Helen San’s Top 50 Movie Scores from the 80’s

I like soundtracks and I listen to The Soundcast podcast quite often. I recently listened to a podcast where the usual cast discussed the top movie scores from the 80’s. As usual, they had an entertaining discussion about lots of movie scores; many of which I had never heard, or considered checking out.

One of the regulars on The Soundcast is Helen San, who happens to like my favourite animated TV series “Avatar: The Last Airbender“, and recommended one of my favourite scores of all time “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas“. The music for Avatar actually started my resurgence of interest in soundtracks. Helen has put a list of her top 50 80’s scores on YouTube, and I have transcribed it here for reference (with lots of useful links).

  1. Conan The Barbarian (1982) – Basil Poledouris
  2. The Mission (1986) – Ennio Morricone
  3. Batman – Danny Elfman
  4. Krull (1983) – James Horner
  5. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) – Harold Faltermeyer
  6. Back to the Future (1985) – Alan Silvestri
  7. Glory (1989) – James Horner
  8. High Road to China (1983) – John Barry
  9. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – John Williams
  10. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) –  John Williams
  11. The Last Starfighter (1984) – Craig Safan
  12. The Untouchables (1987) –  Ennio Morricone
  13. Cherry 2000 (1987) –  Basil Poledouris
  14. Farewell to the King (1989) – Basil Poledouris
  15. Goonies (1985) – Dave Grusin / Cyndi Lauper
  16. Black Rain (1989) – Hanz Zimmer
  17. The Blue Lagoon (1980) –  Basil Poledouris
  18. Out of Africa (1985) –  John Barry
  19. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan –  James Horner
  20. An American Tail –  James Horner
  21. Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – John Williams
  22. Star Wars VI: The Return Of The Jedi (1983) –  John Williams
  23. Something wicked this way comes (1983) –  James Horner
  24. The Little Mermaid (1989) – Alan Menken
  25. Rambo: First Blood (1982) – Jerry Goldsmith
  26. The Terminator (1984) – Brad Fiedel
  27. The Princess Bride (1987)- Mark Knopfler
  28. Big (1988) – Howard Shore
  29. The Fly (1986) – Howard Shore
  30. The Beastmaster (1982) – Lee Holdridge
  31. RoboCop (1987) – Basil Poledouris
  32. Flesh & Blood (1985) – Basil Poledouris
  33. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) – James Horner
  34. Red Dawn (1984) – Basil Poledouris
  35. Willow (1988) –  James Horner
  36. Rain Man (1988) – Hanz Zimmer
  37. Born on Fourth of July (1989)  John Williams
  38. The Big Blue (1988) – Bill Conti
  39. Scrooged (1988) – Danny Elfman
  40. The ‘Burbs (1989) – Jerry Goldsmith
  41. Amazons (1984) – Basil Poledouris
  42. Splash (1984) – Lee Holdridge
  43. Cocoon (1985) – James Horner
  44. Gorky Park (1983) – James Horner
  45. Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) – Craig Safan
  46. Hoosiers (1986) – Jerry Goldsmith
  47. The Dark Crystal (1982) – Trevor Jones
  48. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) – Jerry Goldsmith
  49. Tron (1982) – Wendy Carlos
  50. Beetlejuice (1988) – Danny Elfman

If I only had time to check these out…