My Top Ten Horror Movie Scores & Soundtracks

A movie’s score and/or soundtrack of songs is extremely important to me as I think the right music can make a good movie into a great one or even a bad movie into a cult classic. When you think of the biggest Oscar films, almost all of them had award winning scores from highly respected composers. When I think of my own personal all-time favorite movies, the majority have brilliant scores that helped to suck me into that magical movie world that only the very best composers can help create. Can you imagine The Good, The Bad And The Ugly without Ennio Morricone’s amazing score?? (No. You cannot.)

I’m very picky when it comes to the horror genre & have loved very few horror films since the 70s & 80s. I do find it interesting that most of my all-time favorite old horrors are on this list of scores, though. It goes to show that they used to put so much more effort into these films than they do now, even down to the scores (but I do have a couple fairly current films on the list too). I think the score is even more important in horrors as the mood & atmosphere are fundamental to this genre. I don’t understand why so many modern horrors put so little effort into using a score effectively to create the right mood. Oh well – this genre is showing more promise again so maybe we’ll see a return to great horror scores.

More than anything, I love a good musical score that has been composed for a film but do also appreciate when a soundtrack of great songs, whether existing or new, are put together for a movie’s soundtrack. So my top ten will consist of scores but there are a few horror soundtracks that I really love so I didn’t want to exclude them.

Here are a few Horror Movie Soundtracks That I Love:

Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Composer: AC/DC

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Composer: Danny Elfman

The Lost Boys (1987)
Composer: Thomas Newman Score/Various Artists Soundtrack:

Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
Composer: Tyler Bates Score/Various Artists Soundtrack

And now onto My Top Ten Horror Movie Scores (and their composers):

Honorable Mentions:

The Fog (1980)
Composer: John Carpenter
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Composer: Krzysztof Komeda
The Shining (1980)
Composer: Wendy Carlos/Rachel Elkind
The Omen (1976)
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Top Ten:

10. It Follows (2014)
Composer: Disasterpeace

9. Suspiria (1977)
Composer: Dario Argento/Goblin

8. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)
Composer: Charles Bernstein

7. Psycho (1960)
Composer: Bernard Herrmann

6. The Thing (1982)
Composer: Ennio Morricone/John Carpenter/Alan Howarth

5. Jaws (1975)
Composer: John Williams

4. 28 Days Later… (2002)
Composer: John Murphy

3. The Exorcist (1973)
Composer: Mike Oldfield

2. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
Composer: Goblin/Dario Argento/De Wolfe Music Library

1. Halloween (1978)
Composer: John Carpenter

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My Top Ten Christmas Songs 

This list was a lot harder to put together than you’d think. I was torn between my American roots & the very different Christmas songs that I’ve grown to love (and hate a little!) in over a decade of living in the UK.

When growing up in America, I only really heard the very traditional Christmas songs and I do love all those (White Christmas, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc etc etc). Sometimes those songs would be sung by rock & pop stars (like The Jackson 5) or screamed annoyingly by Bruce Springsteen. Ugh. Stop screeching, Bruce! Then there’s that damn Mariah Carey song – All I Want For Christmas Is You….. to SHUT UP, Mariah! And Michael Bublé can kiss my ass.

I was totally unaware that the UK had all these original Christmas songs (from the Seventies & later) that are really damn good & a lot more fun to listen to than Jingle Bells. Those in the UK will probably roll their eyes at my list as these songs are massively massively overplayed each year but I suppose I haven’t had to suffer with them for as long. Therefore, I’ve decided to do a Top Ten of my favorite contemporary Christmas songs at this point in time. Yes, some of these are American but I think the majority are bigger in the UK.

Here’s what I’ve had to leave out so that this top ten didn’t have 100 songs on it:

Traditional Christmas Songs (unless sung by David Bowie) 😉

Songs From Favorite Christmas Movies/TV Specials. If I was including these, I’d have to say that my ONE true favorite Christmas song of all time is most definitely Linus & Lucy by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. But I’ve left these out to keep the list simple as I love far too many songs such as Linus & Lucy and songs from Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

So let’s get this over with as I know some of you will already be sick of these songs by now. Here are My Top Ten (contemporary) Christmas Songs:

10. TIE: The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) & Run-D.M.C. – Christmas In Hollis

I had to include Christmas In Hollis because I’m an 80’s kid. As for The Darkness, I still respect the fact that they got a penis reference into a Christmas song. To those not in the UK, a “bell end” is an insult, meaning a “penis”. Or, more specifically, the tip. I guess. Because of the shape? I’ll stop there so I don’t attract all the pervy Googlers.


9. John & Yoko – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

War is over? Really?! Well, it’s a good song & I love all of The Beatles. This probably deserves to be above my next song, which is from another Beatle.

8. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime

This song walks that fine line between “enjoyable” & “making you want to kill if you ever hear it again”. I still enjoy it, though. For now.

7. Mike Oldfield – In Dulci Jubilo

It’s no Tubular Bells but it’s still good. The power of Christ(mas) compels you!

6. TIE: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power Of Love & The Pretenders – 2000 Miles

The Power Of Love is an odd one as I didn’t even know it when I moved to the UK then was confused as to why a song with the lyrics “I’ll protect you from the hooded claw. Keep the vampires from your door.” was considered a Christmas song. It’s apparently just because of the below video for it, which is all about the birth of Christ. Huh. Very different from their video for Relax, which had men symbolically ejaculating all over the place. Oops – I’m definitely going to get the pervy Googlers now. As for 2000 Miles, it’s just a damn good song.


5. Chris De Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling

I promise that you will never EVER see the words “Chris De Burgh” on this blog again. But, screw it – I’ll admit that this is actually a really good song. As far as Jesus songs go. (The spaceman is Jesus, right?? Oh I love 70’s music & their obsession with space! Like the artist who’s next…)

4. David Bowie & Bing Crosby – Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy

DAVID BOWIE!!!!!!!!!! And, you know, Bing Crosby. Their cheesy banter at the beginning of this video is hilariously cringeworthy.

3. Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry

This is one I didn’t know before moving to the UK. I love it! It’s so catchy. If hearing this song doesn’t cheer you up at Christmastime, you’re a Scrooge.

2. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas

Yeah, I just really love music from the Seventies… 😉 This song is awesome.

1. Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody

Yes! More cheesy 70’s glam rock goodness! I’m sure a lot of people in the UK HATE this song by now (unless they’re drunk off their tits at a Christmas party) but I have yet to get sick of it & doubt I ever will. I’d have loved hearing this growing up. It makes me want to get drunk at an office Christmas party & photocopy my ass. Okay, I’d never actually do that… But if I do, I hope Slade is playing!

Honorable Mentions:

Elton John – Step Into Christmas
Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Jethro Tull – Ring Out, Solstice Bells
The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping