The best film soundtracks – our top 5

We have put together a Top 5 list of the best film soundtracks in film cinema history for you. Every home cinema system should play these soundtracks at least once.

5th place in the best film soundtracks: Hans Zimmer – Interstellar (2014)

Hans Zimmer is one of Hollywood’s most productive and talented film composers, so it’s hard to commit to only one of his soundtracks. We decided on the compositions he created for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Zimmer, who was born in Frankfurt, presents the whole spectrum of his extraordinary abilities here. He composes soft sounds for the father-daughter story and lends the cosmic catastrophes and heroic deeds a tremendous impact. His approach to this film was particularly unconventional. In 2012, even before shooting began, Zimmer received a sheet of paper from Nolan with the basic plot. With this little information, the Oscar winner composed the main theme of the film. Particularly striking is the use of the great organ. Read more in our portrait of Hans Zimmer.

4th place: Cliff Martinez – Drive (2011)

With Drive, Dane Nicolas Winding Refn has created a film with cult potential. The film composer, and for a short time drummer with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cliff Martinez is responsible for the great soundtrack to the neo-noir thriller. He composed a velvety synth foundation and catchy melodies for the 80s neon aesthetic of the film. Martinez was also able to get the Chromatics and DJ Kavinsky on-board for the soundtrack. With a soundtrack of this quality it is almost welcomed that the hero of the story – played by Ryan Gosling – is something of a quiet type. Coincidentally, a perfect nighttime roadtrip soundtrack,

3rd place: Bernard Herrmann – Psycho (1960)

Bernard Herrmann composed the music for the most important Hitchcock films and therefore has a place in the Olympus of film musicians forever. One of his most formative stylistic devices was the use of brilliant strings. This really wears down the nerves of the audience in the legendary murder scene in Psycho. What is particularly curious is that Hitchcock is said to have made only one single specification to Herrmann about the film music: no music for the murder scene. It’s a good thing that Herrmann went against the great master in this case. The son of Jewish-Russian immigrants also wrote the music to Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. His last musical masterpiece was the film music for Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, which he finished shortly before his death.

2nd place: Ennio Morricone – The Untouchables (1987)

Whenever film music is appreciated, Ennio Morricone must not be missing. Milestones of the film music are his pieces to the Italian-western by Sergio Leone. The theme for Once upon a time in the West  is legendary and will forever compete with Bob Dylan’s Blowin’ in the Wind for the title “Most Famous Harmonica Melody Ever”. But we chose Morricone’s film music for The Untouchables by director Brian de Palma. Morricone has composed a brilliant, pathos-laden soundtrack for the story that follows Al Capone (Robert De Niro) and his opponent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner). The hunt for Al Capone never sounded better than in the main melody The Strength Of The Righteous.

1st place: John Williams – Star Wars

In our opinion John Williams has composed the best of all soundtracks in history. Maybe without his musical contribution (in the truest sense of the word) it would have been much quieter around Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Hardly any musician has influenced a film as much as John Williams has influenced the Star Wars saga. He consistently implemented a concept that assigns recurring motifs to individual characters and storylines. This concept is widespread in classical music, but until the first Star Wars film, was rarely seen in the cinema. In addition to the film music for Star Wars, the native New Yorker also composed soundtracks for Indiana Jones, Schindler’s List and Harry Potter.

The best film soundtracks – our top 5

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