TOP 13 BEST MAIN THEMES

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

Theme Song by Patrick DeRemer and owned by Walt Disney Records

 

Welcome to MUSICAL MARCH MADNESS!!!!!!Main themes are very important if not the most important aspect of the musical score. It is supposed to be a theme that embodies everything that the work in question is supposed to be about. They can range from being simple to really complex and meaningful to just fun. There are so many great main themes that I know for a fact many good ones were left out and I apologize if your favorite didn’t make it. Now before I begin the list there is criteria. One is that this is film and video games only, not TV. The other is that they can be instrumental or actual songs. Also there will be no themes that are tied to a character in other words no Batman or Superman. I consider those character themes not main themes I will be talking about those next time.  And last is that I have a composer bias and certain composers will fill up a lot of the slots and that will occur throughout the event. Now without any further ado here are the TOP 13 BEST MAIN THEMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

#13 Main Theme of Final Fantasy 1 music by Nobuo Uematsu

And Where Mermaids Dwell music and lyrics by: unlisted

The Main Theme to the original RPG classic Final Fantasy 1 is a basic yet very timeless and catchy theme. It gets the player excited and raring to go on a journey to restore light to 4 crystals and save the world. It perfectly captured the sense of wonder and imagination that no one had experienced in an RPG before.  And is a perfect way to begin this list.

Now as for Where Mermaids Dwell if you recall during Mermaid Month I talked about this song before. It was part of a Little Mermaid album called “Songs From the Sea” which told its own self contained story that is told virtually all in song. This is the finale song and I believe that it is the true theme song to the Atlantican universe (as much as I love it Under the Sea is overrated!!!!). It’s as if you’re dreaming and the Sirens of mythology are calling you to experience the magical world of Atlantica. It’s just great!

#12 Kiss Me Goodbye music by Nobuo Uematsu and lyrics by Angela Aki

The theme song to Final Fantasy XII. Now I don’t even like Final Fantasy XII all that much, but I’ve got to admit this song is great! It’s composed by my favorite composer Nobuo Uematsu and the lyrics are written by the songs performer one of my favorite singers, Angela Aki! Her voice is amazing! Such beauty is given to this theme. It’s a song that kind of signals the end and that the heroes are going their separate ways. A great ending song!

#11 The JAWS Theme music by John Williams

I believe that this piece needs no introduction. This is one of those themes that found its way into the mainstream culture. Everyone knows this theme. Now you could argue that this is a character theme because it’s the shark’s theme and the shark is a character, but this is much more than that. This theme creates the terror and the sense of dread throughout the film even when the shark isn’t shown. When all the other character themes play you know you’re going to see the character in a few seconds. With JAWS you don’t see him for more than half the film theme or no theme ( I know about the mechanical failures and that’s why the shark wasn’t shown but still). All in all the theme gives off the emotions of the experience not necessarily the shark itself. A great theme that made us afraid to go in the water.

#10 Melodies of Life music by Nobuo Uematsu lyrics by Alexander O. Smith

from Japanese lyrics by Hiroyuki Ito

The theme song to Final Fantasy IX. Now I’ve had multiple people tell me that this sounds like a Disney princess song and I have to correct them by saying it’s the theme song to an epic fantasy video game. However I can kind of see why they would think that especially with the version I provided here. It’s such an uplifting song and it’s sung by the beautiful sounding Susan Calloway. This comes from an extremely popular concert called Distant Worlds. It’s basically Fantasia with Final Fantasy music with a live orchestra and a montage of clips from the games projected on a screen. This version of the song begins with the menu them A Place to Call Home. The best version of an already great song!

