What's your favorite movie soundtrack album?
March 27, 2004 12:04 AM   Subscribe

What's your favorite movie soundtrack album?

Soundtracks are great, they can be just straight music from the film, or a wide mix of stuff that never made it in. Some are popular and some are inexplicably ignored. I'll bet everyone can think of at least one and maybe an interesting anecdote as to why you think it's great.
posted by milovoo to Grab Bag (89 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I like the Magnolia soundtrack with Aimee Mann quite a bit.
posted by The God Complex at 12:40 AM on March 27, 2004

Pulp Fiction!
posted by Alylex at 12:46 AM on March 27, 2004

"The Crow" soundrack, (and orchestra score). "Hackers" soundtrack, and the "Akira" soundtrack.
posted by bobo123 at 12:47 AM on March 27, 2004

Two from Philip Glass: Koyanisqaatsi and The Thin Blue Line.

Also: not a movie, but Cosmos. First soundtrack cassette I ever owned. A fittingly eclectic mix from ol' what's-his-name. You know, one of them people who put together the Voyager record.
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:49 AM on March 27, 2004

Both the Lock, Stock and Snatch soundtracks are amazing, with a blend of quality music both new and old. I never realized how truly vital the soundtrack is to the film until listening to the standalone albums.

The Lock, Stock soundtrack is particularly useful as a decisive victory tactic when your downstairs neighbors challenge you to an impromptu Battle of The Bass. E-Z Rollers' "Walk This Land" rattles the entire building. <cackle>

One caveat: Compare the US version to the UK import before purchasing. Two notable songs and several clips from the film are missing from the domestic release. You can always pick them up from your MP3 vendor/source or choice if you'd rather not pay the premium if you are so moved.

I would similarly recommend every single one of the painfully overpriced Cowboy Bebop Japanese imports. The entire 26-episode anime series (plus one movie) was again driven by its music as much as its plot, and the vast majority of these tunes are original compositions by Yoko Kanno (who seems to have since become a thieving hack.) Tracks span every genre of music, from jazz to rock to orchestral to jpop. Check eBay for cheap non-knockoff versions of the discs and/or boxed sets.

Various other suggestions:
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, sweeping melodies performed in traditional Chinese style.
Monty Python Sings, classics from the series, films, and beyond.
Diablo II Soundtrack. You can actually download the soundtrack to said game in its entirety from this link to Blizzard's FTP server. Matt Uelmen's atmospheric work is outstanding. More here, as well. My favorite at the moment is "Fortress".
posted by Danelope at 12:51 AM on March 27, 2004

You can always pick them up from your MP3 vendor/source or choice if you'd rather not pay the premium if you are so moved.

Wow. Assume first that this was a statement made in the English language and, second, that the implied meaning was "You can always pick them up from your preferred MP3 vendor/source if you'd rather not pay the premium, and if you are so moved."
posted by Danelope at 12:55 AM on March 27, 2004

Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill
Magnificent Seven
Thank God It's Friday (seriously)
posted by davidmsc at 1:04 AM on March 27, 2004

I'm quite fond of Air's score [note: not the soundtrack] to The Virgin Suicides, though I'm sure it's not the best one out there. Still, it's much, much better than the soundtrack and is easily my favorite movie-related disc. It has "Playground Love," which got some radio play, as well as "Dirty Trip" and "Dead Bodies," which are really great tracks.

Bonus points for the cover art.

(Digression. I've never seen Pieces of April, but as a Stephin Merritt fan I can easily recommend the soundtrack given the number of previously released tracks. Even if I would say that you'd be happier with some actual albums by any of Merritt's bands.)
posted by amery at 1:19 AM on March 27, 2004

Danny Elfman and Howard Shore are my favorite movie composers (Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas for the first and Return Of The King and Ed Wood for the second) and I'll second Magnolia, Kill Bill, and Pulp Fiction.

