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Non-Williams scores that the “general public” might recognize


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He’s responsible for so many that the average person on the street might know.

 

But what are some non-Williams scores that have impacted pop culture than the general public might know?

 

Ones I can think of:

 

Psycho- shower scene. EVERYONE knows that bit. Even if they don’t know where it’s from. 

Magnificent Seven- Could be a stretch. They would know it’s a western at least. 

Pirates of the Caribbean - “He’s a Pirate” Probably the most recent  theme to cement itself in the general movie-going public conscious.  

Good, Bad, and the Ugly - Main Title. It’s been parodied so many times. Most people would recognize this but might not know where it’s from.

Rocky- Play that opening overture and everyone starts running up some stairs and doing push-ups;)

 

What are some others?

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He’s responsible for so many that the average person on the street might know.   But what are some non-Williams scores that have impacted pop culture than the general public might know?

The Twilight Zone theme (if TV scores count) Mission: Impossible theme (also TV) I think even most non-nerds could identify both Courage's and Goldsmith's themes as Star Trek The

Titanic, LOTR, Bond, and, on the TV world, Game of Thrones.

The non-song version of "My Heart Will Go On" is another. It is, after all, a love theme written originally by Horner that just happens to be more popular in its Celine Dion version. But everyone would recognize it without vocals too.

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  • The Twilight Zone theme (if TV scores count)
  • Mission: Impossible theme (also TV)
  • I think even most non-nerds could identify both Courage's and Goldsmith's themes as Star Trek
  • The main theme from Back to the Future
  • I don't know if the average person would be able to identify where exactly it's from, but they'd probably recognize 'The Final Game', from Goldsmith's Rudy, because it gets played at sporting events pretty regularly, at least in the U.S.
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It's a very optimistic thread run by film music nerds who overestimate the recognizability of themes outside of their own generation and region.

 

I wouldn't bet my money on a west-wide, cross-generational, high double digit recognizability of any themes other than

Psycho and Bond - the former without source, the latter perhaps with.

Chariots of Fire could be recognizable, but most wouldn't have guessed that there was any film behind it.

 

Most people don't even know (the music of) Spielberg films or Star Wars.

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There is a reason why so many JW themes are recognizable .
beyond his

great talent.

He uses song structure in his main titles:

Fanfare

Intro.

A theme

Chorus.

B theme

Bridge

Bridge

Finale

 

In earlier eras these themes would often become big hits when lyrics were added .

EXODUS ...DR. ZHIVAGO...LOVE STORY.

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I thought The Terminator theme was recognizable enough to the general public, but I played it the other day on a synthesizer around some folks in their 40s and 50s and none knew what it was....so I guess not The Terminator. 

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5 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

In general I wonder why from the so called golden era there are hardly popular tunes in film scores apart from songs that everybody recognizes. Gone with the Wind might be an exception. 

 

Well, there's "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling" from HIGH NOON at the tailend of the Golden Age, which became a huge hit at the time. I doubt many know of its origin today, or even back then, for that matter -- but it's generally considered the first film song with massive crossover effect.

 

Same is true, although to a lesser extent, with David Raksin's theme song from LAURA (1944).

 

To say nothing of THE WIZARD OF OZ!

 

So there were popular film tunes back then that practically everybody recognized, and that got air time on the radio.

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4 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

As I wrote, songs of course worked always well. But score apart from instrumentals of songs seem not to have become popular tunes.

Because that was before the 1977 melodic revolution in film music, and even before the Mancini revolution.

 

There are some good tunes here and there:

 

Mildred Pierce:

Anthony Adverse:

https://youtu.be/vtBfBlJMSt0?t=241 Anthony's Theme

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kk1ZdT-1u6A Love Theme

 

 

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Most of the hits were in some way associated with a song as I mentioned.

GBU is a rare purely instrumental hit.

" Pink Panther" " Baby Elephant walk" we're hits

I think many folks would still recognize PP

 

 

In the 60s soundtracks like WSS and SOM sold more than pop stars like the BEATLES.

It was an ADULT market.

In the 70 s it switched to a youth audience with rock and disco scores and then , of course SW changed things again

 

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2 hours ago, Edmilson said:

Anyone mentioned The X-Files? It has an iconic, beloved theme, that became synonimous with alien investigations.

Thats a good one.

The tv title song vanished soon after when commercial overload reduced the running time to forty minutes.:(

3 hours ago, bruce marshall said:

There was a hilarious bit on SNL where Bill Murray, playing a lounge singer added words to SW and VE3K;

 

" Star Wars, those near and far wars, if they could bar wars..."

 

" The first encounter..."

😅

 

If you don't want to hear his dynamic rendition of " 2001,, skip to 6:00

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Definitely:

 

Titanic

Good Bad And The Ugly

Rocky

Halloween

 

Potentially:

 

Godfather

Terminator

Back To The Future

Forrest Gump

Braveheart

Friday The 13th

Gone With The Wind

Psycho

Beverly Hills Cop

Chariots Of Fire

Avengers

Mission Impossible

 

I think a lot of it comes down to your generation. For instance, Gen X would definitely know Police Academy, but would Millennials?

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17 hours ago, The Big Man said:

The Flintstones

Thats a song AND a television show.

Obey the rules!

On 12/3/2020 at 12:10 PM, bruce marshall said:

There was a hilarious bit on SNL where Bill Murray, playing a lounge singer added words to SW and VE3K;

 

" Star Wars, those near and far wars, if they could bar wars..."

 

" The first encounter..."

😅

I embedded the clip but it vanished!

??????

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I guess it depends on which movies you’ve seen. And even then, there are some movies you guys have mentioned which I have seen but can’t for the life of me remember the theme. The only ones mentioned in this thread that I could immediately call to memory are:

 

James Bond
Gone with the Wind (Tara)
The Lord of the Rings (Fellowship + Shire)
Star Trek TMP (but for the longest time I associated it with TNG)

 

Mission Impossible - but that’s from TV
Sleeping Beauty - but that‘s from ballet - and DIsney songified it

 

Other Disney themes? Most are songs, but not all.

 

How about Robin Hood 1938? No clue how many people know it, but it was a staple in our house.

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Though why limit it to movies? In video games there's a melodic genius by the name of Nobuo Uematsu.

 

Kind of Uematsu-esque, I always thought the choir of just V - V - iv, V - V - iv in 13th Warrior was incredibly catchy as a main theme or hook people remember in a movie, it just never became popular. Nothing people would sing or anything, just something they would remember.

 

 

I mean that's just as catchy as duel of fates lol, just way more efficient.

 

Then I think people easily recognize the score of this film:

 

 

@bruce marshallU need to study more Uematsu, my friend.

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