10 Best Soundtracks of All Time

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The perfect soundtrack can elevate any movie from average to spectacular. The task of choosing songs is not easy, but it has to be done correctly in order to match the plot and setting of a film. With the recent success of Frozen, it’s apparent that soundtracks aren’t a thing of the past. The success of soundtracks thrived in earlier decades, but they still hold a portion of music sales today.  Here are our top 10 favorite soundtracks of all time:

10. 8 Mile

Of all the musician-turned-actors that have appeared over the last couple of decades, Eminem was one of the last expected to participate. In the pseudo-biography 8 Mile, he made his empowering song “Lose Yourself” one of the most popular rap songs of all time. The album sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. alone.

9. Juno

Juno brought one of the best indie soundtracks in more recent years. The soundtrack contains multiple songs by Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches and many others. One of the most notable songs on the album is a cover of “Anyone Else But You” by The Moldy Peaches that features the two main characters of the film, played by Ellen Page and Michael Cera.

8. Dirty Dancing

The soundtrack for Dirty Dancing achieved so much success with its original release that two subsequent albums were released from it in 1988 and 2003. From the iconic “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes to “She’s Like the Wind” by Patrick Swayze, the album appealed to everyone who had a liking for everything from rock to R&B.

7. The Bodyguard

One of the best-selling albums of all time is the soundtrack to the early ‘90s film The Bodyguard. The first half contains songs by Whitney Houston, who assumed the role of executive producer on the album. With this title, she had full reign over the song selections and led the album to worldwide success.

6. Footloose

The original version of Footloose collected some of the best music of the ‘80s. What good is a dance movie without good music? Of the nine songs on the album, six reached the Top 40 the year of its release. The soundtrack was also certified platinum nine times in the U.S.

5. Pretty In Pink

The ‘80s were notorious for great music that still holds influence today, as were movies produced during the decade. Pretty In Pink has been noted by Rolling Stone and The Huffington Post for its stellar soundtrack. Like many other John Hughes films, the soundtrack contains songs from the more pop/new wave aspect of the ‘80s. Every film by the director has placed heavy emphasis on incorporating music into the plot.

4. Garden State

Zach Braff, popular for his acting on the TV show Scrubs and other films, wrote and directed the 2004 groundbreaking film Garden State. Another role of his was choosing the soundtrack. Because the film directly related to his life, selecting the songs was more personal to him. As a result, the album won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Pictures, Television, or Other Visual Media.

3. Pulp Fiction

What iconic ‘90s movie would be complete without capturing the changing rock genre at the time? Pulp Fiction managed to encapsulate the emerging and returning rock sounds during the early ‘90s, emphasizing the surf rock genre. The soundtrack has sold over two million copies since its release in 1994.

2. Saturday Night Fever

While John Travolta showed off his vocal abilities in Grease, his performance in Saturday Night Fever was purely acting. The true stars of this soundtrack were the Bee Gees, who lifted the album to critical acclaim. The soundtrack is the only disco album to earn a Grammy for Album of the Year.

1. O, Brother, Where Art Thou

The soundtrack to O, Brother, Where Art Thou proved the importance of music’s role in appropriating the setting. The film is set in Mississippi during the Great Depression, and the soundtrack effectively captures the time through the use of folk, country, and bluegrass music. There was so much emphasis placed on the music that the album was compiled before filming even began.

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