Plus, I have a secret weakness for the Clerks soundtrack, if only for "Chewbacca" and "Berserker".
posted by Katemonkey at 2:18 AM on March 27, 2004

The movie wasn't that great, but I very much liked the atmospheric orchestral soundtrack to Polanski's The Ninth Gate.
posted by misteraitch at 3:07 AM on March 27, 2004

SuperFly (terrible movie though). Also: Performance, Oh Lucky Man, Barry Lyndon. Goodfellas has Scorcese's best soundtrack (and that's saying a lot) but I don't think it was ever released as an album; it's got everything from Tony Bennet to Sid Vicious.
posted by timeistight at 3:11 AM on March 27, 2004

The Harder They Come
posted by jfuller at 3:55 AM on March 27, 2004

Natural Born Killers.
posted by cedar at 4:26 AM on March 27, 2004

True Romance...Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you're so cool, you're so cool, you're so cool. And sometimes Clarence asks me what I would have done if he had died, if that bullet had been two inches more to the left. To this, I always smile, as if I'm not going to satisfy him with a response. But I always do. I tell him of how I would want to die, but that the anguish and the want of death would fade like the stars at dawn, and that things would be much as they are now. Perhaps. Except maybe I wouldn't have named our son Elvis.
posted by oh posey at 4:28 AM on March 27, 2004

Monsoon Wedding. I've worn out two cds so far.
posted by pomegranate at 4:46 AM on March 27, 2004

Rumble Fish by Stewart Copeland
posted by machaus at 4:59 AM on March 27, 2004

Waking Life by Tosca Tango Orchestra.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:12 AM on March 27, 2004

Kill Bill, Vol. I
Forrest Gump
Empire Records
All the Kevin Smith Movies
Reality Bites
The Wedding Singer

and although the soundtrack was never released (no clue why), almost every song in the movie "Fear" with Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon was pretty cool.
posted by precocious at 5:24 AM on March 27, 2004

posted by grefo at 5:36 AM on March 27, 2004

Paris, Texas
posted by lilboo at 5:38 AM on March 27, 2004

Lots of Morricone:

Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in the West
Good the Bad and the Ugly
The Mission
The Thing
The Exorcist 2 (terrible film, terrifying soundtrack)
posted by bifter at 5:49 AM on March 27, 2004

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou
Pulp Fiction
Reservoir Dogs
Spanking the Monkey (I believe that the "soundtrack" to this movie is actually Morphine's "Cure for Pain" album, and it's top-notch)
And at my friend's request, Magnolia
posted by vito90 at 5:50 AM on March 27, 2004

Ooh ooh ooh! How did i forget the soundtrack to Suspiria by Goblins? Bitchin'!
posted by bifter at 5:50 AM on March 27, 2004

One more that I somehow forgot, Eric Clapton did an instrumental album for the movie "Rush" that is really, really fantastic. It is the perfect album to play at volume level 2 as background music for falling asleep. Really terrific.
posted by vito90 at 6:26 AM on March 27, 2004

The ST for Wim Wenders' Until the End of the World. Excellent contributions from U2, R.E.M., Can, Talking Heads, Nenah Cherry, Lou Reed, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Elvis Costello, Jane Siberry, Daniel Lanois...
posted by arco at 6:59 AM on March 27, 2004

I could spit out a long list, but I'll restrict myself to one for each composer:

John Williams--The Empire Strikes Back (two-disc edition)
James Horner--Star Trek III
Jerry Goldsmith--Gremlins (though my favorite Goldsmith score is actually from the European cut of Legend. But that's not available as a soundtrack album, as far as I know).
Hans Zimmer--The Thin Red Line
Eric Serra--Goldeneye
Elliot Goldenthal--Michael Collins
Jon Brion--Magnolia
Philip Glass--Kundun
John Carpenter--Big Trouble in Little China
John Barry--On Her Majesty's Secret Service

And as far as soundtrack albums that aren't film scores, but a collection of songs by different artists--Blade 2.
posted by Prospero at 7:05 AM on March 27, 2004

Live and Let Die - George Martin!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Let's do the Time Warp again! OK.
Velvet Goldmine - I was a glam freak in high school.
The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization, Part II - Simply for the Alice Cooper/Axl Rose duet on "Under My Wheels"
Dracula - composed by Philip Glass, performed by Kronos Quartet
The Hours - Philip Glass
House of Dark Shadows/Night of Dark Shadows - love that theme song
Beauty and the Beast - Bill Nelson, ex-guitarist from Be-Bop Deluxe
Vampyros Lesbos - kitschy-cool 60s jazz

Blade Runner - moody
Brazil - weird time signatures
Breakfast at Tiffany's - classic
The Godfather - mood music
Grease - Love the songs; the vocals? eh
The Pink Panther - nuff said!
Saturday Night Fever - From high school glam to disco floor.
The Sting - I transcribe ragtime songs for 12-string guitar.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - of course!