#9 Eyes on Me music by Nobuo Uematsu and lyrics by Kako Someya

Angela Aki Version

The theme song to Final Fantasy VIII. This is a theme that actually tells a story. It tells the story of an unrequited love between a bar singer named Julia Heartilly and a soldier named Laguna Loire. The love does eventually come to pass in the form of their children from other marriages. The night Laguna confessed his love to Julia he didn’t have time for a date or even a wedding and was called to duty. He was injured and never returned from the mission. Presuming Laguna died Julia wrote a song about the man she loved (this song in fact), but did move on and married someone else and had a daughter named Rinoa. Laguna was actually alive, but was in a coma for awhile and didn’t wake up until long after Julia moved on and eventually died. Laguna falls in love with a woman named Raine and they have a son named Squall. After Raine dies and Laguna goes on a mission to rescue someone and eventually gets wrapped up in presidential duties that he can’t return. Squall follows his path and Rinoa follows her path and the two meet and in the course of the actual game fall in love. There’s a lot more backstory, but I’ve wasted enough time now back to the song. The song tells the story and circumstances of how Julia and Laguna fell in love. Although the lyrics are kind of weird the message is still conveyed very well and the right emotions are conveyed. It’s an excellent song and one that you can snuggle up to your significant other with. Here are two versions of the song. One is the original version sung by Chinese pop star Fey Wong and the other is by Angela Aki on piano. I love the original, but I prefer Angela Aki’s version better. Just saying.

#8 Ghostbusters Theme music and lyrics by Ray Parker Jr.

Again I’m sure no introduction is necessary. This is one catchy theme. It’s pure nostalgia and 80s awesomeness! If you’re house is haunted and the paranormal experts you call aren’t playing this song full blast on the car stereo when they show up they’re probably not REAL paranormal experts. This theme is so good the Nostalgia Critic used it when he was trying to capture Casper. There’s really nothing to say other than the fact that it’s awesome and it needs to be on the list!

#7 Tank music by Yoko Kanno

The theme to Cowboy Bebop is awesome! The level of energy gets the viewer pumped to watch the show and it also gets you into the film noire aspects of the genre. It’s incredibly energetic and a blast to listen to. It is one of Yoko Kanno’s best work!

#6 Zanarkand music by Nobuo Uematsu

The main theme to Final Fantasy X. I really like Final Fantasy X. Want to know what I like more than Final Fantasy X? The music of Final Fantasy X. This theme is beautiful and amazing. It takes a more subtle approach to getting us pumped up for an epic journey. It sets up a journey of discovery of one’s self, a journey of love and friendship as well as a journey for the truth. It feels more like the deep breath that one takes before making the first step that begins the journey than the actual journey itself. An excellent theme.

#5 Answers music and lyrics by Nobuo Uematsu

The theme song to Final Fantasy XIV. I know that Final Fantasy XIV is a terrible game in it’s current state, but A. They’re fixing it and B. The music has been called out as very good and the best thing about it. So this song is sung by the beautiful sounding Susan Calloway. The song is seemingly about the people of Eorzea searching for the meaning of life and death. A world ravaged by war. I don’t know I haven’t played the game and I don’t have the patience for MMOs so I don’t care, but I do know that this song is awesome! One of the aspects of Uematsu’s genius is that he’s able to take classical, choir, power ballad, and rock music and seamlessly blend them together to make something really special. This blend of old and new makes musical Nirvana. Welcome back to Final Fantasy Uematsu san. Your fan, DisneyOtoko.

#4 Will the Circle be Unbroken

The theme song to Bioshock Infinite is next and while there plenty of religious themes in the game the double and triple meanings of the lyrics are what make it fantastic. The resonance that the song has with Booker, Elizabeth and Columbia is wonderfully crafted and Courtney Draper’s performance is haunting and beautiful!

#3 Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII music by Nobuo Uematsu

The main theme to one of the greatest RPGs of all time makes it to #3 on the list. One of the things I love about Square Enix’s themes are that sometimes they’re really not always filled with over the top excitement they have subtlety and they give the piece a chance to slow down so we can take it all in. This theme is a perfect example of that. The piece has big grand moments, but is mostly very mellow showing Cloud’s (the main character) doubts as well as his eagerness to get to the bottom of the Sephiroth and Shinra mystery. The theme also has a moment where it has a sort of evil that lies within slightly giving away a plot point about the villain’s location. That is  Sephiroth being in the Lifestream. A great theme to an excellent game!

