Brian J.’s Favorite Soundtracks

So last week, Severian posted a Nerd Fight post about the best soundtrack and invited his commenters to hash out the best soundtrack albums for movies.

Well, we here at MfBJN have owned a soundtrack album or two, and although I did not contribute at his blog, I thought I would steal the theme.

Now, he talks a bit about the history of a soundtrack, but in my post here, I’m going to specify that a soundtrack for my consideration:

  • The songs must have been relatively new for the soundtrack. I mean, you could look at the discs released for Forrest Gump and Sleepless in Seattle. They’re full of good songs, but they were earlier hits collected for the film. Not going to count those.
  • Film scores do not count either. And that’s not just Last of the Mohicans or Lord of the Rings or even Star Trek: The Motion Picture or Star Wars with their soaring classical themes and whatnot but also the works of Henry Mancini (yes, I have both of the Peter Gunn soundtrack albums, and I listened to his work for Charade within the last week. But when I think of soundtracks, I think of collections of vocal music.

Also, this is not a “best” collection, but rather the ones I like best over time.

So here they are, not ranked:

  • Pump Up The Volume
    I have mentioned before that I have this soundtrack which does not have Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” on it). But I have not mentioned that I might have worn out a cassette copy of this soundtrack and bought another before buying a CD of the soundtrack in the 21st century. I have mentioned over and over about the main period when I watched films over and over in my youth (living in a trailer in rural Missouri with nothing but Showtime to keep me company, which oversimplifies it). But when I was in college and had a paycheck, I’d sometimes hit the mall on Friday nights and visit Suncoast and buy videocassettes. Which I would then watch over and over. I watched this movie over and over in those college years when I only had a VCR to keep me company (which oversimplifies it, but my video library was much smaller then). This cassette was one of the ones in heavy rotation in my cheap (but unreliable!) Nissan sports car in 1994-1995, so I heard the soundtrack a bunch, too.
  • Shaft
    I mentioned just recently that I bought numerous blaxploitation films’ soundtracks a decade or so ago. I am not sure whether I saw Shaft and then got the soundtrack or vice versa (I’ve seen all four Shaft movies). I was pleased when I picked up this album on vinyl, too, which I have listened to within the last month. Based on the strength of this album, I’ve bought other Isaac Hayes albums on CD and vinyl.
  • Across 110th Street
    The title song by Bobby Womack plays over the titles of Jackie Brown, so it’s probably on that soundtrack as well. But after watching Jackie Brown, I looked up the song and then bought the soundtrack to the original film (which I have not seen). The title song is on my gym playlist, and I have bought several other Bobby Womack CDs and then records based on his work on this soundtrack.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
    It’s a bit thin on the content; a lot of the songs are silly and light (and like a minute long). But it’s one of the more recent soundtracks I’ve bought on CD.
  • Fletch
    C’mon, man, I’ve already talked about this album at length. I will still throw it on when I find it in the disorganized Nogglestead record library. I’ve not bought it on CD, though, as part of the joy of it is in playing the record and remembering what would happen when I did. Maybe if I see it for a buck at a sale I’ll pick it up on CD.

So that’s the top five soundtracks for me, not based on quality, but based on the films and/or where I was when I listened to them a lot.

Buy My Books!
Buy John Donnelly's Gold Buy The Courtship of Barbara Holt Buy Coffee House Memories