TV shows:
Twin Peaks - Serious mood music!
Cinderella - "In my own little corner in my own little chair, I can be whoever I want to be."
posted by mischief at 7:08 AM on March 27, 2004

Hard to go wrong with Bernard Herrmann:

North By Northwest

As well, don't miss out on two lesser known Morricone soundtracks for spaghetti westerns:

My Name Is Nobody (Mio nome è Nessuno, Il)
Duck, You Sucker (Giù la testa)

Bizarre, humourous, quite unlike anything I've heard before (both films are pretty good as well). It's almost as if Morricone is parodying his soundtracks to "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" and "A Fistful of Dollars".
posted by filmgoerjuan at 7:10 AM on March 27, 2004

I love The Great Gatsby (fabulous, but hard to find), Pump Up the Volume, Requiem for a Dream, and the lush and gorgeous A Clockwork Orange.
posted by iconomy at 7:11 AM on March 27, 2004

Also from my days on vinyl:

The Exorcist/Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield is my composing hero (followed closely by Philip Glass)
The Shining - Wendy Carlos and Panderecki
Dawn of the Dead - performed by some Italian metal band
posted by mischief at 7:11 AM on March 27, 2004

I don't usually buy soundtracks, but a guilty pleasure of mine is the "Moulin Rouge" soundtrack. I have all the QT soundtracks (Reservoir, Pulp, Jackie and now the fab Kill Bill 1).

The only others I like are the "Good Will Hunting" and "Magnolia" soundtracks, and also the Steve Buschemi film "Tree's Lounge" (featuring the great song by Hayden "Tree's Lounge" which is amazing!).
posted by Quartermass at 7:17 AM on March 27, 2004

Amelie, music mainly by Yann Tiersen.
posted by tenseone at 7:31 AM on March 27, 2004

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (lots of good bluesy/folksy stuff; the movie's also highly underrated)
Requiem for a Dream (music by Clint Mansell [of Pop Will Eat Itself] and the Kronos Quartet)
Pi (also by Clint Mansell and other electronic artists; seems to only be available in the UK)
Rushmore (awesome collection of British Invasion rock)
Session 9 (wierd ambient atmospherics)

And others mentioned above (Waking Life, Good Will Hunting, The Crow, Virgin Suicides, Ninth Gate, etc).
posted by The Michael The at 7:38 AM on March 27, 2004

Looks like I'm going to have to alter my CD-buying budget for soundtracks over the next couple months, especially to get Magnolia.

I second Natural Born Killers.

Also, I forgot Thief, Firestarter and Sorceror, all by Tangerine Dream.
posted by mischief at 7:46 AM on March 27, 2004

Jesus H. Christ, how did I forget the awesome Grosse Pointe Blank?
posted by vito90 at 8:18 AM on March 27, 2004

Amelie. And while its not really a noteworthy soundtrack, for my money, Batman has the best theme in this generation's cinema.
posted by gsteff at 8:27 AM on March 27, 2004

I second the vote for Rushmore--great soundtrack for a great movie.

The Sting - I transcribe ragtime songs for 12-string guitar.

Then you absolutely must hunt down the soundtrack for Crumb, the documentary about Robert Crumb.
posted by turaho at 8:34 AM on March 27, 2004

Pulp Fiction. Requiem for a Dream. Pi. Rushmore. Bottle Rocket. Clerks. Mallrats, just for Weezer's "Suzanne"....all right, not just for the Weezer song. There's also that cover with the Jay and Silent Bob video....Koyannisqatsi. Cinematic Orchestra's AWESOME score to A Man With a Movie Camera. Pump Up the Volume, just for the non-album version of the Pixies' "Wave of Mutiliation." Donnie Darko! Okay, you can't buy that last one, but the soundtrack still kicks some serious ass.
posted by jbrjake at 8:34 AM on March 27, 2004

The Heat soundtrack is fantastic. Includes a diverse range of tracks inlcuding The Kronos Quartet, Terje Rypdal and Brian Eno.
posted by chill at 8:50 AM on March 27, 2004

Gladiator, O Brother Where Art Thou, Cosmos(a lot of it by Vangelis), Chariots of Fire (also Vangelis).
posted by konolia at 8:52 AM on March 27, 2004

Wow, great suggestions! One I haven't seen mentioned here is one of my favourites: Ocean's Eleven (the newer one with George Clooney), groovy jazzy stuff.
posted by biscotti at 8:59 AM on March 27, 2004

