• Categories

Vanilla 1.1.4 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

  1. There’s probably already a thread for this, but when I was listening to The Land Before Time and hearing Diana Ross sing the main theme with lyrics, it got me thinking of some of the movie themes that made their way to being turned into a song with lyrics. Either done by the composer (looking at you James Horner) and appears at the end of the movie itself or was later adapted to fit a song with lyrics (looking at you Josh Groban). Excluding musicals (since that's part of their whole gig), what are some of the best songs that have come out of film themes? I know there are SO many!

    A few of the obvious ones off the top of my head that really hit the main stream:

    You’re Still You from Maléna
    My Heart Will Go On from Titanic

    Some of my other favorites are two operatic ones:

    Nella Fantasia by Russell Watson (Gabriel’s Oboe from Morricone’s The Mission)
    Il Gladiatore by Russell Watson (Zimmer’s Gladiator)

    Watson also sings two other songs written around movies themes:

    Pelegia’s Song (Stephan Warbeck’s Captain Corelli’s Mandolin)
    You’ll Still Be There For Me (Carter Burwell’s Rob Roy)

    But neither are all that good with lyrics in my opinion.

    What are some others that come to mind?
    • CommentTimeSep 5th 2020 edited
    John Williams used to do the opposite in the 60s - i.e. taking a song composed by someone else, and then arranging and using it as an instrumental theme in his underscore (DIAMOND HEAD, GIDGET GOES TO ROME, VALLEY OF THE DOLLS etc.). Later on, he got to make his own songs that he also used as themes (FITZWILLY, GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN, PENELOPE, NOT WITH MY WIFE YOU DON'T etc.).

    Of course, this is occasionally true for his later work as well. You mentioned Josh Groban, and there's "For Always" from A.I., "Somewhere in My Memory" and "Star of Bethlehem" from the HOME ALONEs and so on.

    Beyond Williams, there are tons of examples - although it's not always clear what came first: the theme or the song?

    "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" from ROBIN HOOD
    "God Bless Us Everyone" from A CHRISTMAS CAROL
    "Mio My Mio" from MIO IN THE LAND OF FARAWAY
    All the Julee Cruise stuff from TWIN PEAKS
    "The Little Things" from WANTED

    ...etc etc.

    A frustrating thing sometimes, is that these songs may result in an over-exposure of what is initially a gorgeous theme - like in the case of TITANIC, THE MISSION or ROBIN HOOD. The great themes by Horner, Morricone and Kamen are often overshadowed by their song counterpart.

    But you just gave me a great playlist idea! smile
    I am extremely serious.
  2. These are some great examples that I totally forgot about! And you're totally right about the song overshadowing the great theme sometimes!

    I forgot about "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)" - that Bryan Adams song is much more famous than the original theme.

    I remembered "Can You Read My Mind" from Superman: The Movie is one - not sure if it got much airplay when the film came out, but it's definitely one of Williams' themes put with lyrics. And I have the sheet music with some lady's face on the front. Maureen McGovern? Haven't heard of her.

    Horner probably did it the most? Like from THE PERFECT STORM - "Yours Forever" sung by John Mellencamp

    I'd love to see your playlist when you're finished making it!
  3. Another one to add to the list is the song "Love Is Where You Are" performed by Gigi Worth - it's the main theme from Mark Isham's At First Sight.