms and Mr Williams, again! They are to blame for why we grew up imagining listening to this piece in an X fighter radio player while shooting down some aliens and space emperors.
I think this one owes its success to the movie, and yet, you can easily mistake it for Star Wars. I mean…man…being a musician, I can tell you, it is the almost the exact same structure and progression ! Come on John…being commercial is good, but being too commercial is not! But thanks for proving that originality has nothing to do with popularity.
Ta ra ra raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ta ra raaaaaaa! This piece hasn’t only become the mascot of Indy, but also of any adventure in any possible genre or category of media. Williams… again.
Although a cartoon series and an old one, everyone seems to know this cool track! Even the older generation. Did you know that it was originally composed in French?
Well, the soundtrack has won an official award for best original music written for motion picture. The main theme title which is “Axel F” by Faltermeyer is so damn popular that it has been covered and remixed more than a hundred times!
Mr Tarantino, despite being known for super creativity and originality decided back then not to compose any music for this title. Instead he collected a number of hits to assemble the soundtrack. The main theme is a song titled “Misirlou” which dates back to 1963. The funny thing is that it sold much more after the movie rather than when it was first released. You will be surprised when you see it performed in 1963 by a band of youngsters, it must have been a revolution back then, Youtube it.
Although a very recent piece, many people believe that this one is going to stick for a long time. The massive success of the trilogy and its music is something that has not been witnessed for so long – since the 90’s! There are cults who live and breathe this movie and worship Captain Jack Sparrow.
I wanted to feature some video games music as well, like the main themes from Monkey Island and Leisure Suit Larry (who people mistake for Benny Hill Show theme), yet these are very specific to a certain generation of certain interests