Hayley Williams proved this point when she sparked a Twitter debate over the best song from the original movie. Though Paramore had contributed two tracks to the film, their vocalist’s favorite was by another artist altogether and not even released on the soundtrack. Of course, this proved to be a hot take, ultimately drawing a ruling by the official Twilight Twitter account.
While we definitively agree with one of the aforementioned parties, we decided to expand on the argument. Here are all 36 songs from the first Twilight movie, ranked from worst to best.
36. “Who Are They?” – Carter Burwell
It’s natural for background compositions to be a bit boring relative to more commercially viable tracks. However, “Who Are They?” really takes the cake of mundanity. The song plays a few times throughout the movie, notably accenting Bella‘s first glimpse of the Cullens. Rather than evoking a sense of curiosity, though, it just makes us wonder how often she had cheap hold music stuck in her head.
35. “The Most Dangerous Predator” – Carter Burwell
Before you go thinking we don’t appreciate orchestral music, let us clarify that we can vibe with good instrumentals. Read on and you’ll see that composer Carter Burwell contributed some great ones to the soundtrack. With that said, there were quite a few that missed the mark. “The Most Dangerous Predator” is played after the famous sparkling scene, when Edward tries to demonstrate the threat he poses. While there are some eerie elements to the track, it’s far more melodramatic than menacing.
34. “Dinner With His Family” – Carter Burwell
Let’s just say that if we were to walk into a house with this atmosphere, we’d turn around and leave. We’ll cut Bella a break for failing to notice the frequencies of non-diegetic music, but that doesn’t excuse the track. Seriously, how else could you describe this apart from “vaguely vampiric elevator music”?
33. “Phascination Phase” – Carter Burwell
Does that bastardization of the word “fascination” make anyone else’s eye twitch? It’s a good thing we’re not ranking titles or else we’d be stuck here for a while. Admittedly, “Phascination Phase” is a noted improvement relative to some other parts of the score. While there are some captivating technical elements, however, the melody lacks any sort of interest factor. The song just falls flat, especially as one intended to soundtrack the meeting of the movie’s primary love interest.
32. “In Place Of Someone You Love” – Carter Burwell
There’s no shortage of potential behind “In Place Of Someone You Love.” In fact, it could have been really successful in driving the energy behind Bella’s encounter with James if it weren’t so subdued. It’s certainly not the worst track in the film—it just lacks intensity compared to some of the better ones.
31. “Complications” – Carter Burwell
“Complications” marks the transcendence of the score from “Eh” to “OK, that one works.” The track is definitely an ambience driver, effectively building tension as Edward passes by Jacob and Billy. We’re not going to lie: We wouldn’t hate if this one backed any of our real-life rivalries. Still, we probably wouldn’t go out of our way to casually listen to it.
30. “The Lion Fell In Love With The Lamb” – Carter Burwell
Now we’re really starting to rise up in the ranks of easy listening. While there’s nothing particularly gripping about “The Lion Fell In Love With The Lamb,” it’s good background music. Stripped of some of the more agitating frills present in the aforementioned tracks, it’s marked by pleasant simplicity. We’re not recommending you add it to your commute playlist, but it would make for great ambience while studying.
29. “Edward At Her Bed” – Carter Burwell
“Edward At Her Bed” has a similar charisma to the previously mentioned track but adds a bit more flavor. While still well-suited for easy listening, it boasts a captivating contrast between its different tones. Granted, it’s not necessarily the song we’d opt for while falling asleep in the arms of a lover. Given the general atmosphere of the movie, though, it complements the scene pretty well.
28. “I Dreamt Of Edward” – Carter Burwell
“I Dreamt Of Edward” is a pleasant song, even if there’s not much going on. The charming melody is laced with melancholy, driving the star-crossed romantic energy of the film’s plot. Add it to the growing list of technically effective songs we can appreciate without adding to our regular rotations.
27. “Stuck Here Like Mom” – Carter Burwell
Maybe it’s just our inner goth speaking, but we love a good dose of existential dread. “Stuck Here Like Mom” boasts a bit of darkness behind its soft, intricate melody. It’s a great accentuation of the feelings driving Bella’s forced decision to leave Forks. Though, honestly, we’d argue that you don’t need the context for a keen sense of its evocative nature.
26. “How I Would Die” – Carter Burwell
Now we’re really starting to ramp it up. “How I Would Die” fosters a similar sense of foreboding relative to previously mentioned tracks but with an extra kick. The juxtaposition between the various tempos and intensities really drives up the interest factor. This opening track will always get our heart racing, no matter how many times we’ve heard it.
