Our List of the best movie soundtracks and movie scores of all time.
Blade Runner - One of the most romantic soundtracks out there. While most of the Vangelis pieces remain from the original film score, many new ones were added for the 1994 re-release.
9 1/2 Weeks - Every song conjures up mesmerizing images from one of the sexiest moments in film (hint: it involved Kim Basinger). Joe Cocker's version of You Can Leave Your Hat On is reason enough to buy the soundtrack.
The Graduate (1967) - The movie that defined a generation is also the music that defined a generation. The movie is also included on our List of the Most Romantic Movie of All Time.
Almost Famous - The greatest collective tribute to 1970s Rock and Roll from one of the best movies about the 1970s Rock scene. When will Volume II be released?
Laurel Canyon - One of the most eclectic collections of sounds that range from pop to psychedelic to rap to French to mellow, but all blend nicely to seamlessly complement one of the most underrated films of 2003.
Tommy - Features early performances by Elton John, Eric Clapton and Tina Turner. If for no other reason, listen to it to hear Tina's scorching rendition of The Acid Queen. Hot! Hot! Hot! Also includes the singing talents(?) of Ann-Margaret, Oliver Reed and even Jack Nicholson.
The Big Chill - Now on a two-disc deluxe set with an extended booklet and complete liner notes. A baby-boomer guilty pleasure that features the grooving sounds of Motown. If a soundtrack includes the music of Blues Magoos, it has to be good!
Saturday Night Fever - Bee Gees, Kool and the Gang, and K.C. and the Sunshine Band. The historical significance of both the movie and the music it spawned can't be denied. Inspired a whole generation of "Jive Talk"ers and leisure suit wearers.
Purple Rain - Responsible for single-handedly launching The Purple One's career to the moon. And he still hasn't landed! With Purple Rain, Prince proved that really short men can actually challenge convention and win.
Garden State - I can't think of any other soundtrack that so perfectly complements what we are seeing on the screen. Both the movie and soundtrack "will change your life, I swear!"
The Jungle Book (1967) - It doesn't get much better than Louis Prima, Phil Harris, and Richard M. Sherman. Especially scintillating is watching the music "making of" featurette included on the DVD. That Prima is one swingin' cat.
School of Rock - Classic rock with an attitude. Just like the movie, it nails the anti-establishmentarianism of the whole Rock n' Roll movement. Don't just buy this soundtrack, get the albums the songs come from as well.
O Brother Where Art Thou - A great starter kit if you're interested in getting familiar with the roots of bluegrass, country, blues, gospel, and folk. I dare you to not be moved by the hauntingly spiritual melody of Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch and Emmylou Harris' Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby.
Woodstock - Everybody who was there, or wishes they were there, has the opportunity to relive the event that literally defined a generation. Some of the most entertaining moments of the soundtrack are the stage announcements.
The Song Remains the Same - This double-CD set is the only live album of Led Zeppelin's long and illustrative career. A sort of live "best of" compilation that features a 26-minute rendition of Dazed and Confused, including what has to be the longest drum solo ever on a recording?
Crash - The Paul Haggis version, not the Cronenberg version. Appropriately haunting, moving and mesmerizing by Paul Isham and Bird York.
Rocky Horror Picture Show - The best substitute if you don't have time to watch the entire movie. One of those rare soundtracks out there that's actually better than the movie.
Boogie Nights - Any soundtrack that contains Melanie's Brand New Key and Night Ranger's Sister Christian has to be good. Causes visions of Heather Graham's Roller Girl to boogie through my head.
Oliver - Lionel Bart's musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic is now available as a deluxe edition 1963 Original Broadway Cast recording. Just thinking of it makes me start humming the tune to Food, Glorious Food and Boy for Sale.
Chicago - Although John C. Reilley's rendition of Mister Cellophane is the throw-away song for most people, it's our reason for buying this soundtrack! That plus the dusky dulcet tones of Queen Latifah!
Coal Miner's Daughter - Which is better, Sissy Spacek's version of the soundtrack or Loretta Lynn's album version? That this is even a legitimate question is a testament to how good this soundtrack really is.
The Sound of Music - A great Rodgers and Hammerstein compilation from a bad Robert Wise movie. Hearing Julie Andrews hit the high notes is worth the cost of this 2-disc CD set.
Cabaret - From Joel Gray's opening Wilkommen to the closing notes of Finale, you'll wonder why Cabaret was the last successful Hollywood musical until 2001 when Moulin Rouge hit the theaters. But oh dear! What happened to Liza Minnelli.
Mary Poppins - There's a new enhanced 40th anniversary special edition of this soundtrack now available that includes many new Richard and Robert Sherman expanded or previously unreleased pieces. But thankfully it doesn't include Dick Van Dyke's abysmal Cockney accent.
The Blues Brothers - A great blues and rock soundtrack. Also appears on our list of the best prison movies. R-r-r-rubber biscuit!
Once - The film depends 100% on the fine musical stylings of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. They deliver with a soundtrack and film that will stick with you for a long time.
Pan's Labyrinth - Javier Navarrete creates a mezmerising sound to accompany one of the best film's of 2006.
Into the Wild - Eddie Vedder's crooning vocals provide the ideal accompaniment to one of the best films of 2007. Forget what you think you know about Sean Penn and watch this film. But buy the soundtrack first. A guaranteed memorable experience.
The Breakfast Club (1985) - What would the list be without a John Hughes film on it. Not many other films represent the '80s better than this one. "Don't, don't, don't you, forget about me..."
Black Snake Moan - Good ol' American Blues and the moan of the black snake. It's dirty, and it's stinky, but most of all, it's something that comes from within a person's soul. Some of the tracks feature Samuel L. Jackson himself... not half bad.
Whip It! - Don't know how they did it, but this eclectic ensemble of mix-n-match diddies from The Kings of Leon to The Breeders; from The Chordettes to The Go! Team; from The Ravonettes to Radiohead plays perfectly to the mood of the film. Drew Barrymore hits it out of the park with her directorial debut.
A Love Song for Bobby Long - John Travolta and Scarlett Johansson star. Features a great soundtrack with songs by Willie King, Lonnie Pitchford, Grayson Capps, and Lightnin' Hopkins. Also included in our List of the Best Movies Set in New Orleans.
Juno -Movies don't come much quirkier than this, nor do they come with a more eclectic compilation of songs. Features a mesmerizing duo by Ellen Page and Michael Cera.
Pretty in Pink - Dipped in a vat of '80s atmosphere and then rolled in big hair, parachute pants, and neon leg warmers. All '80s all the time.
The Sting (1973) - An entire generation of movie-goers can hum Scott Joplin's The Entertainer. It is that significant.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - From Beck to the Black Lips, this quirky conglomeration of musical diddies is only surpassed by the quirkiness of the film itself.
Grease (1978) - The proof is in the endurance and timelessness of the music. Oh, and Olivia Newton-Johns's pants as well.
American Hustle (2013) - Getting the music just right was a big struggle for director David O. Russell. He nailed it!
Have additional information, want to know what others are saying, or don't agree with something we said?
Read or post comments about the Best Movie Soundtracks on the
List of Best Movie Soundtracks Discussion Forum