Great dialogue could arguably be the best part about a movie. But the art of the motion picture far pre-dates recorded audio and was once reliant on the magic of music.

Soundtracks can not only make or break a film, but also decide how memorable or iconic they will be.

While the purpose of a soundtrack is often overly simplified to setting the mood or assisting in tell a story, some (if not most) often stand in their own right as works of art, spinning their own tale. So if you’re tired of your usual music and need something new to listen to, follow our weekly as we begin from the pre-’60s to the 2000s for some of the most iconic, and moving scores.

While there are a great many soundtracks in existence, we’re limiting the list to original scores. Meaning, only music without lyrics, and the track has to have been specifically written for the show/movie. (So no The Blue Danube even though it’s epic.)

Behold, the pre-60s!!

The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941)

Bernard Herrman will leave you clinging on to the edge of your seat, with his brilliant composition for The Devil and Daniel Webster. The soundtrack paints the eerie atmosphere in the story of a man who frantically tries to escape after he sells his soul to the devil.

Herrman proves his great ear for innovative music in ‘Sleigh Ride’, where he dubs and overlays numerous versions of the same song played by a fiddler, to truly make you feel fearful at the levels of power and seduction that the devil possesses. This is a truly terrifying addition that needs to be in your playlist.

Be careful when you dance with the devil though, nothing will make your hair stand at the sound of sleigh bells quite like this track.

Now, Voyager (1942)

Max Steiner brought life to traditional orchestra with the sublime score that was made for Now, Voyager. The score is one that will tug at your heartstrings as it follows the story of a character as she struggles to find love externally, by loving internally first.

The melodramatic piece likely to appeal to you no matter your background – it will force you to set sail by picking out your insecurities and come to terms with them.

Send this to a friend