25. “I Would Be The Meal” – Carter Burwell
We’ll admit, the melodies incorporated into “I Would Be The Meal” are a little dull. However, that’s more than made up for with the dynamic array of stylistic elements. While still peaceful and subdued, the isolated beats and twangs make the track captivating independent of the film’s context.
24. “Bella’s Lullaby” – Carter Burwell
“Bella’s Lullaby” is one of the more recognizable instrumental tracks from the film. While we’re sure that’s due in part to the theatricality of Edward playing the piano, its allure shouldn’t be understated. The song is undeniably pretty and characterized by a soft sentimentality that’s sure to tug at some heartstrings.
23. “I Know What You Are” – Carter Burwell
If there’s one cohesive theme behind the Twilight soundtrack that we’re prime to spotlight, it’s the dismality. “I Know What You Are” is dark, brooding and intense… You know, like the hordes of teenagers who heard it in theaters in 2008. Of all the songs we’ve listed so far, this is the first one that tempts us to play it on repeat.
22. “Clair de Lune” – Claude Debussy
Unlike the previously mentioned track, “Clair de Lune” wasn’t written for use in Twilight. The classical piano composition was written by Claude Debussy circa the 1890s. We’d be hard-pressed to say anything critical about the masterpiece… Well, you know, other than the pretentiousness it briefly projected onto Edward when Bella turned on his stereo. Note to any readers aged 100+: You’re not going to convince anyone that you’re still a teenager without adapting your listening habits.
21. “Treaty” – Carter Burwell
We’re officially past the point of “interesting” and onto “downright exciting.” Burwell really hit his stride with “Treaty.” This menacing track could have backed the entire rising action sequence of the movie, and we would’ve loved every second. Go figure, it’s one of the handful that isn’t available in any capacity on Spotify.
20. “The Skin Of A Killer” – Carter Burwell
Talk about a dramatic reveal. You may recognize this composition from the scene where Edward first shows off his sparkling skin. Unlike the track that directly follows it, though, “The Skin Of A Killer” is intense and appropriately tone-setting. Even when you know it’s coming, that tempo swing is nothing short of startling.
19. “Bella Is Part Of The Family” – Carter Burwell
We won’t fault you if you don’t immediately recognize “Bella Is Part Of The Family.” This song is criminally understated given how perfectly it drives the mood of the moment. If you can’t place it, it’s the track playing as Edward escorts Bella away from home after she’s said goodbye to her father. Even as a standalone track, though, the intensity and varied dynamics of the soundscape are gripping.
18. “Nomads” – Carter Burwell
“Nomads” marks a pretty captivating point in the Twilight plot, so it’s hardly a surprise that it matches the tone. The song soundtracks the baseball scene, where Edward and Bella are first confronted by James, Laurent and Victoria. It’s set apart from the larger score by its feverish aggression and modern-leaning stylistic elements.
17. “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici” – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
La Traviata is yet another throwback to the late 1800s, demonstrating the Cullens’ age-old tastes. A brindisi from the Italian opera can be heard in the background while the family is preparing dinner during Bella’s visit. The portion playing in the scene is a brindisi, or drinking song, titled “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici.” While it may be tough to isolate in the film, we highly recommend listening to it for a good burst of energy.
16. “Eyes On Fire” – Blue Foundation
We all know that Twilight used only the best of the best commercial tracks. So even as the first one appearing on this list, Blue Foundation‘s “Eyes On Fire” is deserving of significant appreciation. This grunge-y shoegaze song features during the montage wherein Bella realizes Edward isn’t showing up to school. We’re not going to say it’s a song you should be listening to daily, but it’s certainly worth a visit from time to time.
15. “Humans Are Predators Too” – Carter Burwell
Buckle up because we’re starting to get into the best of Burwell here. “Humans Are Predators Too” delivers the feeling of profound danger wrapped up in an aggressive little bow. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the Port Angeles scene, where Edward saves Bella from a confrontation after dark. But even as a standalone song, we can totally vibe with the energy.
14. “Tracking” – Carter Burwell
“Tracking” is yet another brilliant display of Burwell’s ability to jump seamlessly between tempos and tones. There’s not a single portion of this song that we don’t like. From the melancholic intro to the feverish buildup and onto the melodic finale, it’s sheer perfection all the way through. You can hear it during the scene in which James attempts to track down Bella (hence the title).
