If you’ve ever discovered a great song, played it non-stop, and then came to hate it within a week or two, you’re well aware that too much of a good thing can make it infuriating. On that same note, when a movie with a 112-minute runtime repeats the same tune at least 18 times (the soundtrack lists 17 songs, but doesn’t account for the doorbell), it heads into dangerous territory.
To keep the soundtrack from becoming too repetitive, Williams’ theme was mixed into a variety of different music styles — jazz, tango, mariachi, and more. Several variations included flashy accompaniments that were heavily influenced by their respective genres, allowing the tracks to practically hide the melody and bring some new music into the mix. And although Williams wrote mournful, catchy lyrics to the “The Long Goodbye” theme, all but two of the soundtrack’s songs were instrumental, minimizing the chances of the vocal repetition becoming a nuisance.