Great rabbit holes to go down!

I have been doing an informal survey of people’s favorite movie soundtracks.  I have been surprised with the intensity with which they advocate for their favorites!  Plays are not included, nor are movie soundtracks originally from stage musicals   I’m including soundtracks that feature various artists’ existing songs, not just soundtracks that have only music written for the movie.  If you are in the mood to expand your music listening this winter, this list should keep you busy.  If you don’t see your favorite, please tell us what it is in our Comments section.

From my survey of friends:

Sleepless in Seattle – 1993, an amazing soundtrack!  “As Time Goes By” Jimmy Durante, “Stardust” Nat King Cole, “Bye Bye Blackbird” Joe Cocker, “Stand By Your Man” Tammy Wynette, and more.






When Harry Met Sally – 1989, The songs are performed by Harry Connick, Jr.  The album went to Number 1 on the jazz chart at Billboard magazine. A few of the songs are “It Had to be you”, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and more.









American Graffiti– 1973, it is a double album with 41 tracks. Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Beach Boys and The Platters, talk about nostalgia!



Saturday Night Fever – 1977 – three of the Bee Gees songs hit number 1. Who doesn’t love “Staying Alive”?


Black Panther – 2018, Kendrick Lamar’s stand-alone project by an acclaimed rapper.







Love Actually – 2003, an international co-production between the U.K., U.S., and France.  Since this is a Christmas romantic comedy, the songs are holiday themed.  “Christmas Is all Around” by Brenda Lee, “Take Me As I Am” by Wyclef Jean, “ All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Tessa Niles, “River” by Joni Mitchell and many more.


Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? – 2000, made bluegrass cool.  “I am a Man of Constant Sorrow” for example.







The Big Chill – 1983 – I might never get over the kitchen dance number to “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”.


Dirty Dancing – 1987, Loved “She’s Like the Wind”.  No one puts Baby in the corner…


Grease – 1978, Great sing-along soundtrack. Barry Gibb, Frankie Valli, Olivia Newton-John’s “You’re the One That I Want”, “Summer Nights”, all fabulous.


Boogie Nights – 1997, disco to ballads.






Easy Rider – 1969, has Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, Steppenwolf.





From my survey of millennials:

Stepmom 1998, with Julia Roberts, has “Under Pressure” performed by David Bowie and Queen, “Green Onions” performed by Booker T & the MGs, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and more.


High Fidelity – 1999, Contains many music genres and iconic musicians – Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Jack Black, The Kinks, Stevie Wonder.






Rushmore – 1998, has The Kinks, The Who, Cat Stevens, John Lennon, Chad & Jeremy and more.


Almost Famous – 2000, Cameron Crowe put together the soundtrack that includes “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “America” by Simon & Garfunkel, “Slip Away” by Clarence Carter and more.







Jackie Brown – 1997, based on an Elmore Leonard novel, a Quenton Tarantino film and a bit of a sleeper.  Amazing soundtrack with 31 tracks by The Grass Roots, Bill Withers, The Delfonics, Jermaine Jackson, Johnny Cash, The Supremes, The Temptations and more.



Requiem for A Dream – 2000, composed by Clint Mansell and performed by the Kronos Quartet.


Goodfellas – 1990, great lineup with Aretha, Cream, Muddy Waters, Tony Bennett.






A Charlie Brown Christmas – 1965, most of the music was composed by Vince Guaraldi.  Other music pieces are traditional carols like  “O Tannenbaum” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”  It’s heavenly.



The Harder They Come – 1972, helped popularize reggae.






Magnolia – 1999, Aimee Mann’s music inspired the director, Paul Thomas Anderson, to write Magnolia.




Other suggestions:

The Royal Tenenbaums – 2001, love the Nico songs.








Juno – 2007, music from various artists including the Kinks, “All I want is You” by Barry Louis Polisar, Mott the Hoople, The Velvet Underground and more.


Forrest Gump – 1994, has a 34-song soundtrack.


The Graduate – 1967, Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”.  The songs and the movie are indistinguishable because the songs add so much value.


Shaft – 1971 – Isaac Hayes’ amazing soundtrack.







The Bodyguard – 1992, Whitney Houston, Kenny G, “I Will Always Love You”.


Flashdance – Donna Summer’s “Romeo”, great dance music.








Titanic – Celine Dion “My heart Will Go On”


Waiting to Exhale – 1995, Has Aretha, Patti LaBelle, Toni Braxton, Brandy, Whitney Houston.








A Hard Day’s Night – 1964, Soundtrack by the Beatles, what could be better?  “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “If I Fell”, and more.



Apocalypse Now – 1979, “The End” by The Doors, “ I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” Rolling Stones and more.  The soundtrack is used to reinforce the theme that war is absurd, tragic and mad.








Purple Rain – 1984, has “Let’s Go Crazy”.  and ”When Doves Cry”. A rock musical drama scored by and starring Prince.






Baby Boomers’ choices

My friend Billy D. weighed in with these selections:

Sound of Music – 1965, this soundtrack has sold over 20 million copies and is one of the most successful soundtrack albums in history.








Chariots of Fire – 1981, the movie score is by Greek electronic composer Vangelis, and it won an Oscar for Original Music Score.  The soundtrack also includes a track of “Jerusalem”.

Blown Away, 1994, has “With or Without You” by U2, tracts by Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker and more. Movie stars Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones.








What’s Love Got to do With It? 1993, soundtrack album for the Tina Turner documentary of the same name.



Once, 2007, Various artists but mainly songs by frontman Glen Hansard with Czech songstress Markéta Irglová.


The Mission – 1986, the music was composed, orchestrated, conducted, and produced by Ennio Morricone.  The music combines native drumming, Spanish-influenced guitars and liturgical chorales.










O Lucky Man!- 1973, starred Malcolm McDowell, music is by Alan Price from the Animals band.


Mama Mia – 1999, Music by ABBA. The soundtrack was released in 2008 and was nominated for a Grammy award.


The Muppet Movie – 1979, has nine original songs, most are iconic.  “The Rainbow Connection” for example.


Top Gun – Kenny Loggin’s “Danger Zone” is THE best! 1986