You know, we being the music/movie maestros we are, soundtracks are mightily important.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
My love for this film is documented — it’s my favourite musical, one of my favourite movies, and houses one of my favourite performances in Tim Curry’s Frank. The music, though, is a big part of a musical, funnily enough, so it’s a good thing that Richard O’ Brien crafted, in my opinion, the most perfect set of movie songs put to film. Sweet Transvestite, Over The Frankenstein Place, Rose Tint My World, Science Fiction/Double Feature — all of these I rank highly as proper songs, even without the context of the flick. Fuck it, I love The Time Warp too, sue me.
Reservoir Dogs (1992) – Say what you want about QT, but the sucka knows how to curate a soundtrack. In my opinion, Reservoir Dogs is his finest musical moment — Stuck In The Middle With You made that scene, and any film with Little Green Bag in it is winning points with me.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010) – I’ve sang this film’s praises like a petite little songbird on many an occasion, and its soundtrack is no exception. A wonderful collection of indie and classic rock, we’ve got Metric, we’ve got Bolan, we’ve got Bluetones. And, even topping that, we got Beck writing a wealth of original stuff, which is just lush.
Sound City (2013) – Foos legend Dave Grohl’s documentary on the equally legendary studio came with, almost like a gift we didn’t deserve, an original soundtrack, with the who’s-who of MUSIC OF ALL TIME as the band. I mean, aside from Grohl and his Foos comrades, Joshy boi makes an appearance, along with Trent Reznor, Timmy C and Brad Wilk of RATM, Stevie Nicks, Rick Nielsen, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor and a friggin’ Beatle in Paul McCartney.
Baby Driver (2017) – The second Edgar Wright-curated OST here, music plays a vital role in the director’s latest. Songs like Bellbottoms are quickly becoming some of my favourite discoveries from this dense, genre-spanning selection. Easy will always win my heart and the original track Chase Me is a bastard of a big-beat bombtrack with RTJ. Questions?
ALL OF STAR WARS (including the flippin’ prequels)
Star Wars, as an entire franchise of movies, for me, is the pinnacle of movie soundtracks, the most damn impressive, dramatic blast to the orifices and the emotions to come out of cinema speakers – it ties perfectly with the action and drama in the visual and story aspects of the films, and stands collectively as John Williams’ crown jewel.
This is Spinal Tap (1984) – Maybe not quite the spectacular awesomeness of Star Wars, but this film’s soundtrack produced a genuinely funny album and throughout the film all the subtle comedy is complimented brilliantly by the goofy glam metal.
Deathgasm (2015) – Maybe not the best example of death metal you can ever hear, or even good death metal, but that’s kinda the point, and it’s always entertaining and is vital for the film.
Baby Driver (2017) – It’s just slick, man. The whole film is, but it couldn’t be what it is without this soundtrack – Chase Me and Easy are a couple of STRONG highlights.
Jurassic Park (1993) – Mate. It’s Jurassic Park.
Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Cloud Atlas is one of my favourite books, and while many may disagree, I think the movie adaptation does it wonderful justice. Fewer might deny the beauty of its superb soundtrack. Composers Tom Tykwer, Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek make a formidable trio, presenting the soaring grandeur and exquisite symphonies that the layered story needs.
Star Wars (1977)
This record was made for me. Hendrix, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, Alice In Chains and a double scoop of Pearl Jam — that’s all amazing enough. The real gems, though, are the two Paul Westerberg tunes specially penned for the film and the girls from Heart covering Led Zeppelin. Seriously one of my favourite records right here.
Easy Rider (1969) – Nothing says home to me like the Easy Rider soundtrack. My dad’s favourite record — Jimi, The Byrds, Steppenwolf (twice) and The Weight… The frikkin’ Weight. Classic.
Vampyros Lesbos (1971) – I’ve done the Stones cover on SFTD before, but The Lions and the Cucumber is the biggie from Vampyros Lesbos. It’s all twangy, funky instrumental wig-outs that sounds like a parody of a porno’s soundtrack. Then you remember there was a time when it was a respectable gig making soundtracks to pornos.
Trainspotting (1996) – This one hits you right in the 90’s. Underworld, Pulp, Primal Scream, Blur and Elastica brought Britpop together on the same disc for the first time. Lou Reed and Iggy Pop were the hired big guns.
Angus (1995) – Not a classic film by any stretch, but as soundtracks go, how about Green Day, Ash, Love Spit Love, Dance Hall Crashers, Weezer, The Riverdales, Pansy Division and The Muffs? Far cooler than the movie that spawned it. The Angus album is like one of those mid 90’s punk comps but with A-list talent.
Stay tuned for more Best Thangs of All Time!