Admit it. You’ve sang Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go” more times than you’d care to admit and you won’t even think twice about re-watching Disney’s “Frozen” for all the songs that were featured in the film. The fact that we can immediately think of a film when we listen to a particular song proves just how much music matters to movies.
Some of the soundtracks may not have been originally written for the film but they surely captured our attention for fitting perfectly into movie scenes. Through these films, we were introduced to the top-line artistes that were tied to curate the film soundtracks and some old acts that were left unnoticed.
So, from rom-com to action-packed films to musicals, we’ve compiled a list of soundtracks that have stuck with us ever since we watched the films. Unfortunately, we’re not going to include Disney movies into the list because we just can’t choose our favourite Disney song like how parents can’t choose their favourite child. Check out the movies that made it into our list:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy
Baby Groot wouldn’t be dancing so happily in the film if it weren’t for Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”. All thanks to Star Lord aka Peter Quill’s mixtape, the film took us back in time by featuring a number of songs from the 70s to 80s.
They are undoubtedly some of the best feel-good music that held some sentimental values for Peter Quill as the cassette tape is the only thing that he had with him before being kidnapped from the planet Earth. Although the songs weren’t originally composed for the film, the pop music helped set the tone and the mood for the film and it was an awesome mixtape indeed!
2. The Hunger Games
The songs of hopelessness, the songs of uprising, and the songs of victory; these are just some of the songs that have been featured in the soundtrack album for “The Hunger Games” trilogy. Music A-listers such as Coldplay, Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire, and Lorde were involved in composing the original soundtracks for the film.
Some of the songs may not fit well with the folk theme of the film, but “The Hunger Games” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtrack albums were a great collection of songs that gave a much richer experience for both the music fans and the audience of the film.
3. The Great Gatsby
All the glitz and glamour in the film adaptation of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” have been translated fairly well in the original soundtrack album of the film. On top of directing this film, Baz Luhrmann curated the soundtrack album together with American rapper Jay Z, who was involved in producing the film.
The album contains both original soundtracks and cover versions that incorporated the new style of music into 1920’s jazz age. From will.i.am’s “Bang Bang” to the cover version of Beyonce‘s “Crazy in Love” to Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful”, the album is a mix of upbeat tunes and hauntingly beautiful music that successfully defined the film.
4. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
“The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug” caught us off guard with Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” in the film’s original motion picture soundtrack album. While everyone expected to hear some majestic scores from the film, “I See Fire” is a hauntingly beautiful track with Sheeran’s signature acoustic music style.
But of course, the sounds behind the soundtrack album were mostly composed by Howard Shone. Without Shone’s film scores, some scenes in the film might not have been as impactful as it turned out to be in the end. On top of that, the scores highlighted the film’s fantasy theme and captured the spirit of the film.
5. Saturday Night Fever
It’s true, the Bee Gees songs that were featured in “Saturday Night Fever” used to be the songs that people would listen to before heading out for a night in the disco. It has been almost 30 years since the film was released but the disco music songs in the film had a cultural impact with a lasting effect on the world.
The soundtrack album of “Saturday Night Fever” was mostly composed and performed by the Bee Gees but there were some other delightful pieces performed by other artistes including Kool and the Gang as well as the Sunshine Band. Sure, they may be a little old school for you but trust us when we say they can turn any place into a dance floor.
6. Mamma Mia
Speaking of the disco music style, the iconic musical film “Mamma Mia” is a film that was known to have created new wave of cultural phenomenon based on the stage musical of the same name. The original pop group ABBA was involved in curating the soundtrack album with the use of some traditional Greek instruments.
“Mamma Mia” has featured vocal performances by the film’s cast, who sang the cover version of ABBA’s songs. “Mamma Mia” aside, the album yielded other notable tracks such as “Honey, Honey”, “Dancing Queen”, and “The Winner Takes It All”.
Ask anyone about the song they remember most from iconic romantic disaster film “Titanic” and most of them will say Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”. Because, needless to say, the song became a worldwide smash hit upon the release of the film.
However, similar to “The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug”, the soundtrack album mostly contained original scores composed, orchestrated, and conducted by James Horner. The album has sold over 30 million copies and became the highest-selling primarily orchestral soundtrack.
8. The Perks of Being A Wallflower
One of the things you’ve probably heard from those who’ve watched this coming-of-age film is the brilliant song choices. Throughout the film, the characters were seen exchanging mixtapes and at the same time introduced some great soundtracks for the movie goers.
The notable tracks such as The Smiths’ “Asleep” and The Beatle’s “Dear Prudence” allow us to appreciate the music more even though some of them were rather emotional. The genre of the film helped set the tone, which in turn helped create soundtrack album that is – for lack of a better word – brilliant.
- School of Rock
- Charlie’s Angels
- Star Wars
- Les Miserables
- Love Me If You Dare (Jeux D’Enfants)
- Pulp Fiction
Got any song from a film that you can’t stop listening to?
Just share us the list of your favourite movie soundtracks in the comment box below! 😉