Ranking All the Songs from the Apocalypse Now Soundtrack

Apocalypse Now

The 1979 American war film Apocalypse Now is a movie about the Vietnam War and is considered one of the greatest films ever made. The film is about the United States military’s involvement in Vietnam and the horror that ensued. It stars Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, and more. The film’s soundtrack is just as epic as the movie itself. It features songs from classic rock bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Doors and classical pieces by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The film has an iconic soundtrack, which features some of the biggest names in music, including The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beach Boys. In this article, we will be ranking all of the songs from the Apocalypse Now soundtrack, from worst to best.

9. The End by The Doors (1967)


The Doors’ classic song “The End” comes in at number 10 on our list. The song is nearly 14 minutes long, and it’s one of the most famous songs from the group. Jim Morrison wrote about a soldier who is “willing to die for his country.” It is about the Vietnam War, and the film’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, has said that it was “the perfect song for the movie.” The song is about Vietnam War, and the film’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, has said that it was “the perfect song for the movie.” The lyrics are very dark and depressing, which perfectly fits the film’s tone.

8. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones (1965)


The opening riff of this song is so iconic and well-known that it’s hard to imagine the movie Apocalypse Now without it. And yet, that’s precisely what happened. Director Francis Ford Coppola considered using The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” for the opening scene but ultimately decided on “Satisfaction” instead. He made the right choice; this song perfectly sets the tone for the film, with its dark and edgy lyrics about war and disillusionment.

7. Love Me, And Let Me Love You by Robert Duvall (2010)


Robert Duvall’s contribution to the Apocalypse Now soundtrack is a haunting and beautiful song called “Love Me, And Let Me Love You.” Duvall performs the song in his role as Colonel Kilgore, and it perfectly captures the character’s mix of brutality and tenderness. It’s a great example of how music can enhance a film, and it’s one of the best songs on the Apocalypse Now soundtrack.

6. The Ride of the Valkyries by Wiener Philharmoniker (1959)


The Ride of the Valkyries is perhaps one of the most well-known pieces of music from the Apocalypse Now soundtrack, and for a good reason. The song is incredibly intense and amplifies the feeling of war and chaos prevalent in the movie. It’s no wonder that this song was used to a significant effect in the film. The Wiener Philharmoniker performs the song, and it is truly a masterpiece. If you’re looking for a song that will get your heart racing, look no further than The Ride of the Valkyries.

5. Let The Good Times Roll by Shirley and Lee (1956)


Shirley and Lee’s “Let The Good Times Roll” is a timeless party anthem that feels just as relevant today as it was first released over 60 years ago. The song perfectly encapsulates the carefree attitude of the Vietnam War era, making it an ideal choice for the Apocalypse Now soundtrack. It is about as joyous and upbeat as a song can be, offering listeners a much-needed respite from the horrors of war.

4. Suzie Q by Flash Cadillac (1979)


The fifth song on our list of the best songs from the Apocalypse Now soundtrack is Suzie Q by Flash Cadillac & the Continental Kids. Released in 1979, the song was written by Dale Hawkins and made famous by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The version featured in the film is a cover by Flash Cadillac and is slower and more psychedelic than the original. The song describes a young girl’s longing for her love, who is away at war.

3. Excerpts from ‘Mnong Gar Music from Vietnam’ (1972)



The sounds of Southeast Asia provide an eerie backdrop to the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now. This album offers a sampling of that music, including “Mnong Gar Music from Vietnam,” performed by the Mon-Khmer people of the region. The music is punctuated by bamboo xylophones and jaw harps and features a haunting, ululating vocal style. The album concludes with “The River God,” a piece by composer David Rubinstein, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The lush orchestral music underscores the film’s dramatic climax as Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) confronts Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando).

2. Surfin’ Safari by Brian Wilson and Mike Love (1962)


First released in 1962, “Surfin’ Safari” was one of the earliest hits by American rock band the Beach Boys. The song is a driving surf rock number, with lyrics about surfing and cars. It was written by group members Brian Wilson and Mike Love and produced by Wilson. “Surfin’ Safari” helped launch the Beach Boys’ career and became a famous beach party anthem.

1. Sonnerie Aux Morts (uncredited) (1931)


An eerie, discordant melody provides an unsettling backdrop to the Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now. The source of this music is unknown, but it may be a recording of French composer Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The piece is nicknamed “Sonnerie Aux Morts” or “The Symphonic Poem for Mourners.” It was written in 1830 and told the story of an artist who becomes obsessed with a woman and murders her. The music is intense and dramatic, and its use in the film amplifies the film’s nightmarish quality.


The music of Apocalypse Now is as varied and eclectic as the film itself. From the Beach Boys to Hector Berlioz, the soundtrack features various styles and genres. The music helps create an atmosphere of unease and tension, which mirrors the chaotic and brutal world of the Vietnam War. The soundtrack is a masterpiece in its own right and is essential listening for fans of the film or classic rock music.

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