Another vote for Kill Bill vol.1, and for my own money, you can't go wrong with any of the Cowboy Bebop soundtracks (except the remix disc).
posted by Monster_Zero at 9:22 AM on March 27, 2004

Judgement Night sdtrk presaged the merging of rock and rap by, what, five or ten years? Did it better, in large part, too. Dead Presidents has a lot of great motown/soul/R&B stuff. I'll add my vote for the QT stuff here, as well as Swingers and Virgin Suicides.
posted by Sinner at 9:24 AM on March 27, 2004

Koyaanisqatsi by Philip Glass
Powaqqatsi by Philip Glass
[The Naqoyqatsi soundtrack was very disappointing, I thought]
For All Mankind (movie) the soundtrack of which is Apollo by Brian Eno.

miscief, I thought some of the songs on the movie version of TwinPeaks (Fire Walk With Me) were incredible, but I've never gotten round to buying the soundtrack. That may now change.

jbrjake, the alternative version of Wave of Mutilation (the slower "UK Surf" version) is also available on Complete 'B' Sides.

posted by Blue Stone at 9:24 AM on March 27, 2004

Drowning By Numbers by Michael Nyman.
posted by Blue Stone at 9:26 AM on March 27, 2004

Sheesh, Angelo Badalamenti's jazz run through Trent Reznor's production on Lost Highway is a must-have!

Oh, and Vince Garaldi on "A Boy Named Charlie Brown"!

I love soundtracks! Sorry, I just can't pick a favorite.

In a couple days, perhaps we can do a thread on theatre cast recordings. ;-P
posted by mischief at 9:41 AM on March 27, 2004

I second the votes for Bernard Hermann's "Vertigo" and Ennio Morricone's "Duck You Sucker" (which is also known as "A Fist Full of Dynamite.")

Almost anything my Miklos Rosza is fantastic. My favorite scores by him are "A Thief of Bagdad" and "Fedora," which was issued on CD, but is really hard to find (I managed to get it on ebay).

Max Steiner's "King Kong" is great, as is Hermann's "Citizen Kane."

Never released on CD, but available on a rare LP is Jerry Goldsmith's really fun score for the silly film, "Sebastian."

Another great Hermann score for a Hitchcock film is "Pyscho." It's quite different from his "Vertigo" score and it's much more nuanced that the only thing people remember from it, which is the shrieking strings in the shower sequence. It was the first (and only?) score ever to be orchestrated for strings only.

Nino Rota is best known in for "The Godfather," but check out his scores for Felinni's films. My favorites are "Juliet of the Spirits" and "Amacord."

David Byrne and Ryuichi Sakamoto wrote a haunting score for Bertolucci's "The Last Emperor."

Stephen Sondheim has a wonderful score for a movie called "Stavisky." That's the musical-theatre Sondheim, but the "Stavisky" score is just intrumental.
posted by grumblebee at 10:07 AM on March 27, 2004

I always thought the soundtracks to the Farrelly Brother's films were surprisingly good. The films may be wacky, but I always loved the music that was often surprisingly sincere, especially with the film Kingpin. Plus, Me Myself and Irene features Pete Yorn, one of my favorites.

Don't forget High Fidelity either.
posted by ALongDecember at 10:22 AM on March 27, 2004

The Royal Tenenbaums, Hackers 2 (Not the sequel to the movie, the companion CD)
posted by Pockets at 10:27 AM on March 27, 2004

Peter Gabriel's score for The Last Temptation of Christ. It's called Passion.
posted by ifjuly at 10:34 AM on March 27, 2004

This is a fourth vote for Rushmore: a great film with a great soundtrack.

The Pi soundtrack is outstanding.

Lately, I've been listening to the Bend it Like Beckham soundtrack (or my own home-brewed version of it), believe it or not. Fun, infectious India-pop. I'd love to learn more about this kind of music. I love it.
posted by jdroth at 10:52 AM on March 27, 2004

Magnolia, Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides.
posted by btwillig at 10:54 AM on March 27, 2004

Oh, I forgot, make that 5 votes for Rushmore.
posted by btwillig at 10:58 AM on March 27, 2004

Maybe not my fave, but I do love Assassination tango. It's mostly, you know . . . tangos.
posted by Shane at 11:20 AM on March 27, 2004

{{{Slaps self on head for not remembering Peter Gabriel's Passion.}}} Seriously the business.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:56 AM on March 27, 2004

Thank God It's Friday (i know--i'm cheesy)

Southpark: Bigger Longer and Uncut
posted by amberglow at 12:20 PM on March 27, 2004

not necessarily my all-time favorites, but good ones off the top of my head...

