The Top 10 Movie Songs of All Time

Ed Nathanson
4 min readFeb 12, 2021


As I was humming the theme to Jurassic Park for what seems like the 10,000th time this morning, I thought a great idea for a blog would be to tackle the greatest songs in movie history. There are so many great movie songs throughout the history of film. A great theme or soundtrack adds a much needed extra element to any great movie. Some of the best selling albums of all time have been movie soundtracks (Saturday Night Fever anyone?). As with all my lists, this is according to me. Not album sales, not box office gross. Simply put — these are the movie tunes I love the most. Let’s just say you will be seeing A LOT of John Williams on this list. Let’s do this:

1. “You’re the best around” — The Karate Kid Soundtrack — The All Valley Karate Tournament. Daniel-san ready to fight courtesy of an awesome training montage with Miyagi. The evil Cobra Kai taunting him as he prepares. This song plays throughout Daniel-san’s rise through the tournament ranks — kicking one Cobra Kai’s ass after the other. Chills city. Listen and watch here!

2. “The Imperial March” — The Empire Strikes Back Soundtrack — I thought about the Star Wars theme and also Duel of The Fates, but this song remains the most iconic from all of the great Star Wars music made. Darth Vader was the ultimate villain and this song accompanied him every time he appeared. When you heard this song watching the Star Wars movies you knew what was coming. First John Williams appearance on this list. Listen and watch here!

3. “The Natural Theme” — The Natural Soundtrack — ESPN and any other sports coverage still uses this song some 35 years after the movie first appeared — and rightly so. Randy Newman, of “I Love LA” fame, wrote the most amazing sports movie tune ever. Simple, but inspiring and builds to a truly epic crescendo. This song plays in the best scene of the movie (and in other scenes too) when Roy Hobbs, against all odds, smacks the most amazing home-run in movie history. Every time I listen to it I get the chills. Listen and watch here!

4. “Going The Distance” — Rocky II Soundtrack — I know some of you will say “Gonna Fly Now” is the better choice from the Rocky lexicon, but I disagree. While that songs is amazing, this tune from Rocky II is the ultimate pump up song from the best training montage ever put on film. Adrian, waking up from a coma after giving birth, sees Rocky. They exchange some beautiful words. He says to her he won’t fight again and asks what he can do for her. She says one word to him — “Win” and cue this tune. Awesome is not a strong enough word for this moment. As Mickey said: “What are we waiting fah?” — Listen and watch here!

5. “The Indiana Jones Theme” — Raiders of The Lost Ark Soundtrack — Everyone loves Indy. Probably one of the coolest heroes in movie history for sure (doesn’t hurt that he is played by Han fricking Solo). Great theme song that encapsulates why we all loved him. Cool, fun and classic. John Williams second appearance on this list. Listen and watch here!

6. “The Superman Theme” — Superman Soundtrack — It’s no secret I am a massive Superman dork. But Superman fan or no — this is the best superhero theme of all time — bar none. It was so epic that when Bryan Singer made “Superman Returns” (not as bad as people think) some 20 years after the original, he decided to use the song again because it was too iconic and too attached in the public conscious to use anything else. John Williams third appearance on this list. Listen and watch here!

7. “Mrs. Robinson” — The Graduate Soundtrack — While this movie was popular before my time and in my opinion doesn’t age very well, this song is one of the all time greats and is still, even after 50 years, married to this movie in people’s minds. Written and performed by Simon and Garfunkel — it is an amazing song and perfect for the movie and time period it represents. Listen and watch here!

8. “Staying Alive” — The Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack — Even kids today know this song which epitomized the Disco era. When you hear this you immediately think of young John Travolta in the white suit, busting some sweet moves on the multicolor dance floor and strutting down the street eating pizza. I love the Bee Gees and this is them at their peak. Listen and watch here!

9. “Don’t you (forget about me)– The Breakfast Club Soundtrack — The Breakfast club is one of those rare 80s movies that actually still feels relevant and not dated. 5 kids (and 5 high school stereotypes) — detention on a Saturday with a dick teacher having to keep them in check. Classic 80’s movie formula. This song is the anthem of the movie and is a great tune in it’s own right. Listen and watch here!

10. (TIE) The Jurassic Park Theme — Jurassic Park Soundtrack — I might be under the influence here in having watched these movies a lot lately, but the song is undeniably epic and feels perfect for the awe and terror of Dinosaurs being alive (cool!) and then eating people (not so cool!). John Williams appearance number 4. This guy is absolutely brilliant and I haven’t even listed so many more examples of his amazing music. Listen and watch here!

10. (TIE) The James Bond Theme — Any James Bond Soundtrack — James Bond is one of the coolest cats to ever grace the screen. From Connery to Craig — all men wanted to be him and all women wanted to be with him. The man with the smarts and the muscle to kick any global terrorist’s ass and get the girl every time. This song encapsulates all of this and is one of the most iconic movie tunes ever written. Too amazing to leave off this list, hence the tie here. Listen and watch here!

Drops mic.