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Sound Off: Classic Music from Westerns

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Clint Eastwood’s High Plains Drifter (which airs on AMC tonight at 10:30 PM) has a lot going for it: an audacious and powerful opening scene, surreal transitions and flashbacks, and vividly portrayed nightmares — to name a few.

There’s another aspect to High Plains Drifter that doesn’t get as much attention, but it adds a lot to the film: the music. Specifically, the piece that’s come to be known as the High Plains Drifter Theme, a haunting melody that wafts through the film from the start, a tune that regularly gets included on compilation CDs of Western Movies’ Greatest Hits.

Probably the greatest Western movie theme of them all – the Stairway to Heaven of the genre, if you will – is The Theme from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Oh come on, you know it – whoo whoo whoo…..…wooo wooo wooo… (If that’s quite not doing it for you, click here for an audio snippet of the theme from Amazon.)

But there are still plenty of other great Western movie themes. In addition to the High Plains Drifter Theme, here are some of the best:

The Magnificent Seven – The Overture

Dances With Wolves – The John Dunbar Theme   

Last of the Mohicans

How the West Was Won

Fist Full of Dynamite (Duck You Sucker)

Once Upon a Time in the West

Blazing Saddles

Don’t see your favorite? Chime in with a comment.

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