The Muppet Movie
Ghost World
Mulholland Drive
The Royal Tenenbaums
some of the tracks on Eyes Wide Shut
The Wicker Man
Bjork - Selmasongs (kinda the soundtrack to Dancer in the Dark)
maybe a Best of Morricone if you're not sure which specific Morricone to get (i.e. I like his Sacco & Vanzetti track but I'm not sure how that whole LP is or even if there is an entire S&V LP).
some tracks on Silent Running (Joan Baez in outer space = sadness!)
The Sweet Hereafter (primarily because you get to listen to Sarah Polley sing)
Singin' in the Rain, if only for Make 'Em Laugh and the title song
Three Colors - Blue is the best soundtrack CD of the three colors
Koyanisqaatsi - but that's already been mentioned a few times above
lots of Michael Nyman soundtracks - (someone mentioned Drowning By Numbers above, check out his other Peter Greenaway soundtracks. I also like his Wonderland soundtrack).
and so on...
posted by gluechunk at 1:10 PM on March 27, 2004

Koyannisqatsi, wicker man.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:30 PM on March 27, 2004

Response by poster: these are great, I'm glad I asked.

I'll just add my favorites. the Hairdresser's Husband, and Mediterraneo .

Also Exotica, the music from Blade, the City of Lost Children and the big double disc Apocalypse Now soundtrack.

There really are some interesting choices here,
so much for this month's album budget.
posted by milovoo at 4:07 PM on March 27, 2004

Dead Man Walking

This is a mix of songs used in the film and songs inspired by the film. When Tim Robbins had a rough cut of the film, he sent it out along with newspaper clippings about the true story to songwriters he felt were good storytellers. He didn't use all the material he got back, but some of the stuff he couldn't use he collected for this album.

How can you go wrong with Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, and Eddie Vedder. But it is the Pakistani singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan that really moves me.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:14 PM on March 27, 2004

60 comments and no one mentioned The Commitments??? Baby jebus crying time! Also, a shoutout for The Big Chill, which was amazing. Maybe it's just my ear or tast because, though I like Shore, Hermann, Morricone and those guys, "just background" music really never breaks through to me the way songs do.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:19 PM on March 27, 2004

The soundtracks to "Mondo Cane" and "The Atomic Cafe" are both great, but hard to find.
posted by interrobang at 5:15 PM on March 27, 2004

Ghost World - Withnail And I
posted by y2karl at 6:52 PM on March 27, 2004

Music from the film Cal, by Mark Knopfler, who wrote a loose score and set Paul Brady (tinwhistle) and Liam Og O'Flynn (pipes) free in it, is breathtaking. Local Hero is another good Knopfler score; they probably are all good.

The brilliant Hal Hartley calls himself Ned Rifle when he does the wonderful music for his films like Amateur and No Such Thing. It is reminiscent of Michael Nyman, mentioned twice above.

Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue), a Luc (Femme Nikita, Fifth Element) film with Jean Reno, has a great soundtrack.

John Carpenter has a couple of gravelly, growling, absolutely swaggering tracks I love that he did for his film Vampires, but, IMO, the rest of the CD is a bit so-so.

Ages ago the Edge scored a film called Captive, with a track with Sinead O'Conner vocals. Great stuff, if you can find it. Very interesting.

Let's not forget Henry Mancini: the Pink Panther, Peter Gunn, et al. Brilliant!

And television: themes from The Odd Couple, Barney Miller, Dark Shadows , Soap, etc etc etc etc!

And one of my all-time faves that I cannot recommend enough: Music from the film Rumblefish by Stewart Copeland. Not everyone goes for it, some say it's not melodic enough, but I flip for it completely.

(And plenty more that I'll kick myself tomorrow for not remembering tonight.)
posted by Shane at 7:00 PM on March 27, 2004

What is this, the eighth vote for Rushmore? That soundtrack makes me so happy I could cry. And by 'happy' I could mean suicidally depressed, but you get the picture.

I'll also throw in my seconds for Pi, the Nightmare Before Christmas, and A Clockwork Orange.

My two new nominations are "Night on Earth," composed and performed by Tom Waits, with one of my favorite of his songs buried down in there.