13. “Showdown In The Ballet Studio” – Carter Burwell
It seems like all the best compositions follow James. Just leave it to a villain to get the best soundtracks… This song plays during the battle in the ballet studio (go figure) and marks the end of the film’s instrumental score. Burwell clearly managed to save the best for last because “Showdown In The Dance Studio” is the epitome of hypnotizing.
12. “Go All The Way (Into The Twilight)” – Perry Farrell
Perry Farrell‘s “Go All The Way (Into The Twilight)” is a significant diversion from the generally somber mood of the film. This ultra upbeat, danceable song soundtracks Bella and Edward’s arrival at their prom. Because why not engage in some normalcy after a dramatic brush with death? Teenage clichés aside, we’re ready to get down with it.
11. “Full Moon” – The Black Ghosts
As the first commercial track heard in the film, playing during Bella’s move to Forks, the Black Ghosts‘ “Full Moon” set a serious precedent. The electronic-laced indie track served as a wonderful bridge between the soundtracks’ melancholic instrumentals and their poppier counterparts. This may be the first song that we’ve talked about that we could truly listen to on repeat.
10. “Let Me Sign” – Robert Pattinson
If Robert Pattinson wasn’t such an incredible actor, we’d say he missed his calling as a professional musician. “Let Me Sign,” which plays as Edward saves Bella by sucking vampiric venom out of her hand, shows off his incredible vocal abilities. Believe it or not, both of the songs he contributed to the film were his original compositions.
9. “Tremble For My Beloved” – Collective Soul
Admittedly, we’re not massive fans of the played-out “damsel in distress” trope. But in the case of Twilight, Edward’s rescue missions bring us some killer music, so we’ll digress. Collective Soul‘s “Tremble For My Beloved” sounded after he had saved her from being crushed by Tyler’s sliding van. We’re just here for those pop-rock riffs.
8. “Spotlight (Twilight Mix)” – Mutemath
What teenage romance plot is complete without an accompanying indie-rock jam? Mutemath delivered that and more with the Twilight mix of “Spotlight.” The track played when Bella and Edward showed up to school together following his reservations. No lie, it’s been stuck in our heads ever since.
7. “Supermassive Black Hole” – Muse
The fact that Muse aren’t higher on this list just goes to show how stacked the film’s soundtrack really was. Far be it from us to criticize “Supermassive Black Hole” in any way. The funky, danceable track is truly an emblem of 2000s alternative rock. We’re sure most Twilight fans know exactly where it plays. But if you’re in need of a reminder, look back to the baseball scene.
6. “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” – Iron & Wine
We can only imagine that this was Kristen Stewart‘s favorite track from the film, seeing as she selected it. We couldn’t agree more with her judgment. The soft sentimentality of Iron & Wine‘s “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” provides the perfect backdrop for the iconic slow dance between Bella and Edward.
5. “15 Step” – Radiohead
Hayley Williams is bound to disagree with our placement here, but we stand firmly by it. There’s no doubt that Radiohead made one of the objectively best contributions to the film with “15 Step.” Accenting Victoria’s appearance at the prom and leading into the end credits, the alt-rock classic really packs a punch. Is it the best of the entire movie, though? We’d argue not.
4. “I Caught Myself” – Paramore
Despite Williams’ apparent objections, there’s just no arguing that Paramore weren’t the most iconic contributor to the soundtrack. “I Caught Myself” is only the first example. The catchy pop-rock single is an emblem of teenage angst, appropriately playing behind Bella’s friends as they shop for prom dresses.
3. “Never Think” – Robert Pattinson
Seriously, could somebody nominate this man for a Grammy? We’d put Pattinson right up there with Paramore as far as iconic musical contributors go. This deeply cathartic acoustic track never fails to hit us right in the heart. There are no songs out there that could’ve better backed Bella and Edward’s romantic restaurant scene.
2. “Leave Out All The Rest” – Linkin Park
We wholeheartedly believe that Linkin Park are incapable of putting out anything subpar. Even with that in mind, “Leave Out All The Rest” is surprisingly gripping, even after nearly 14 years. The poignant and passionate song played during the end credits, serving as reason enough to watch the film in its entirety.
1. “Decode” – Paramore
This one’s a shocker, right? Who could have seen that coming… Sarcasm aside, there’s simply no song on the soundtrack that’s more beloved than Paramore’s “Decode.” That’s for good reason. The closing track perfectly captured the essence of the emo-laced, alternative culture associated with the Twilight fandom. Add to that its anthemic power and raw relatability and you’ve got a timeless hit.
What are your favorite Twilight tracks? Let us know in the comments!