Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Top 25 Movie Soundtracks

This list was pretty hard to compile. For integrity's sake I did not include concert films (Urgh! A Music War, Woodstock, Stop Making Sense) soundtracks where the majority of songs were from one band (The Graduate,Purple Rain, Control, The Wall, Into The Wild) musicals (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) or soundtracks full of covers of one band (I'm Not There, I Am Sam). I wanted to include soundtracks which had a diverse group of bands. This list has nothing to do with how I feel about the above movies. Some of these I am a huge fan of, others I really don't care for. All that being said, here's my list!

25.Repo Man (1984)

Emelio Estevez stars in this movie directed by Alex Cox about a young punk who becomes a repo man. Great hardcore/punk soundtrack

Best tracks:
Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized
Black Flag - TV Party
Fear - Let's Have A War

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

24.Clueless (1995)
90s comedy starring Alicia Silverstone with a very strong mostly alternative soundtrack.

Best tracks:
Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees
Counting Crows - The Ghost In You
Smoking Popes - Need You Around
Luscious Jackson - Here

Purchase this soundtrack on Amazon

23.Empire Records (1995)
What a soundtrack! Sadly many of the songs in the movie didn't make the actual soundtrack cut. Here are some that did though.

Best tracks:
Gin Blossoms - Til I Hear It From You
Edwyn Collins - A Girl Like You
Cranberries - Liar
The Innocence Mission - Bright As Yellow

Purchase this soundtrack on Amazon

22. SLC Punk (1998)
Fun movie starring Matthew Lillard. Great nostalgic punk rock!

Best tracks:
The Stooges - 1969
Ramones - Cretin Hop
Adolescents - Amoeba
Blondie - Dreaming
Dead Kennedys - Kill The Poor

21. The Lost Boys (1987)
80s vampire movie featuring the Coreys. Some real good covers on this album

Best tracks
Echo & The Bunnymen - People Are Strange (Doors cover)
Roger Daltrey - Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Elton John cover)
Gerard McMann - Cry Little Sister

Purchase this soundtrack on Amazon

20. Party Monster (2003)
80s NYC club kids. Mac and Seth Green are hilarious in these roles. Watch for a bizarre cameo by Marilyn Manson in drag. This also includes one of the most beautiful Scissor Sisters songs ever.

Best tracks:
Tones on Tail - Go!
Scissor Sisters - It Can't Come Quickly Enough
Stacey Q - Two Of Hearts
Nina Hagen - New York, New York

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

19. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
This soundtrack included two volumes. 80s goodness!

Best tracks:
The Clash - Rudie Can't Fail
Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Cities in Dust
a-ha - Take On Me
The Jam - Absolute Beginners

Purchase this soundtrack on Amazon

18. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Soundtrack produced by Trent Reznor. One of two soundtracks produced by Trent to appear on this list.

Best tracks:
Nine Inch Nails - Burn
Leonard Cohen - Waiting For The Miracle
Cowboy Junkies - Sweet Jane (Velvet Underground cover)
L7 - Shitlist

Purchase this soundtrack on Amazon

17. Adventureland (2009)
I've never actually seen this movie but what a soundtrack!

Best tracks:
Falco - Rock Me Amadeus
Lou Reed - Satellite of Love
The Cure - Just Like Heaven
Hüsker Dü - Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely
David Bowie - Modern Love

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

16.Tank Girl (1995)
Courtney Love was a music consultant for this album. Too bad the movie was so different from the comics, Killer soundtrack,nevertheless

Best tracks
Björk - Army of Me
The Magnificent Bastards - Mockingbird Girl
Devo - Girl U Want
Veruca Salt - Aurora

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

15. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Portuguese Bowie covers and other great songs.

Best tracks:
Seu Jorge - Life on Mars?
The Stooges - Search and Destroy
David Bowie - Queen Bitch
Seu Jorge - Five Years

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

14. Reality Bites (1994)

This introduced Lisa Loeb into the world. Ethan Hawke even does a track or two.

Best tracks:

The Knack - My Sharona
U2 - All I Want Is You
Lisa Loeb - Stay
Juliana Hatfield 3 - Spin The Bottle
New Order - Confusion

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

13. Marie Antoinette (2006)

Sofia Coppola movie starring Kirsten Dunst and the awesome Steve Coogan. The soundtrack mostly has 80s new wave, and Aphex Twin, yet the movie is set in 17th century France. 

Best Tracks:
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Hong Kong Garden
The Cure - Plainsong
Adam and the Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier
Aphex Twin -  Jynweythek Ylow
New Order - Ceremony

Purchase this soundtrack on Amazon

12.Pretty In Pink (1986)

If it's a movie from the 1980s directed by John Hughes, expect some really good songs. 
Best tracks:
Psychedelic Furs - Pretty In Pink
Suzanne Vega - Left of Center
The Smiths - Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - If You Leave

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

11. American Psycho (2000)

We cannot talk about good movie soundtracks without addressing American Psycho. Patrick Bateman is an admitted fan of Phil Collins, Whitney Houston and Huey Lewis and the News. When I think of the 1980s and it's excess, American Psycho always comes to mind.

