For me, the most memorable films are often the ones with the best movie soundtracks. There are those with one amazing song that becomes an instant classic, and then there are those where every song matches the moment in the film perfectly. This is by no means definitive, obviously, but here are some of my best movie soundtracks.
1. (500) Days of Summer
This was always going to be on my list of the best movie soundtracks. With everything from Hall & Oates, to Temper Trap, to my favourites, The Smiths, 500 Days Of Summer took the unconventional route on its music, as well as its depiction of love.
Whilst I love the entire soundtrack, this film would be on here just for College’s ‘A Real Hero’ alone. Drive is a film where what you’re hearing is as important as what you’re seeing.
Okay, so I know it’s terribly cheesy, but you can’t beat a bit of Grease. I’m a long-time hater of musicals, but this is still one of my favourite films. What could be better than a night in with your friends, a bottle of wine and a big group singalong?
Again, cheesy. But it doesn’t matter how many times I watch the film, I still can’t help tearing up as soon as I hear the first strains of A Life So Changed.
5. Blue Velvet
Even though (and I’m a little embarrassed to admit this) I failed to really understand the film, it stayed with me a long time after the end credit. I know that was largely because of the soundtrack.
6. Pulp Fiction
Quentin Tarantino always tends to produce films with great soundtracks, but this has to be one of the best. The soundtrack goes so well with the scenes in the film. Don't you agree?
7. Romeo + Juliet
One of the first, and most successful, movies to match love scenes with indie songs. Who would have thought Shakespeare would be so beautifully matched with Radiohead?
8. The Breakfast Club
A classic eighties film with a classic soundtrack. The first time I watched it, it opened with Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You Forget About Me,’ and I knew I’d love it. In fact, I would happily put a ton of eighties films on this list – it might not have been the best era for fashion, but it was certainly an impressive era for music.
If only for the shower scene, where Marion Crane’s death is accompanied by the sounds of violins – it must be the most iconic murder scene in film history. The music certainly calls up the imagery.
Always a feature on the best movie soundtracks of all time lists, the soundtrack has just as big a following as the film itself. The two go together flawlessly, with each making the other better.
11. Pretty Woman
I love this film, and I love the soundtrack too. I’m not the only one – the album became certified three times platinum. There’s a bit of Prince, a piano piece composed by Richard Gere himself, some Bowie, and of course, the title track by Roy Orbison. What more could you ask for?
12. The Piano
Michael Nyman’s soundtrack to the film is all the more significant given the lead character is mute – ‘The Heart Asks Pleasure First’ is particularly beautiful.
These are all some of my favourite films, and it’s mainly because of the amazing soundtracks. It’s obviously a very personal thing though, and I’m always keen to see how two people can have such different reactions to films. But is that not the mark of a good film? The ones that can make you feel a strong emotional reaction. What movie soundtracks do you love?