Also, the Original Star Wars Trilogy. Fucking heathens.
posted by kaibutsu at 7:02 PM on March 27, 2004

Response by poster: I always think it's interesting how, once you recognize some soundtracks, you hear them in other contexts, like the "requiem for a dream" theme in the "lord of the ring" advertisements, and carmina burana everywhere.

(Randomly related, Michelle Kwan just skated to a segment of the Peter Gabriel "Passion" soundtrack at the championships. Good Stuff.)

on preview, I agree that the "withnail and I" ST is good, and for some reason that reminded me of the "dream with the fishes" ST, quality mixes of interesting rock.

... not to be confused (like I do) with the also excellent "sleeps with the fishes" ST by Pieter Nooten / Michael Brook, which is nice ambient instrumental.

and yes, Hal Hartley (Ned Rifle) is seriously in a league of his own as far as writing his own soundtracks, if only he would release more of them, instead of just the one comp for his early films. The rock serenade from "Surviving Desire" kicks butt, but the compilation version sounds mushy.
posted by milovoo at 7:13 PM on March 27, 2004

Correction: a Luc (Femme Nikita, Fifth Element) film above should be a Luc (Femme Nikita, Fifth Element) Besson film. Makes more sense, eh?

Heh, I'm cranking the two Carpenter tunes Slayers and Padre's Wood off Vampires right now and they (especially Padre's Wood) rock very seriously.
posted by Shane at 7:23 PM on March 27, 2004

The Hot Spot is a horrible movie with a really good soundtrack. Miles Davis and John Lee Hooker work together on it.
posted by modofo at 8:18 PM on March 27, 2004

some LPs i left off in the above list:
Decline of Western Civilization Part 1
Sid & Nancy
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
"Film Music" by Mark Isham (contains tracks from three movies)
and although it's not a movie soundtrack, I highly recommend Bo Hansson's "Music inspired by Lord of the Rings" - it kicks ass over the movie music. you'll be tripping.
posted by gluechunk at 8:55 PM on March 27, 2004

James Newton Howard's soundtrack for "Unbreakable." Actually, JNH has done a lot of wonderful work; check out his soundtrack for "Promised Land." Ed Shearmur's soundtrack for "K-Pax." Michael Nyman's soundtrack for "Gattaca." I'll also confirm the reccomendations for Peter Gabriel's "Passion" (for "The Last Temptation of Christ") and throw in his "Long Walk Home" (for "Rabbit-Proof Fence"). And another shout-out for Clint Mansell's soundtrack for "p." Tangerine Dream's soundtrack for "Miracle Mile." Eric Serra's soundtrack for "The Fifth Element" (really, just about everything he's done is good, including his hard-to-find solo album "RXRA"). John Williams' score for "Catch Me If You Can" is a lot of fun.
posted by kindall at 9:11 PM on March 27, 2004

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Haunting! Sure, one track was a popular hit. The rest of the album was, for me, an introduction to a whole new concept in music.

Chariots of Fire.
posted by Goofyy at 10:16 PM on March 27, 2004

RE: Cowboy Bebop. While the eclectic musical styles worked extremely well in the context of the cartoon, the soundtrack for its own self is cheesecake. Better off buying authentic jazz, reggae, etc. albums. Also the one with the pop songs is terrible - the vocals are grating.

Everyone has mentioned most of the noteworthy ones I know of: all the Tarantino soundtracks, all the Wes Anderson soundtracks, both Aronofsky soundtracks, all the Reznor related soundtracks, Dead Man Walking {good soundtrack/bad movie}, Pendereki's Shining, O' Brother, Suspiria {as a side note, I have some interesting Suspiria techno remixes from back in the Napster days!}, Darko, Akira, Crumb, Crouching, much Zimmer, much Glass, much Elfman {esp. Edward Scissorhands}, Kids and Gummo, The Crow, Fight Club, 8 Mile, and From Dusk till' Dawn.
posted by dgaicun at 1:09 AM on March 28, 2004

Just noticed Sinner's entry - yeah Judgement Night was cool {GS/BM}, and so was Dead Presidents. Me too.

