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'Star Wars' Just Topped the ABC Classic 100 Countdown of the Best Film, TV and Game Scores

The force was strong with this countdown — and you've now got 100 iconic soundtracks to listen to.
By Sarah Ward
June 13, 2022
By Sarah Ward
June 13, 2022

Every January, ABC radio station Triple J counts down the hottest 100 tunes of the past year, and gives Australians a new go-to playlist for the next few months. Now, fellow station ABC Classic has gifted fans of movie, television and video game music their own version — the Classic 100: Music for the Screen, which just named the best scores and soundtracks that've echoed from screens big and small over the decades.

The Classic 100 isn't new. It's been around for two decades, in fact, and threw Beethoven some love back in 2021. For 2022, however, the countdown has solely honed in on music from films and TV, plus the gaming realm. To the surprise of no one, the winner game from a galaxy far, far away.

Yes, John Williams' additions to all things Star Wars topped the list, because the force was clearly with this poll — which, like the Triple J Hottest 100, was voted for by listeners. Coming in second was Howard Shore's efforts for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, while iconic Italian composer Ennio Morricone's score for 1986 film The Mission took out third spot. Muggles and wizards alike must've cast their votes for the Harry Potter series in fourth, recognising the work of John Williams, Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper, and Alexandre Desplat. And John Williams took fifth spot, too, for Schindler's List.

Other highlights include the late Vangelis' Chariots of Fire score, John Williams (again) for Jurassic Park, and Ramin Djawadi's work on Game of Thrones — all in the top ten. And yes, Williams popped up a lot. He was also recognised for the Indiana Jones series (11th), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (42nd), Superman (55th) and Jaws (57th).

Among the other standouts, Doctor Who came in 12th, the music for The Legend of Zelda series notched 23rd spot, Blade Runner sat at 36th, The Godfather trilogy at 41st and Back to the Future at 47th. Or, there's the wonderful and strange sounds of Twin Peaks at 50th, the Super Mario series at 52nd, The Princess Bride at 59th, the Final Fantasy games at 64th, The Simpsons at 70th and the James Bond theme at 72nd. Also on the list: Pokémon at 75th, Bluey at 83rd, Bernard Herrmann's stellar Psycho tunes at 84th and Daft Punk's exceptional Tron: Legacy score in 89th place.

Studio Ghibli was well-represented, with Howl's Moving Castle at 21st, Spirited Away at 32nd and My Neighbour Totoro at 66th. Hans Zimmer was too, with nine showings — for the Pirates of the Caribbean (6th), Gladiator (19th), Interstellar (27th), both versions of The Lion King (sharing 28th place), Inception (49th), The Crown (65th), 2021's Dune (74th), Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy (75th) and Dunkirk (95th).

Yes, you've now got 100 iconic soundtracks to listen to. And if you missed the countdown live, you can still work your way through it via the ABC Classic website.

For the full ABC Classic 100 Countdown, head to the ABC Classic website.

Published on June 13, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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