Best tracks:
New Order - Shellshock
Phil Collins - Sussudio
Information Society - What's On Your Mind?
Daniel Ash - Trouble
David Bowie - Something In The Air

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

10 Lost Highway (1997)

Produced by Trent Reznor, Lost Highway brings great artists from Lou Reed, to David Bowie to Marilyn Manson, to Nine Inch Nails. I have seen this movie several times and I still have no idea what's going on.

Best tracks:

Nine Inch Nails - The Perfect Drug
Lou Reed - This Magic Moment (The Drifters cover)
David Bowie - I'm Deranged
Smashing Pumpkins - Eye
Marilyn Manson - I Put a Spell On You (Screaming Jay Hawkins cover) 

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

09. Say Anything (1989)

Featured one of the most seminal movie scenes where John Cusack is serenading Ione Skye with a boombox playing Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes.

Best tracks:
Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes
The Replacements - Within Your Reach
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Taste the Pain
Depeche Mode - Stripped

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

08. Less Than Zero (1987)

Another great Bret Easton Ellis written film with a great soundtrack. One of Robert Downey Jr.'s best roles. 

Best tracks:
The Bangles - Hazy Shade of Winter (Simon and Garfunkel cover)
LL Cool J - Goin Back to Cali
Danzig - You and Me (Less Than Zero)
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - She Lost You

Purchase this soundtrack on Amazon

07. Pump Up The Volume (1990)

A high school loner starts a pirate radio station where he plays what he wants and says whatever he feels. I used to own this on an old cassette that wore out quickly but I loved the songs.

Best tracks:
Concrete Blonde - Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen cover)
Peter Murphy - I've Got a Miniature Camera
Pixies - Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)
Soundgarden - Heretic
Bad Brains w/Henry Rollins - Kick Out the Jams (MC5 cover)

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

06. Trainspotting (1996)

Danny Boyle directed film about a group of Edinburgh heroin addicts with a strong new wave vibe. Two respective CDs of music were released.

Best tracks:
Brian Eno - Deep Blue Day
Lou Reed - Perfect Day
Iggy Pop - Nightclubbing
David Bowie - Golden Years

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon,
Part 2, here

05. Spawn (1997)

A mixing of rock and electronic producers or DJs. Filter and Marilyn Manson got some airplay with their tracks.

Best tracks:
Marilyn Manson & Sneaker Pimps - Long Hard Road Out of Hell
Slayer & Atari Teenage Riot - No Remorse
Butthole Surfers & Moby - Tiny Rubberband
Filter & The Crystal Method - Trip Like I Do

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

04. The Wedding Singer (1998)

Almost every hit song from the 80s was featured on the two soundtracks for this film

Best tracks:
The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now
A Flock Of Seagulls - Space Age Love Song
Billy Idol - White Wedding

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon,
part 2 here

03. The Crow (1994)

This album represented 90s rock in every form. Sadly, Brandon Lee's last film. The writer was heavily influenced by The Cure and Joy Division while writing The Crow.

Best tracks:
The Cure - Burn
Nine Inch Nails - Dead Souls (Joy Division cover)
Stone Temple Pilots - Big Empty
Jane Siberry - It Can't Rain All The Time
Machines of Loving Grace - Golgotha Tenement Blues

Purchase this soundtrack on Amazon

02. Singles (1992)

The definitive "grunge" film. All of the bands (except Smashing Pumpkins and Paul Westerburg) were from Seattle, it was filmed in Seattle and members of Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden appeared in the movie. Most of the songs were exclusive to this film.

Best tracks:
Pearl Jam - State of Love and Trust
Smashing Pumpkins - Drown
Mother Love Bone - Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns
Alice in Chains - Would?
Soundgarden - Birth Ritual

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

and my personal favorite soundtrack of all time....

01. Donnie Darko (2001)

What more can be said about this film. Perfectly shot by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhall, it's the perfect story and movie set in the 1988. Time travel, chaos theory, and a man in a rabbit suit all feature heavily in here. Why I chose it as #1 is the soundtrack or course, but also how every song fit perfectly in every scene. I can still recall the first scene with Jake Gyllenhall riding his bike with Echo and the Bunnymen's The Killing Moon playing. If you ever plan to see this movie, avoid the director's cut, the original leaves more to the imagination and the songs are used to better effect.

Best tracks:
Echo and the Bunnymen - The Killing Moon
The Church - Under the Milky Way
Joy Divison - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Gary Jules - Mad World (Tears for Fears cover)
Tears for Fears - Head Over Heels

Purchase the soundtrack on Amazon

That's it! Any feedback is much appreciated!


  1. Jawbreaker (1999)

    Thirteen (2003)

    Pulp Fiction (1994)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I agree with High Fidelity and Pulp Fiction... Trainspotting is my personal favorite... I also suggest -

    Human Traffic (1999) - a double disk of awesome.

    Six String Samurai (1998)... ok well that's really just the Red Elvises' album with a new cover and a few sound byte tracks but lol its still epic

  4. Thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely check all these out.