In no particular order, of course, these movie soundtracks include not only timeless classics but also modern treasures with some of the best works from the most talented musicians of our era.
Below are my top six favorites:
- Almost Famous (2000)
It’s not a wonder that one of my top favorite movie soundtracks comes from a film about a prominent rock and roll journalist who toured with Led Zeppelin as a teenager. The Grammy award-winning soundtrack includes some of the best from classic ’70s rock to music composed specifically for the movie. It includes everything from David Bowie and Elton John to Cat Stevens and The Who. The movie in itself is phenomenal and the soundtrack perfectly compliments the whimsical, romantic attitude of the film.
- The Bodyguard (1996)
My aunt passed down a copy of this soundtrack to me since before I was a teen. The soundtrack is one of the best selling movie soundtracks of all time, selling 45 million copies worldwide, and it’s no wonder. It is an incredible piece of work featuring some of Whitney Houston’s most unforgettable ballads including “I Will Always Love You.” Not to mention it also won a Grammy, securing its label as one of the best albums of all time.
- Romeo and Juliet (1991)
Just as alternative and quixotic as the movie, the soundtrack for Romeo and Juliet perfectly abides by the same rules. From Radiohead’s solemn “Talk Show Host” to The Cardigans’ fun and upbeat hit, “Lovefool,” the soundtrack bounces around genres and provides for a nice mix of music.
- The Graduate (1968)
Including some of Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits, “Sound of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson,” this movie soundtrack most wonderfully represents the film and the themes of post college disillusionment and rebellion. It is so well curated to the film that it almost blends with it as well as successfully steers the emotional impact of the movie. Borderline genius and intensely thought provoking, The Graduate soundtrack is one to remember.
- Trainspotting (1996)
From the likes of Blur, Pulp and New Order, this movie soundtrack carries some of the greatest songs by some of the best bands from the world-renowned genre of Britpop. Full of of druggy rock and roll, fuzzy techno, languished (yet surprisingly existential) rock ballads as well as a few contributions by classic rock masters such as Lou Reed, this soundtrack perfectly embodies the sad urban junkie theme of the film, which made this indie flick a smash hit and cult favorite.
- The Great Gatsby (2013)
This is most recent on the list, and perhaps one of the most innovative soundtracks. Produced by Jay Z, Baz Luhrmann and others such as Craig Armstrong, this soundtrack is one of kind. From the familiar dark and dramatic crooning of Lana Del Rey to Beyoncé and Andre 3000’s sultry and seductive take on Winehouse’s classic hit “Back to Black,” this soundtrack did a marvelous job at modernizing the 1920s and appealing to younger audiences. By transferring the energy of jazz to a more up to date twist on modern hip hop and rock (Jack White’s “Love is Blindness”), the producers of this album created a very unique piece of work that embraces pop culture, and at the same time makes for a very fun, interesting and impactful take on the music that accompanies Fitzgerald’s timeless story.