Thursday, March 28, 2013

Danny's Top Five Movie Soundtracks

Amber and I recently watched Pitch Perfect, a spoof of Glee(I imagine-haven't actually seen Glee). In it, one of the characters was discussing the top movie soundtracks of all time. While his were fairly good-Breakfast Club is a solid choice- I decided to compose a list of my favorite movie soundtracks.

My first rule was that it couldn't be a musical since that's an unfair advantage. Obviously Les Miserables and Moulin Rouge would be up there if I included them and maybe even Hedwig and the Angry Inch although to be honest you have to be in a certain mood for that one.

Another of my criteria was that it had to be listener friendly. That eliminated soundtracks like Pulp Fiction, and The Wall(which is also disqualified like The Last Waltz, the Graduate, and Hard Days Night because they are pretty much full-length music videos with various degrees of plot. Furthermore the Wall was based on the album rather than made for the movie so... out, out!). I did this because of all of the dialogue that(in my humble opinion) should be left out of the soundtrack. Those soundtracks are awesome but I find that I always have to skip over tracks like "Royale with Cheese" or the honey-bunny dinner robbery scene.

Also you'll notice movies like Once, Poetic Justice, O' Brother Where Art Thou? and the Blues Brothers are out not because of the dialogue but because of the inconsistency of the quality of the sounds. You(or I at least) have to skip to the three or four great sounds on the album and are left with a lot of otherwise mediocre songs to trudge through. So this list has only those movie(not musicals) soundtracks where you can listen to the full thing through and by the time you finish the last sound, you're ready for the first again.  So here they are, my top five:

1)The Big Chill
By far and away the best soundtrack on the list. If there was only one CD I could bring with me on a desert island(that conveniently had a power source and a CD player) it would be this. A young Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline and Glenn Close star in the snoozer of a movie. While the movie is unmemorable, the soundtrack is anything but. Marvin Gaye's "Heard it through the Grapevine", The Temptations' "Ain't too proud to beg" and "My Girl" would make the soundtrack in themselves, but you also have Three Dog Night, Procol Harum, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin and others all making this a great all around soundtrack.

2)Reality Bites
Probably one of my least favorite actor, Wynona Ryder stars in this movie directed by a little fella named Ben Stiller. Luckily Ethan Hawke and the soundtrack save the day. Lisa Loeb's "Stay" was probably one of my favorite songs growing up and helped by Big Mountain's "Baby, I love your way" and U2, The Posies and Ethan Hawke covering the Violent Femmes make this a great all around soundtrack.
The Director and co-star

3)Donnie Darko
Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is overshadowed by this excellent soundtrack. I love the scene when Donnie is riding his bike at night to "Under the Milky Way" by The Church. It's a shame that the original soundtrack included just the score and not all of the songs from the theatrical  edition. Supposedly you can get a UK double disk(oh, look at me dating myself. All you need to do is go on I-Tunes and you can have all the songs you ever wanted) with the songs though. Songs like "Heads Over Heels" by Tears for Fears, "The Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnymen and Gary Jule's rendition of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" are just some of the songs that make you want to watch and re-watch this movie.

4)The Crow
This movie based on a Marvel comic book was Brandon Lee(Bruce Lee's son) was accidentally shot during its filming. The music in it alternates between song melancholy tunes from the likes of the Cure to very loud and sometimes angry sounds from the likes of Rollins Band and Pantera. It's the Stone Temple Pilots and Rage Against the Machine that had me at hello. The sequel's soundtrack is almost as good.

5)Requiem for a Dream
While this movie will likely make you never want to do drugs EVER, the soundtrack's dissonance and sometimes cacophonous rhythms make you want to come back for more.
DARE should show this to all the 4th graders and NO ONE will EVER do drugs


Up Next: Only two days until Amber competes in Oceanside 70.3 !


  1. Nice list! Let me add 5 more worth checking out: Breakfast Club, Trainspotting, Singles, Natural Born Killers and Garden State.

  2. Trainspotting and Garden State were definitely in the running. I'd say I like about 70% of the Singles album and like it enough to probably put a top 15 on it. Some of those middle songs make me want to change the cd though. Natural Born Killers will be one I definitely have to check out. That movie scared me when I was a little kid.

  3. The NBK soundtrack was produced by Trent Reznor. Loved his contribution to the Crow soundtrack - cover of Joy Divisions Deal Souls. Good stuff.

    BTW, little kid? Ouch.

  4. haha I meant last year, I was just trying to my street cred by pretending that it was when I was little. Have you heard the Lost Highway soundtrack? Another good Reznor contribution with that one.