#2 Final Fantasy Series Theme music by Nobuo Uematsu

Brentalfloss Lyrics by Brent Black

Even though the games have their own individual main themes they are all bound by this one theme. And it’s freakin’ AWESOME!!! It’s similar to a high school graduation march, but when you actually play the games it becomes much more. A piece that shows all the aspects a Final Fantasy story should have, hope, beauty and a sense of triumph over evil. What makes this special from other main themes that convey the same feelings is that it’s a video game. The piece is humble and congratulates you as a player for taking time out of your day and committed yourself to playing it. This song was given lyrics by Brentalfloss and it’s awesome. For those of you unfamiliar with the series just listen to his version of the theme and everything you need to know will be explained. This is a theme that embodies all the hope, beauty and humility that all excellent themes should have.

#1 Dearly Beloved music by Yoko Shimomura

The main theme of the Kingdom Hearts series. This theme is absolutely incredible. Never have I been moved by a piece of music this much. Schindler’s List theme may have moved me to tears, but this has moved me in many different ways across the emotional spectrum. This theme has also been interpreted many different ways throughout the 10 years the series has been around. Other themes make you feel just one basic emotion, but not this. This theme has been filled with serenity, sadness, loss, hope, happiness, and magic. Every single version of this theme is beyond excellent. Some are better than others of course, but all of them are the best. This song is the epitome of what the series is all about bringing the Disney and Square Enix magic in an intelligent and epic way and the loving bonds between people and the characters. It can be applied into our lives as well. This piece can be a love letter that doesn’t need any words to convey its message. The best thing about it is that it’s so simple. It can easily be hummed and it sticks with you on an extremely deep emotional level. The best place to listen to it is at the beach looking out at the ocean because the ocean embodies all the emotions I described above. Here in all of their glory are the many versions of Dearly Beloved!

Kingdom Hearts 1 Version

A simple piano piece that was the first Kingdom Hearts music that anyone heard. This simple piece is peaceful and charming and it would only get better as the series progressed.

Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories Version

This version adds to the piece and feels as if you’re in a dream which fits the illusory worlds that Sora and Riku visit in the mysterious Castle Oblivion and it really works.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Version

This is one of the more somber versions of the theme. A cello is introduced to play parts of the piece and it works perfectly. It in a way shows the sad existence or non existence of being a nobody and the sad fate that befalls Roxas and Xion.

Kingdom Hearts 2 Version

This is mostly a piano and cello version with some orchestration and it’s still absolutely beautiful.

Kingdom Hearts Coded Version

Even though I absolutely despise the game that this version comes from this theme is still amazing. It goes back to the simplicity of 1 yet still keeps the flourishes that were added to make a really good theme.

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Version

This is my favorite version of the theme. It captures the fact that this game is a tragedy by portraying the sense of loss and sadness that happens to our characters yet also having an incredibly strong optimism that things will get better and out of tragedy will come a brighter future. Again I say beautiful

Kingdom Hearts Piano Version

Since this started as a piano solo it only makes sense that they would have an extended piano version that contains all the added flourishes to the piece. As always it is still beautiful.

Kingdom Hearts 3D Version

About a month ago Square Enix launched the official KH 3D website and the background music for the site was the official 3D version of Dearly Beloved. This theme is much different from the others, but it is by NO means less beautiful or memorable. It has a more optimistic and festive mood to it than Birth by Sleep’s somber take and it even has a waltz section in it which is really cool. I fully embrace and welcome this new version into the many renditions of this amazing and beautiful theme.

 

I hope you enjoyed this list. Join me next time where Musical March Madness continues part 1 of my countdown of the Top 30 Best character themes!!!!!!!!!!

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