Ah, the Western. That classic American genre about cowboys, bandits, and the taming of the Wild West. It defined a music genre of its own.
The Magnificent Seven is a 1960 American western film directed by John Sturges about a group of hired gunmen protecting a Mexican village from bandits. In the end, many of the seven are slain in a shootout with the bandits, but ultimately inspire the village to stand up and defend itself.
It is a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 film, Seven Samurai.
The film’s score along with the main theme is by Elmer Bernstein. The score was nominated for an Academy Award in 1961. The original soundtrack was not released at the time until reused and rerecorded by Bernstein for the soundtrack of Return of the Seven. Instead electric guitar cover versionsby Al Caiola in the US and John Barry in the UK were successful on the popular charts. A vocal theme not written by Bernstein was used in a trailer.
Starting in 1963, the theme was used in commercials in the USA for Marlboro cigarettes. A similar-sounding (but different) tune was used for Victoria Bitter beer in Australia. The theme was included in the James Bond film Moonraker (also from United Artists). Other uses include a passage on an album by the rock band Yes in the early 1970s; in the 2004 documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11; in the 2005 film The Ringer; as entrance music for the British band James, as well as episodes of The Simpsons that had a “western” theme (mainly in the episode titled “Dude, Where’s My Ranch?”). The opening horn riff in Arthur Conley’s 1967 hit “Sweet Soul Music” is borrowed from the theme.