The X-Files (composition)

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"The X-Files"
Single by Mark Snow
from the album The Truth and the Light
B-side Various Remixes
Released 24 March 1996 (1996-03-24) (UK)
Format CD maxi, Cassette Tape
Genre Downtempo, dark ambient
Length 3:25
Label Warner Music
WEA International
Writer(s) Mark Snow
Producer(s) Mark Snow

"The X-Files" is a 1996 instrumental recorded by American film and television composer Mark Snow. It is a remixed version of the original theme Snow composed for the science fiction television series The X-Files in 1993. Released in March 1996 in most countries, it achieved a huge success, particularly in France where it reached number-one on the singles chart.

The composition has since been covered by DJ Dado and Mike Oldfield among others. The song was also used as background music for a sketch in the 1998 Alvin and the Chipmunks album The A-Files: Alien Songs where Alvin portrayed "Agent Moldy" and Brittany portrayed "Agent Scuzzy."

Mark Snow version[edit]

Song information[edit]

"The X-Files" typically used more instrumental music score than most hour-long dramas. According to the "Behind the Truth" segment on the Season 1 DVD, Mark Snow created the echo effect on his famous X-Files theme song by accident. Snow said that he had gone through several revisions, but Chris Carter felt that something was not quite right. Carter walked out of the room and Snow put his hand and forearm on his keyboard in frustration. Snow said, "this sound was in the keyboard. And that was it."

Chart performances[edit]

The single went straight to #2 on March 30, 1996, on the UK Singles Chart and stayed there for three weeks, then kept on dropping.[1] In France, the single entered the chart at #42 on April 6, 1996, climbed quickly until reaching #2 four weeks later. It remained blocked for five weeks at this position, behind Robert Miles's hit "Children", then topped the chart for a sole week, becoming the second instrumental number-one hit, before climbing. It totaled 12 weeks in the top ten and 30 weeks in the top 50. The single was re-charted from October 1998, but remained in low positions. It is the 754th best-selling single of all time in France.[2] As a result, a remix CD single was released, but is much more uncommon.

Track listings[edit]


  • Composed by Mark Snow
  • Terrestrial mix: remixed and produced Flexifinger
  • P.M. Dawn remix: guitar by Cameron Greider, remixed by P.M. Dawn, synthesizers by Henry Hay and Maurice Luke, recorded and mixed by Michael Fossenkemper
  • Ravers nature remix: produced and remixed by John Bogota, Pedro Ferrari and Roy Ströbel
  • Secret Session remixes: produced by Special Agents for MAP Productions, engineered and mixed by RoBo
  • Map Mystery mix: produced and mixed by Moorcroft and Prins for MAP Productions, engineered and programmed by TK for MAP Productions

Certifications and sales[edit]

Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales
France[3] Gold 1996 250,000 425,000[4]
UK[5] Silver April 1, 1996 200,000


Preceded by
"Children" by Robert Miles
French SNEP number-one single
June 8, 1996 (1 week)
Succeeded by
by Los Del Rio

DJ Dado version[edit]

Single by DJ Dado
from the album The Album
B-side Various Remixes
Released 19 March 1996
Format CD single, CD maxi
12" maxi
Genre Dream trance
Length 3:57
Label ZYX, Subway
Writer(s) Mark Snow
Producer(s) DJ Dado, Robert Gallo Salsotto
DJ Dado singles chronology
"Face It"
"Metropolis - The Legend of Babel"

At the same time, DJ Dado covered the song in a dance version which became a top ten hit in many countries, including #1 in Denmark, though it failed to reach the top ten in France and Germany.

In the US, this version was featured on the Pure Moods compilation album 1997 re-release.

