Back to the Future: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack album to the film of the same name. It was released on July 8, 1985 by MCA Records. The album included two tracks culled from Alan Silvestri's compositions for the film, two tracks from Huey Lewis and the News, two songs played by the fictional band Marvin Berry and The Starlighters, one played by Marty McFly and The Starlighters, and two pop songs that are only very briefly heard in the background of the film.

"The Power of Love" was the first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 for Huey Lewis and the News, certified Gold and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The album spent 19 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 12 in October 1985.

Track listing[]

  1. "The Power of Love" – Huey Lewis and the News (3:58)
  2. "Time Bomb Town" – Lindsey Buckingham (2:48)
  3. "Back to the Future" – The Outatime Orchestra (3:20)
  4. "Heaven Is One Step Away" – Eric Clapton (4:13)
  5. "Back in Time" – Huey Lewis and the News (4:22)
  6. "Back to the Future Overture" - The Outatime Orchestra (8:19)
  7. "The Wallflower (Dance with Me, Henry)" – Etta James (2:45)
  8. "Night Train" – Marvin Berry & The Starlighters (2:17)
  9. "Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" – Marvin Berry & The Starlighters (3:02)
  10. "Johnny B. Goode" – Marty McFly with The Starlighters (3:06)

The Outatime Orchestra is named after the license plate of the DeLorean.

Songs not included on the soundtrack album:

  • "The Washington Post" - Composed by John Philip Sousa
  • "Mr. Sandman" - Performed by The Four Aces
  • "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" - Performed by Fess Parker
  • "Pledging My Love" - Performed by Johnny Ace
  • "Out the Window" - Performed by Edward Van Halen

To put the tracks in the chronological order they first appear in the film, the listing would be as such: 1, 2, 7, the first 90 seconds of 6, 8, 9, 10, the remainder of 6, 4, 5, and 3. The "Back to the Future Overture" on the original album is made up of the following cues as released on the subsequent score album:

  1. Marty's Letter
  2. Clocktower (:50 - 5:35)
  3. '85 Lone Pine Mall (1:41 - end)

A 1999 CD release entitled The Back to the Future Trilogy featured additional compositions by Silvestri from the first film. However, these were re-recordings by the Scottish National Orchestra and not Silvestri's original recordings.

"Johnny B. Goode"[]

The musical material ostensibly performed by the characters Marty McFly, Marvin Berry and the Starlighters in the film, was recorded by Harry Waters, Jr. as Marvin Berry and Mark Campbell as Marty McFly, and the guitar solo by Tim May. (Campbell and May received a "Special Thanks" acknowledgment in the film's end credits, with the recording credit going to the fictional characters.) Berry's group also plays the song "Night Train", first recorded by Jimmy Forrest in 1951.

In the film, Marvin Berry, a fictitious cousin of Chuck Berry, phones Chuck and lets him listen to the music. The real "Johnny B. Goode" was released only three years after the time it is played in the film.


The film's musical score was composed and conducted by Alan Silvestri, who later wrote music for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump and numerous other films, many of them directed by Robert Zemeckis. The memorable themes in his "Back to the Future Overture" have since been heard in the film's sequels (also scored by Silvestri), in Back to the Future: The Ride, and as ambient music at the Universal Studios theme parks. A remix of the main theme was heard in the opening sequence for MCA-Universal Home Video from 1990 to 1997. The upbeat soundtrack, featuring two new songs by Huey Lewis and the News, also contributed to the film's popularity. "The Power of Love" became the band's first song to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for an Academy Award. Huey Lewis portrayed the high-school band audition judge who rejects Marty McFly's band, the Pinheads, as they perform the short instrumental hard-rock version of "The Power of Love".

There is also another album version of the soundtrack, with only the original score by Silvestri. The only legitimate release was by independent label Intrada, but another so-called "DeLorean" version released in the 1990s was an unauthorized bootleg.

Score album[]

In November 2009, Intrada released an official two-disc album containing Silvestri's complete score. The first disc contained the complete orchestral score as recorded for the finished film, along with two source cues that Silvestri wrote. The second disc consisted of alternate approaches that Silvestri took with a large portion of the score, with a darker, more serious tone.

None of the songs from the first album are included in this score-only album, and for moments in the film where Silvestri's score was shortened (i.e. the final moments of "Einstein Disintegrated" and "Peabody Barn; Marty Ditches DeLorean"), replaced with source music ("Town Square") or unused ("Logo"), the full score cue is presented as originally recorded.

The set was a limited edition of 10,000 units and sold nearly 6,000 by the end of January 2010. It sold out in August 2014; however, on October 12, 2015 it was made available as an unlimited release in a single-disc edition, featuring the music on disc one of the two-disc set.


Chart (1985–86) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report) 36
US Top Pop Albums (Billboard) 12

v - e - d
Back to the Future film series logo
Films: Back to the FutureBack to the Future Part IIBack to the Future Part IIIBack in Time

Music: Back to the FutureBack to the Future Part IIIThe Back to the Future Trilogy (soundtrack)
Video games: Back to the Future (1985 computer game)Back to the Future (video game)Back to the Future Part IIBack to the Future Part IIIBack to the Future Part II & IIIUniversal Studios Theme Park AdventureBack to the Future: The GameLEGO Dimensions
Other media: Back to the Future: The RideBack to the Future: The Animated SeriesBack to the Future (musical)Back to the Future: The Pinball

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