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Top 10 Movie Soundtracks

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Matthew Thomas. It’s the music that made these movies that much better. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 movie soundtracks. For this list, we’re choosing soundtracks from movies of different genres based on a mix of their recognition and overall popularity as well as their ability to make a film that much more memorable. Special thanks to our users atma, Tom Jones, Joseph Amidon, lv, aldqbigsquare, JIM Garcia 8 and veethon for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at http"//www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Matt Wende.

It’s the music that made these movies that much better. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie soundtracks.

For this list, we’re choosing soundtracks from movies of different genres based on a mix of their recognition and overall popularity as well as their ability to make a film that much more memorable. However, we’ve excluded soundtracks from musicals like “The Sound of Music,” “Grease” or “A Hard Day’s Night.”

#10: “The Wedding Singer” (1998)

Collecting some of the best remembered and catchy tunes from the 1980s, “The Wedding Singer” remained true to the excess of that era by releasing not one but two soundtrack albums. Throwing in a few original songs from the film alongside a bevy of classic ‘80s tunes, the romantic comedy managed to entrance music fans that grew up with this music as well as new disciples alike. The only thing we wish they’d included that didn’t make the cut was Alexis Arquette’s character’s rendition of “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.” On second thought... maybe not.

#9: “Drive” (2011)

If you’re the music supervisor assigned to put together what songs should accompany a film – like “Drive” - that doesn’t buy into traditional dynamics of heroes and villains, then you have a pretty heavy responsibility. So the decision to go with unique synth-heavy music that gives the neo-noir crime thriller an even more driving force was a masterstroke. Peaking at 31 on the Billboard 200 and charting all over the world, this Cliff Martinez-dominated album fit its film perfectly.

#8: “Purple Rain” (1984)

It should come as a surprise to no one that a film starring music maverick Prince has one helluva soundtrack. What many may not have seen coming though was the addition of Morris Day and The Time; their performance was so catchy and beloved that years later they were brought back to close out the film “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” with the same song and dance moves. Also featuring what’s arguably one of Prince’s best songs, “When Doves Cry,” the soundtrack went on to sell twenty million albums worldwide with more than half of those sales originating from America.

#7: “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

When the trailers were released for this Marvel Comics film, a couple of thoughts went through a lot of people’s minds: “Who are these Guardians?” “That looks amazing” and “That’s some awesome music!” And in all likelihood, the lion’s share of viewers walked away from the superhero flick wishing they had their own “Awesome Mix” and were ecstatic to learn they could buy the album for themselves. Consisting of classic songs from a number of genres, something else these tunes had in common is they all really fit their awesome description.

#6: “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” (2000)

Bringing gospel, folk, country and bluegrass together in an old timey fashion, the soundtrack to this Coen Brothers film took the art of putting together a unique album together very seriously. Despite the adventure comedy’s most lasting tune being named after a “Man of Constant Sorrow,” we believe that no matter what genre of music you love the most, these songs are too universal to not bring a smile to your face. Winning the Grammy award for Album of the Year, the quality of the voices and recording helped this film soundtrack take the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart.

#5: “Almost Famous” (2000)

When you make a film that focuses on a young man whose life is defined and changed by his passion for music, it’s safe to say that you need to ensure the music in it lives up to that lofty vision. Lucky for the filmmakers and us, director Cameron Crowe lived an amazing life and his connections in the rock world were rock solid, as they say. Featuring the music of his friends, most notably Led Zeppelin, who were notoriously stingy with music rights at the time, along with a few originals penned by music legends, this Grammy-winning album truly rocked.

#4: “Pulp Fiction” (1994)

A filmmaker known for his love of classic and foreign films alike, Quentin Tarantino’s practically encyclopedic knowledge of cinema never stopped him from doing things a little differently. Choosing to forego a traditional score of any sort, he made the decision to use music instead and this was a key factor in making “Pulp Fiction” so revolutionary. Tarantino chose to release the soundtrack in an equally unusual fashion: in addition to nine songs that appeared in the film, the album featured three tracks of film dialogue and left out seven tunes that appeared on screen. Selling over 2 million copies, a collector’s edition was released eight years later, proving the album’s staying power.

#3: “The Graduate” (1967)

When it came time to put together the music to accompany this film of high quality and sophistication, the decision to incorporate a musical duo of equal magnitude was a brilliant one. Featuring some of the best remembered and most respected music of Simon & Garfunkel’s entire catalogue; we could sit and listen to this album all day long. The connection between the film and the folk-rock duo is so strong that it seems nearly impossible to hear Mrs. Robinson and not think of Anne Bancroft seducing her young paramour.

#2: “Forrest Gump” (1994)

A film spanning decades in the life of a simple man living an extraordinary life, “Forrest Gump” needed an equally simple but extraordinary soundtrack. Released as a double album, it featured 32 songs that are synonymous with the unique timeframe and events in the planet’s history. As such, the music choices served to perfectly cast you into the frame of mind of the world you were seeing on the big screen. Charting within the Billboard 200’s top 100 on its end-of-decade charts, it’s safe to say the music of “Forrest Gump” really spoke to people.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “Garden State” (2004)
- “500 Days of Summer” (2009)
- “Boyhood” (2014)
- “The Big Chill” (1983)
- “Super Fly” (1972)

#1: “Saturday Night Fever” (1977)

When most people think of “Saturday Night Fever,” most of their memories of it will have a Bee Gees-powered soundtrack and that’s proof positive of why this film’s music got our top spot. “Stayin’ Alive,” perhaps the group’s most noteworthy tune, will forever be associated with John Travolta strutting down a New York street and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Supported by other talented acts like Yvonne Elliman and KC and the Sunshine Band, the Brothers Gibb put together a soundtrack masterpiece that’s gone down in history and there it will stay.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite movie soundtrack? For more musical Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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