Tag Archives: Alan Silvestri

Back to the Future Theme Song

1985; and, this works for the whole trilogy

Great Scott! So, guess what was playing in some channel the other night?

Music for Back to the Future was handled by legendary composer, and frequent Robert Zemeckis collaborator, Alan Silvestri. Here’s what we have for Mr. Silvestri so far: Manimal, Forrest Gump and The Polar Express. Impressive.

It is said that Steven Spielberg did not like Silvestri’s work on the film Romancing the Stone so director Robert Zemeckis advised Silvestri to make his compositions grand and epic, despite the relatively small scale of the film. So I guess hence the grand theme song.

Also part of the theme song story is the band Huey Lewis and the News who were originally commissioned to create the film’s theme song. Their composition “Back in Time” was sort of semi-rejected as it did not contain references to the film’s title. It did however make it in the film and soundtrack, along with another greatly-associated Back to the Future Huey Lewis and the News song, “The Power of Love”. Mr. Huey Lewis also made a cameo in part one.

There have been a number of official scores and soundtracks—including special editions, remixes, re-releases—for the film, but the theme song is best associated with the first and original soundtrack. In it the theme tune is track #3: “Back to the Future” by The Outatime Orchestra (3:20).

Below is the original version from the CD.

So I guess that’s it.

P.S. You might find this next video funny though. A parody of the theme song. Just watch.

Manimal Theme Song

1983

Revisiting this series made me surprised with two things: first that it only lasted one season (and only 8 episodes were made), and second that I remember it so clearly. I guess canceled shows back then meant more without media distraction from the internet.

The reason I got to posting about this weird-choice-of-a-show’s theme song is composer Alan Silvestri—my last post was about the Forrest Gump theme song. However, the main title theme for Manimal was composed by Paul Chihara. Silvestri was only a contributing scorer for the series. The song is officially entitled “Manimal”.

Since the theme is an instrumental, let’s just relive the opening narrative—recited by actor William Conrad.

Dr Jonathan Chase… wealthy, young, handsome. A man with the brightest of futures. A man with the darkest of pasts. From Africa’s deepest recesses, to the rarefied peaks of Tibet, heir to his father’s legacy and the world’s darkest mysteries. Jonathan Chase, master of the secrets that divide man from animal, animal from man… Manimal!

See opening sequence below for theme song and narration.

Forrest Gump Theme Song

1994

“Hello, my name is Forrest, Forrest Gump.” Classic, and yes, I like that better than the chocolates quote. The 90s sure had a lot of good movies.

You know, back in my day, cool were those who could play this theme song on the piano.

The memorable theme from Forrest Gump was composed by Alan Silvestri. Silvestri is sought-after American composer who has done work for Contact, Cast Away, The Polar Express and Beowulf among others.

The theme is officially called “Forrest Gump Suite”; it lasts nearly 9 minutes. It was nominated in 1994 for the Academy Award for Best Original Score, but lost to music from The Lion King.

The song can be found on the top-selling official soundtrack of the film which sold over twelve million copies.

Below is the suite in its full glory.

The Polar Express Theme Song

2004

So I’m trying to stick to a Christmas theme here, and since I’m not really much of a Christmas film buff, I’ll stick to those which I actually know. Up next is music from The Polar Express—that Tom Hanks film.

If The Polar Express were to have a theme song, it would be that which helped put the film in the map. “Believe”, composed by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri, and performed by Josh Groban, was nominated in 2004 for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Better yet, it won the 2006 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack contains a title track (obviously) called “The Polar Express”, which you can hear below, but I believe “Believe” still trumps that song for theme song.

And now for “Believe”, performed by Josh Groban.

The Polar Express theme song lyrics

Children sleeping, snow is softly falling
Dreams are calling like bells in the distance
We were dreamers not so long ago
But one by one we all had to grow up
When it seems the magic’s slipped away
We find it all again on Christmas day

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste
There’s so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe

Trains move quickly to their journey’s end
Destinations are where we begin again
Ships go sailing far across the sea
Trusting starlight to get where they need to be
When it seems that we have lost our way
We find ourselves again on Christmas day

Believe in what your heart is saying
Hear the melody that’s playing
There’s no time to waste
There’s so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe (4x)

Just believe

So there you go. Merry, merry, merry Christmas everybody.