"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 X-Files" typically used more instrumental music 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-Filestheme 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."
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. 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. As a result, a remix CD single was released, but is much more uncommon.
At the same time, Italian producer DJ Dado covered the song with a dream trance version, which became a top ten hit in many countries, including number-one in Denmark, though it failed to reach the top 10 in France and Germany.
In the US, this version was featured on the Pure Moods compilation album 1997 re-release.
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.