There are those songs you only need to hear one note of before you start belting out the melody, and science fiction is full of them. Here’s our list of the most recognizable tunes science fiction has to offer:
The truth is, when we’re thinking about the most recognizable tunes of science-fiction, there is a high chance it was written by John Williams, and it should be no surprise that he tops the list with ‘Jurassic Park.’ Why? Because I challenge anyone to not freaking bawl when they hear this. Who doesn’t get flashbacks to the helicopter leaving the island of wonder behind, knowing full well that the great experiment is over… that Jurassic Park has fallen, and you’re lucky you’re still alive and suddenly like kids. Not to get too deep, but so much hope is silenced in this theme but reignited at the same time. Dr. Grant’s research, John Hammond’s dream of a park for everyone, are reflected and extinguished in just this one theme. The feels! The dinosaur feels!
Don’t deny it. One protracted high note on the strings, and three midi notes in, you are standing up and reciting “Space, the final frontier” as if you were Jean Luc freakin’ Picard. You not only know the first notes, you know the freaking speech that goes along with it. I don’t even doubt you know the order of credits and the exact point in which the Enterprise speeds away at warp.
Granted, if I wanted to be honest, more of these songs would be from ‘Star Wars.’ From the actual theme to the Cantina song, there are very few tunes in all the ‘Star Wars’ soundtracks that wouldn’t be immediately recognizable. So when it comes to ‘Star Wars,’ the question isn’t so much “Do we all know this song?” and more of “Which songs do more of us know?” and I’d be willing to bet it’s ‘The Imperial March.’ I actually had a friend walk down the aisle to this song… and yes, nearly ten years later, they are still married.
Nevertheless, no one hears this song without starting to trying to breath like they only have half a lung, and I think that means something.
My roommates once named their fish that glowed in the dark ” Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Flash Ah-ah Savior of the Universe.” All we had to do was start with the “Da da da,” and people automatically guessed where we were going with the name. That’s right. That’s how recognizable this song is. When my friend is referring to the name of his fish, which is definitely no where near being related to this famous 80s film, people can guess the song after three off-key “da”s. But then again, it was written by Queen. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this cheesy scifi theme is as damn catchy as it is.
Is there a man or woman among us who doesn’t hear these French horns, and ask the age old question: “Is it a bird?”
By the way, if you’re keeping count, this is three John Williams songs on this list.
So, ‘Doctor Who’ had about forty years to solidify their theme song in the hearts and minds of its fans, so it’s hard to say if it’s recognizable because it was played so much, or if because it is actually catchy. Psyche. Of course it’s catchy. It’s also one of the first examples of electronic music being used for TV, which makes it even more badass. ‘Doctor Who‘ took its scifi-ness so seriously that it included it into its own music.
‘2001: A Space Odyssey’
Everyone knows this song. Everyone. What’s more interesting is that of all the songs on this list, this one was not written for the film. Nope. This is a Richard Strauss song that Stanley Kubrick decided to use while showing monkeys cracking bones, and now there is no way to escape it. We will always think of this song when we think of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ We’ll always think of it when we see things that sort of look like the Washington Monument, and we will always think of it when we see floating space babies.
Okay, ‘Ghostbusters‘ isn’t exactly sci-fi, but it uses science to defeat ghosts, so in the same vein I included Superman because he’s an alien, I will forever use flimsy pretexts to compile this list.
But yes, the ‘Ghostbusters’ theme. Who can forget it? Who doesn’t answer any question with the words “who” and “call” in it with “Ghostbusters? That’s right. No one. NO ONE.
So there’s our list. Which songs would you add or remove? Let us in the comments below!