Track listings[edit]

CD single
  1. "X-Files" (DJ Dado paranormal activity mix) – 6:38
  2. "X-Files" (Claudio Diva sub-dream activity mix) – 8:40
CD maxi
  1. "X-Files" (radio edit) – 3:57
  2. "X-Files" (DJ Dado paranormal activity mix) – 6:42
  3. "X-Files" (Claudio Diva sub-dream paranormal activity mix) – 8:44
CD maxi
  1. "X-Files" (radio edit) – 3:57
  2. "X-Files" (DJ Dado paranormal activity mix) – 6:41
  3. "X-Files" (Tom Wilson Dyme mix) – 6:38
  4. "X-Files" (dV8 deviant mix) – 6:29
  5. "X-Files" (freak bros area 51 mix) – 6:53
  6. "X-Files" (Claudio Diva sub-dream paranormal activity mix) – 8:44
12" maxi
  1. "X-Files" (DJ Dado paranormal activity mix) – 6:42
  2. "X-Files" (Claudio Diva sub-dream paranormal activity mix) – 8:44
CD maxi – Remixes
  1. "X-Files" (2 Cowboys remix) – 5:07
  2. "X-Files" (Reygroove remix) – 5:02
  3. "X-Files" (Valez & L. Antolini remix) – 6:25
  4. "X-Files" (Alex Voghi remix) – 6:25
  5. "X-Files" (Miki B. remix – flute experience part I) – 8:38
  6. "X-Files" (Moroldo & Mensi mix) – 4:35
  7. "X-Files" (Hornbostel & M. Marvin remix) – 5:18
  8. "X-Files" (Fabio Locati remix) – 6:18


Triple X version[edit]

The song was also covered by Triple X. This version was less successful than the other two, but reached number two in Australia.


"Tubular X" (Mike Oldfield) version[edit]

"The X-Files Theme"
Single by Various Artists
from the album The X-Files: The Album
A-side "Tubular X"
B-side "The X-Files Theme"
"The Source of Secrets"
Released 8 June 1998 (Japan)
Format CD
Genre Pop
Length 3:53
Label Twentieth-Century Fox
Writer(s) Mark Snow
Mike Oldfield
Producer(s) Mike Oldfield, and others
Mike Oldfield chronology
"Women of Ireland"
"The X-Files Theme"
"Man in the Rain"

"The X-Files Theme" was released as a Japan only EP in 1998[19] from the soundtrack album The X-Files: The Album for the The X-Files movie.

The maxi-CD includes four remixes of Mark Snow's theme to the television series, The X-Files. Notably "Tubular X" is part Snow's theme and consists of parts of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Another track from Oldfield also appears, "The Source of Secrets", the opening piece from his Tubular Bells III album, which also based upon the same theme from the original Tubular Bells.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Tubular X" - Mike Oldfield – 3:53
  2. "The X-Files Theme" - The Dust Brothers – 3:27
  3. "The X-Files Theme" - Satoshi Tomiie Radio Edit – 4:17
  4. "The X-Files Theme" - R.H. Factor Pop Radio Edit – 3:37
  5. "The Source of Secrets" - Mike Oldfield – 5:33


  1. ^ a b ""The X-Files", UK Singles Chart". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  2. ^ "Best-sellings singles of all time in France". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  3. ^ "French certifications". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  4. ^ "Mark Snow's certifications and sales in France See: "Les Ventes" => "Toutes les certifications depuis 1973" => "SNOW M."". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  5. ^ "UK certifications". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h ""X-Files", in various singles charts". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  7. ^ a b "Irish Single Chart". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  8. ^ "Billboard". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  9. ^ a b "1996 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  10. ^ a b "1996 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h ""X-Files" by DJ Dado, in various singles charts". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  12. ^ Billboard, May 25, 1996: Page 67
  13. ^ Italy: Top Singles of 1996
  14. ^ ""X-Files", by DJ Dado, UK Singles Chart". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  15. ^ "1996 Austrian Singles Chart". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  16. ^ "1996 Swiss Singles Chart". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  17. ^ a b c d e ""X-Files' Theme (Dance version)", in various singles charts". Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  18. ^ "1996 Australian Singles Chart". Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  19. ^ "Tubular X" (in German). Retrieved 2008-04-17.