Who doesn’t love a good film soundtrack eh?!? We decided to make a list of our top 10 in line with our upcoming S-Series launch. There are a few rules however….
1) It has to be a great soundtrack as a whole, so no inclusions of films with 1 or 2 amazing songs, so that rules out Drive and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
2) It can’t be a musical, of sorts, despite the use of original music or otherwise, so that means no LaLa Land or Moulin Rouge
3) It can’t be a film based on an actual musician’s life and using their music, no matter how good they are, so, unfortunately, there will be no discussions about A Hard Day’s Night or Walk The Line.
Some will agree with this list, some won’t, but you can’t please everyone!
10) HIGH FIDELITY – How do you make a soundtrack for a film about music snobbery?? With great ease it seems. To Stephen Frears at least. All of the tracks on here are very credible, and would surely make any independent music shop workers very happy. The Kinks, The Velvet Underground and Stevie Wonder all feature here, and while it isn’t on the physical soundtrack, any film that has Jack Black singing “Let’s Get It On” is always going to do well in my eyes.
BEST SONGS – The Beta Band – Dry the Rain, The Jam – A Town Called Malice
9) GARDEN STATE – Yes, it’s a bit of a pretentious film, but Zach Braff clearly spent a lot of time trying to get the perfect songs to compliment the melancholy mood. The critics must have agreed as it won the Grammy for “Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Pictures, Television or Other Visual Media”, to give it its full title. Watcher’s will always remember The Shins, especially for Natalie Portman’s characters declaration that they will “change your life”, but only talking about them is a disservice to the rest of the album. An eclectic mix, featuring Thievery Corporation, Simon & Garfunkel, Frou Frou and a great cover version of “Such Great Heights” by Iron & Wine, mean there is a bit of something for everyone
BEST SONGS – The Shins – New Slang, Iron & Wine – Such Great Heights
8) JACKIE BROWN – Unsurprisingly, this is the first of 2 Quentin Tarantino film soundtracks on this list. He doesn’t much about when it comes to finding music to perfectly match the scenes. The music here doesn’t deviate too far from 1970’s Funk, Soul & R&B, but it doesn’t need to as it fits the mood of the film perfectly. One of the greatest compliments a film score can have is that when you hear a track in other situations, it reminds you of a specific scene. That is exactly what happens to me whenever I head “Strawberry letter 23” by The Brothers Johnson. Great, underrated film. Great, underrated soundtrack.
BEST SONGS – Bobby Womack & Peace – Across 110th Street, Randy Crawford – Street Life
7) THE BOAT THAT ROCKED - You would expect a film about pirate radio stations to have a half-decent soundtrack, and this really, really does not disappoint. The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Who, Otis Redding, The Jimi Hendrix Experience.…This is a who’s who (pun intended) of Rock and Roll royalty. You should buy the album, it is better than most 1960’S music compilations.
BEST SONGS – Lorraine Ellison – Stay with Me Baby, The Turtles - Elenore
6) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – The most recent film on the list, although you wouldn’t think it based on the music. The film uses the music from the 1960’s and 1970’s as a way for the main character to connect to his home planet of Earth, as it is all that he was left when his mother died. Again, there are certain songs that you now cannot hear without thinking about the scene it appears in this film. It’s not just concentrating on “cool” music either, with David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” sitting proudly alongside The Pina Colada Song. This soundtrack gets better and better every time you listen to it.
BEST SONGS: Redbone – Come and Get Your Love, Blue Swede – Hooked On A Feeling
5) THE MATRIX – Now we’re talking. My first memory of fully investing in a film soundtrack was The Matrix. The first time I saw it, I remember rewinding and re-watching the lobby shout-out scene just so I could listen the “Spybreak” by The Propellerheads over and over. This was long before I could just Shazam it and find it immediately on Spotify! The music genres used won’t be for everyone, blending heavy metal and EDM, but the fact that it works perfectly in the context of the film is undeniable.
BEST SONGS – Rage against the Machine – Wake Up, Rob D – Clubbed to Death
4) BOOGIE NIGHTS – For a film about an Adult entertainer who is who is, ahem, “packing”, it seems appropriate that the soundtrack is also “packing” some great tunes. The film is based at the end of the 1970’s and start of the 1980’s in the heady days of the disco era, and the song selection reflects this. The cheery disco tracks at times are a stark contrast to the dark themes in the film, but it all works so well together. A great watch. An even better listen.
BEST SONGS – Marvin Gaye – Got to give it Up (Part 1), KC & The Sunshine Band – Boogie Shoes
3) TRAINSPOTTING – In case you didn’t know, this is NOT a film about the activity of Trainspotting. Far from it. It’s dark, thought-provoking, sometimes miserable, sometimes hilarious, but definitely, definitely not about trainspotting. The soundtrack, however, is exactly as you would expect it to be. A selection of some of the best the 1990’s had to offer, sitting Iggy Pop, alongside Primal Scream, alongside New Order. And then there is Underworld’s “Born Slippy”, a song that will always be synonymous with the film. And always, ALWAYS, gets a great reception in a pub/club/party.
BEST SONGS – Underworld – Born Slippy, Lou Reed – Perfect Day
2) ALMOST FAMOUS - This film is brilliant, but always seems to fly under the radar. It seems to be more famous for the “Tiny Dancer scene” if anything, which is a shame. Cameron Crowes Semi-autobiographical-ish film about a young wannabe Journalist growing up around Rock and Rolls elite is really worth a watch. The cast is amazing, but the music is the real star of the show. The band from the film, Clearwater, even make an appearance with their song “Fever Dog”. What keeps this soundtrack off the top spot?? Simple, Alvin & The Chipmunks….There’s just no need. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying one of the most amazing soundtracks ever made.
BEST SONGS – Elton John – Tiny Dancer, Simon & Garfunkel – America
1) PULP FICTION – What else?? Very possibly the most iconic movie soundtrack ever, without hyperbole. Not many people can get away with having Chuck Berry on the same album as a Neil Diamond cover, but Tarantino does. Every film he makes seems to end up having an epic soundtrack that will stand the test of time. The music compliments the film to a T. As a standalone album or mixtape, it’s just as perfect. Tarantino has said before in interviews that the first thing he does during the making of his films is choose the music. It’s certainly a strange way to do things, but it’s not done any harm! Plus, Dick Dale’s “Miserlou” quite simply IS the Pulp Fiction theme. A classic.
BEST SONGS: Urge Overkill – Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon, Chuck Berry – You Never Can Tell