The Greatest Soundtracks: The ’60s

Star Trek (1966-1969)

If you have watched the movies, you have definitely taken notice of how flawlessly the soundtrack manages to capture narrative storytelling in its own rights, while concurrently (and not confusingly) painting Star Trek.

The theme in Star Trek: The Original Series, written by Alexander Courage was what truly set the bar for everything that followed for the Star Trek franchise, visible from how it has been recreated, adapted, and stuck throughout the years. Look forward to the seamless blending of suspense with strong motifs and the iconic, recurring eerie drone-like noises that make the franchise’s music to come. Whether you’re a fan or not, this soundtrack has, and will always be your friend!

Mission Impossible (1966-1973)

Anyone trying to to beat this reverberating theme would be on an impossible mission. The theme, written by jazz-pianist Lalo Schifrin was originally created for the Mission: Impossible TV Series, and has since received more acknowledgement with every appearance in the Mission: Impossible franchise, having been adapted and used in the franchise’s movies.

Prepare to have your heart racing as the soundtrack takes you in a dimension of action-packed, impossible storytelling, all with the pounding bass piano riffs and the brilliant orchestral palette of the 1960s that see no need for synthesizers or electronics. If you’re getting bored at work maybe listening to this will kick the challenge up a notch for you.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)

The composition by Ennio Morricone for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is more than just good, it’s the best! Morricone explores levels of melancholy with moving arrangement of sweeping western brass combined with roaring percussion and haunting vocals.

The mesmerising soundtrack has a shape of its own, capturing ecstatic beauty and vibrance in a manner that is so sensitive, it will move you to tears. Before you add this to your playlist, be prepared – you are committing to having your emotions stripped, exposed and vulnerable by this vast and stirring soundtrack.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Much of the experience watching a horror film is not as terrifying when you hit mute on the sound. This is especially so with the extra-harrowing soundtrack of horror classic Rosemary’s Baby. Feel your skin crawl as Krzysztof Komeda uses a dark, disquieting type of jazz to tell the story of Rosemary’s discovery about her eerie baby.

The music for Rosemary’s baby remains one of the most memorable horror soundtracks, due to its wonderful storytelling abilities and ability to combine demonic tension with dreamy, misfortunate tragedy. Even if you have a penchant for horror movies, the soundtrack for Rosemary’s Baby, especially Mia Farrow’s voice in the “La-la-la-llaby” (Lullaby!) will only keep you awake all night with blood-curdling visions of a coven standing around your bed.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

The soundtrack for Midnight Cowboy by John Barry will definitely strike you as pleasant and memorable, with its haunting and melancholy calypso-Western tunes, and an insane harmonica solo that is hard to miss.

This soundtrack is more experimental for John Barry’s style, which is typically heavily laced with brass and strings – Midnight Cowboy was his attempt at integrating famous pop acts with harmonisation of the late 60s. The soundtrack intensely follows the film’s characters and their endeavours through poverty in the harsh realities of modern day New York.

If you focus hard enough on the soundtrack, you will experience comfort so warm and bittersweet that it is almost psychedelic.

With his wonderful work on the film, it’s a bummer he didn’t receive any on-screen credit.

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kids (1969)

The Remake:
Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kids was an embodiment of the rebellious 60s, following the story of free-spirited rogues. As glorious as the movie was, it would not have been as great without the Burt Bacharach’s dense, multilayered soundtrack.

The short, 26 minute soundtrack is perfect for an infectious pick-me-up on your way to work especially if you’re a fan of dreamy, baroque pop. Brace yourself for the saccharine vocals and swaying waltz rhythm as Bacharach gives you the best, most enjoyable of American pop.

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