Also I think I forgot to Wroqq: Demon Knight, Mortal Kombat {1 + Annihilation}, maybe Spawn {in the syncretic spirit of JN tried to bring together bands from separate genres: rock and techno. Unfortunately the result is a style which not only already existed but {unlike JN} had passed its peak: industrial. but whatever} . . .
posted by dgaicun at 1:34 AM on March 28, 2004

Also the new Eternal Sunshine soundtrack seems promising. Last comment I swear . . .
posted by dgaicun at 1:37 AM on March 28, 2004

When We Were Kings soundtrack is one I've worn out a few times. It has great live performances from the pre-fight (Rumble in the Jungle - Ali-Foreman) concert(s), and some great quotes from Ali and others. It makes you feel like you're right in the middle of the greatest party ever.
posted by marsha56 at 4:16 AM on March 28, 2004

showing my age, and maybe it's cheating, but "true stories" and - even better - "stop making sense". damn! - life during wartime must be one of the best songs ever (and, incidentally, i think stop making sense is the only film i've ever been to that had people dancing in the cinema aisles).
posted by andrew cooke at 5:51 AM on March 28, 2004

Or indeed jigging like a fool in the living room when it was on TV.

My favourite ever soundtrack is Nyman's music for The Draughtsman's Contract, which was the first art movie I saw in the cinema (the Minema in Knightsbridge) and it changed the way I saw... pretty much everything. I went straight from the cinema to the Virgin store and bought the soundtrack, because it was the only way you could hold on to a film in those days (a long time before it was released on video and at least a year before Channel 4 showed it) and played it to death. It's still one of my favourite records over twenty years later.

Bloody hell. Twenty years.
posted by Grangousier at 6:04 AM on March 28, 2004

I said to myself that I wouldn't come back into this thread, but no one has yet mentioned Philip Glass's operatic score for Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (which is available on the re-issue of the Criterion Collection DVD). Heathenish as it sounds, I actually prefer the Glass version to the original.
posted by Prospero at 6:54 AM on March 28, 2004

Another vote for Danny Elfman, also Gabriel Yared, who did the instrumentals on City of Angels. The English Patient is also good - instrumentals, dance music, variety.
posted by whatzit at 7:48 AM on March 28, 2004

my two favorites are:
Keeping the Faith
Vanilla Sky
posted by palegirl at 8:49 AM on March 28, 2004

I don't actually listen to soundtrack albums very often. However in a bid to appear cool I will site The Wicker Man and 70's porn soundtracks by Alessandro Alessadroni, Stelvio Cipriani, Piero Umiliani and Enio Morricone.
posted by asok at 10:09 AM on March 28, 2004

always think it's interesting how, once you recognize some soundtracks, you hear them in other contexts, like the "requiem for a dream" theme in the "lord of the ring" advertisements, and carmina burana everywhere.

It is funny how the same themes are used over and over in trailers. I know it's because trailers are often released before the soundtrack is ready but some swelling, majestic themes (Field of Dreams, Right Stuff, and Dances with Wolves come to mind) become so overused it is distracting.

Vangelis was really hot for awhile-- remember the wine commercial everyone loved? I had to run right out and buy Vangelis Themes which has the themes from Missing, The Bounty, Bladerunner, and Chariots of Fire among others.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:34 AM on March 28, 2004

posted by inpHilltr8r at 2:48 PM on March 28, 2004

Second here for Powaqqatsi. Though the first movie in the series, Koyaanisqatsi, has been mentioned several times in this thread, and it is a better movie, Powaqqatsi has the better soundtrack, IMO. Some of its music was also used in The Truman Show.

If I had to pick one, that would be it. If I'm allowed more, I'd add recommendtions of Edward Scissorhands, Rudy, and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:57 AM on March 29, 2004

Breakfast at Tiffany's
The Harder They Come
Dead Man (Has the "Campfire Scene" on it)
The Sweet Hereafter
posted by black8 at 10:05 AM on March 29, 2004

Purple Rain. and Boomerang. No, seriously!
posted by anildash at 5:55 PM on March 29, 2004

I don't think anyone has named any Bollywood-related soundtrack. I don't have a specific recommendation in that area, but there are some great bollywood tracks out there.
posted by gluechunk at 10:43 PM on March 29, 2004

Response by poster: I like the kind of peppy dance stuff in the bollywood films, but I haven't been keeping up in the last few years. I used to have a compilation of Raj Kapoor soundtracks that was my favorite of the classic Indian stuff. That seems like a safe place to start.

Their catalog is in flash, but these guys have that one, as well as a bunch of others that look good.
posted by milovoo at 6:51 PM on April 3, 2004

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