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The top 20 Final Fantasy VII songs canonically

by June 17, 2017 0 comments

In this article, guest author cold_spirit attempts to compile a list of the top 20 Final Fantasy VII songs canonically, not based on anyone’s opinions but on how often Square Enix has used them since they first appeared.

Final Fantasy VII’s soundtrack has had the luxury of receiving many re-releases, remakes, concerts, and even some updates. I thought it would be interesting to discover the most popular tracks by tallying up the number of times each song appears outside of the original soundtrack from a diverse list of song collections. This is by no means a complete compilation of every song appearance out there, but I believe it should be enough to give us a good picture. The 10 references I used are as follows:

  • Reunion Tracks
  • Piano Collections
  • Advent Children OST (+ ACC Reunion Tracks)
  • Crisis Core OST
  • Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy OST + DLC Songs
  • FFXV Regalia Radio
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call OST + DLC Songs
  • Vinyl Limited Edition
  • Final Symphony
  • Distant Worlds

And here are the results, with one vote corresponding to one appearance:

  1. One-Winged Angel (10 votes)
  2. Let the Battle’s Begin!, Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII, J-E-N-O-V-A, Aerith’s Theme (9 votes)
  3. Opening ~ Bombing Mission, Fight on! (8 votes)
  4. Tifa’s Theme, The Chase, Rufus’s Welcoming Ceremony, Gold Saucer, Cosmo Canyon (5 votes)
  5. Prelude, Anxious Heart, Farm Boy, Electric de Chocobo, Cid’s Theme, Forested Temple, The Highwind Takes to the Skies (3 votes)
  6. Birth of a God (2 votes)*

* I didn’t want this to be a “Top 19” list ’cause that’s just weird, so I referenced this site’s recent community ranking of Final Fantasy songs to choose one track from the pool of songs that achieved two votes from my reference list. This caused some conflict as The Great Warrior did place two spots higher than Birth of a God in the poll, but The Great Warrior only managed to scrape one vote from my reference list. In the end, I decided to prioritize my list, hence I chose Birth of a God as it was the first song with two votes to appear in the top 100 poll.

Observations

What does the list tell us? First, that One-Winged Angel is everywhere. Look at that perfect score of 10 out of 10. This is the king of Final Fantasy VII songs. But hey, don’t take my word for it. Here’s what composer Nobuo Uematsu has to say about the song’s popularity:

I know that with every concert that we have, when we have the orchestra perform ‘One-Winged Angel’, for some reason or another that’s the one that has the biggest reaction, and everyone sort of expects that to be in a Final Fantasy concert.

The top five songs (groups #1 and #2) make for a short but killer playlist. When someone says “FFVII music”, these are the sounds that should come to your head. I also recommend the top seven songs (groups #1, #2 and #3) as it makes for a cool playlist name – VII’s Top VII. If you need a nostalgia hit, these two collections are where it’s at.

I consider the top 12 songs (groups #1, #2, #3 and #4) to be the “essential collection” of FFVII music. It’s got everything. From rad battle beats to memorable environment tracks, it’s loaded with personality. Speaking of personality, why is “Rufus’s Welcoming Ceremony” so loved by Square? I know the song’s purpose is to be pompous and loud, but come on. Perhaps it’s fun to perform.

For the sake of completeness, here are the other songs to receive two votes: Turks’ Theme, Ahead On Our Way, Cait Sith’s Theme, Lifestream, Descendant of Shinobi, Words Drowned by Fireworks, Judgement Day and The Planet’s Crisis. If you don’t like my pick for the 20th spot, choose your own from the above!

Finally, for your listening pleasure, I’ve compiled a YouTube playlist of the top 20 songs in the order they appear on the original soundtrack. Did your favorite song make the cut? Unfortunately for me, “On the Other Side of the Mountain” didn’t secure a single vote. That’s crazy! The list must be rigged…

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