Are these 5 theme songs the world's most famous ear worms?
From James Bond to Inspector Gadget, these catchy tunes are hard to forget.
With the new James Bond movie now in theaters, we have one thing on our minds: That song. Hear it once, and it sticks. Hours later, you may find yourself still humming it. Known as an ear worm, it's a song that burrows its way into your subconscious and decides to just take up residence.
The James Bond music follows in a long line of TV and movie theme songs that are easy to remember and hard to forget. Below, we round up our favorite pop culture ear worms. We apologize in advance if watching these videos gets you tapping your feet ...
With the known universe super-pumped about the upcoming new installment of the Star Wars franchise, it's hard to believe the story began a long time ago, in a galaxy far away ... back in 1977. At the time, nobody quite fully fathomed the cultural impact the movie would have on our collective consciousness. But the music had an instant impact. The soundtrack was put together by Academy Award-winning American composer John Williams, who has scored dozens of the most popular films in cinema – including just about every Spielberg movie. Williams' most enduring and perhaps most ear worm-iest piece of work is "The Imperial March" heard when Darth Vader is introduced in the original "Star Wars." Listen to it once and it will forever become synonymous with a villain approaching. In the viral video above, a 7-year-old cellist from Massachusetts shows off his take on the classic tune.
Hum the beginning of this song, and children who grew up in the 1980s will flock to you like Penny to her Uncle Gadget. This animated Inspector Clouseau wannabe was making technology cool decades before we were introduced to the iPhone and Facebook. The memorable theme song was composed by Shuki Levy, an Israeli TV executive whose magic touch graced other iconic cartoons of that era as well. The 68-year-old is credited with composing the soundtracks for 131 TV shows including "He-Man," "She-Ra" and "Dragon Quest." Never one to rest on his laurels, Levy later became one of the co-creators of the Power Rangers franchise.
From Sean Connery in "Goldfinger" to Daniel Craig in the new "Spectre" which opens this weekend, the theme song for the classic spy franchise is instantly recognizable. Listen to just a few notes and you're transported to the martini-swilling, car-chasing, baccarat-playing world of Agent 007. Eighty-seven-year-old British composer Monty Norman has been receiving royalties since 1962 for writing the legendary song. A little-known fact: While it's been used in the famous gun-barrel opening sequence in a few Bond films, it's actually more commonly played over the end credits. Either way, this song is licensed to thrill.
'Beverly Hills Cop'
German keyboard player Harold Faltermeyer was little-known before 1984. Then an up-and-coming comedian named Eddie Murphy hit it big with "Beverly Hills Cop." And that's when Faltermeyer's life changed. The movie's main theme, dubbed "Axel F" after Murphy's character, catapulted the composer to stardom. Hollywood directors came knocking on his door. Continuing his instrumental work, he penned the music for both "Fletch" and "Top Gun," the latter for which he won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1987. In addition to his film work, Faltermeyer has also worked with Patti LaBelle, Barbra Streisand, Blondie, Bob Seger, Billy Idol and the Pet Shop Boys.
A match is lit, and a flame starts to make its way down a fuse line. Even with the volume off, you know what song is about to play. Originally recorded by Argentinian pianist Lalo Schifrin in 1967 for the "Mission: Impossible" TV series, the song has stood the test of time. A 2010 Lipton Tea commercial, shown in the video above, reimagined the inspirational moment that sparked the idea for Schifrin. Variations on the theme, which have been covered by everyone from rockers U2 to pop violinist Lindsey Stirling, have continued to appear in all of the modern-day "Mission" movies starring Tom Cruise. No matter the version, you shouldn't have any trouble remembering the song.
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