For some of us, the delight found in the world of stories on screen is everything, and I'd be lost without that list of the greatest movies I've seen over the years. Don't we all have that list in our heads? These are my favourite compositions, the ones that instantly take me to these films.

So, starting calmly, welcome to the Bluffer's Guide to Movie Music...

Hans Zimmer - Herald of the Change (from Dune)

The scenes of sand, shafts of light and times where Dune's characters got caught thinking made real because underneath, there's a deep sense that you want to believe these worlds exist. Zimmer somehow confirms this in everything he writes, like Vangelis, John Barry and Morricone did...

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John Barry - The Ipcress File

This composer is more known for his Bond music, for which he wrote eleven scores - John Barry, who used to work in his father's cinema. Scoring a lesser-known spy thriller with a young Michael Caine, The Ipcress File is set in mid 60's London, when four kinds of brown cloth would go together without a raised eyebrow.

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FC Kahuna - Hayling (from Layer Cake)

Layer Cake was a lads' movie, about gangsters of London who thought they were in a Guy Ritchie movie and sadly weren't, but it was still a classic with classic music. FC Kahuna were a duo already known on the underground dance scene. For them, Hayling was a perfect fit.

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Roy Budd - Carter Takes a Train (from Get Carter)

The opening sequence is recorded straight from the film, with the musicians playing live off a series of shots from the train journey. London to Newcastle in the 1970s looks grim, possibly a nod from Roy Budd to Lalo Schifrin's influence. A great lesson in playing congas. Made for 450 pounds.

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Elmer Bernstein - The Magnificent Seven

Watching the director's commentary that came with the DVD, it confirmed the story that Steve McQueen was a scene-stealer, messing with his hat in many moments with Yul Brynner. This music always makes me feel like it's Sunday around Christmas time.

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David Holmes - Tess (from Ocean's Eleven)

We did wait for Julia Roberts, who eventually turns up as the character Tess, and in classic Hollywood style, she walks right on in shining. You felt for Danny Ocean! But again, lovely depth of understanding on the part of Holmes, essentially being a DJ here, nailing the tone.

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Henry Mancini - Lujon (from The Big Lebowski)

I think there's a little bit of The Big Lebowski in all of us. I know I didn't recognise the one that's the one too many on a few occasions. I quote: "Sooner or later you are going to have to face the fact that you're a moron."

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Lalo Schifrin - Shifting Gears (from Bullitt)

The most prolonged car chase on film for many years, possibly until the twelve-minute plus scene in Ronin starring Robert De Niro and Natasha McElhone. But for classic tension in soundtrack form, Lalo Schifrin was incomparable; He was movie music in the sixties. And Bullitt was the standard to beat.

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Chris Ruggiero & Nathan Halpern - Blow Up (from Goldie)

A short interlude of 44 seconds that punctuates the film in particular places, Goldie is about a young singer chasing rewards from hip-hop and pop music, which sadly never materialise - search this one out.

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Jerry Goldsmith - Love Theme from Chinatown

A classic film noir but made in the '70s, with stellar turns from Jack Nicolson, Faye Dunaway and the cinema's ultimate bad father, John Huston. The saxophone is heart-breaking...

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Ennio Morricone - Main Theme from Once Upon a Time in the West

The sight of Claudia Cardinale getting off a stagecoach would stiffen any cold-blooded gunslinger. The main theme music from possibly the greatest westerns ever, it's a classic Sergio Leone & Ennio Morricone anthem, featuring the vocals of Edda Dell'Orso.

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Gabriel Yared - Chili Con Carne (from Betty Blue)

This French classic is a top ten movie of mine for the sheer atmosphere, with a standout performance from Beatrice Dalle, playing a slow escalation of derangement; the change from major to minor, the soundtrack is evocative with changes in pace and sensibility.

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Massive Attack - Angel (from Snatch)

Bristol's sons are at best a brooding troupe of creatives, and it is no surprise to find them on one of the best British film soundtracks. Angel's timing in the seminal Guy Ritchie epic is well worth another look.

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Vangelis - Blade Runner

Ridley Scott's futuristic idea had a profound effect on me. As a youngling starting around this time, I was obsessed with collecting music on vinyl. Particularly weird offbeat electronica and soundtracks, Vangelis is Jedi-like on this score which was an excellent collaboration; Scott's eye and ear for detail elevates everything.

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