As someone who adores both film and music almost equally, soundtracks are very important to me. A soundtrack can really draw me into or take me out of a film faster than almost anything else. After visuals ,obviously, the music is the first thing I notice about a movie. So, I’ve decided to compile a list of some of my favourite soundtracks in no particular order. Now this doesn’t include scores or musicals. Those are stories for another day.
Almost Famous (2000)
Not only is this one of my favourite films in general, Almost Famous has hands down one of my favourite soundtracks ever. It is such a wonderful blend of different kinds of classic rock. It has something for everyone. From Yes to Led Zeppelin, Elton John to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Allman Brothers to The Who. It does everything a soundtrack is supposed to do in the sense that it is used to accentuate the emotion of a scene flawlessly. My favourite example being when Penny Lane is dancing on the dirty hardwood floor with a rose in her hand to “The Wind” by Cat Stevens. Obviously I’m not the only one singing it’s praises, because it was awarded a Grammy in 2001 for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album.
Empire Records (1995):
Empire Records is one of those movies that I instantly clicked with, and the soundtrack had a lot to do with it. This baby is pure 90’s goodness. This may just be me, but I don’t see how anyone couldn’t like a compilation where Gin Blossoms, The Cranberries, and Better Than Ezra share a track listing. It’s hard hitting, sexy, and melancholy all at once; which is a pretty accurate representation of a teenage psyche if you ask me. Plus all of these tunes would 100% be what you heard if you walked into a record store run by teens in 1995. I just think it’s a crime “Say No More, Mon Amour” and a song by Gwar weren’t included.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (2014):
I was taken completely by surprise with the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Awesome Mix is such an apt name, because it is such a freakin treat from start to finish. It can’t get over how much I enjoy the blend of classic rock, R&B, and even a little bit of punk that this track list has. It blends seamlessly with the movie’s fun but dark tone. I am also SO here for the theory/concept that the soundtrack is a character itself. I love to think that it’s the spirit of Peter’s mother, and it tells us so much about her even though we only see her for a few moments. Also, any soundtrack with Bowie on the roster is okay in my book.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Dazed and Confused man.The stoner movie and its soundtrack that have the softest spot in my heart. I watched this movie for the first time in high school, and I was immediately drawn to the soundtrack before anything else. Just like the film itself, the soundtrack is pure fun. If you can name a better compilation of dad rock, I’d be skeptical but open to hearing it. With Black Sabbath, War, Alice Cooper, and Aerosmith to its name, a track listing can’t really get more stacked. Supposedly one sixth of the films budget went to acquiring rights for the soundtrack, and God bless ’em. My 70’s lovin’ heart will never turn down an opportunity to blast this soundtrack and plan a night of shenanigans.
Baby Driver (2017):
Now this film and its soundtrack are the newest ones to find a little piece of my soul and latch on. I hadn’t heard anything about this movie before seeing it, but immediately after leaving the theater I bought the soundtrack and couldn’t stop talking about it. R&B, hip hop, punk, soul, rock; what more could you possibly ask for? Though it definitely has a retro theme going, it even incorporates stuff from the early 2000s like John Spencer Blues Explosion that would sound at home in the 70s. Not only is it one of the most fun soundtracks I’ve ever heard, but it’s probably the most brilliantly executed I’ve ever come across. It’s a full blown character all on its own, characters movements are based on it, and it plays the roll of Baby’s dialogue beautiful. I could go on forever, and that’s how you know a filmmaker has done something right. Also if you want to talk about how the opening of this film is one of the most spectacular in cinema history, my messages are O P E N.
These are the soundtracks that I adore, but if I went on and on about them we’d be here all day. Plus, if we’re being honest, I just couldn’t get cute pictures of them.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World (2010) – Hands down one of the most fun, original, creative, and fitting soundtracks of all time
Juno (2007) – I love Kimya Dawson with a passion, and it’s so sweet you need a dentist on standby.
Pirate Radio (2009) – 1960s British Invasion perfection.
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) : Bluegrass and gospel goodness that makes my southern heart soar.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999): 90s SKA feminist masterpiece.
What are some of your favorite soundtracks? Did one make the list? Should I make posts about scores and musicals too? Let me know!