So this question has been making its rounds on Twitter. What movie has the greatest soundtrack? Soundtracks have the ability to elevate a bad movie to a good movie (Batman Forever) and turn a good movie into a great movie (8 Mile).
For me, the soundtrack should reflect the overall themes of the movie. Songs can tell a story into how the main characters think and feel. If I listen to songs from a soundtrack outside of the theater, that’s when you know the film will stick with you.
Narrowing down my choice for greatest soundtrack is proving to be impossible. Instead of choosing one soundtrack, here are a few of my favorite soundtracks over the years.
When I first saw the original tweet asking for the greatest soundtrack, Forrest Gump instantly came to mind. Since Forrest Gump spans from 1954 to the early 1980s, the film covers a variety of musicians, bands, and genres. Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, The Supremes, Jackson Browne, and Lynyrd Skynyrd are just names off of the iconic soundtrack. Instead of running across the country like Forrest, roll down the windows, go for a drive, and blast the Forrest Gump soundtrack on your next road trip.
Dazed and Confused
Alright, alright, alright. If you love 70s classic rock, then you will love the Dazed and Confused soundtrack. The soundtrack reflected the rebellious personalities for these rising high school seniors. With an uncertain future, finding the next party and enjoying summer break was the main priority, which a lot of us can relate to at the age of 17. With so many classic rock songs to choose from, “Slow Ride” by Foghat during the final scene is the song that sticks out for me.
La La Land
Make Jazz Great Again. If you think you are “too tough or macho” for a musical film, then I don’t want to be friends. La La Land is a delightful film about a jazz pianist and an aspiring actor who fall in love while chasing their dreams in Los Angeles. Unlike a traditional musical, there is a lot of dialogue so it’s not all singing. However, when stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone decide to sing and dance throughout the city, it’s movie magic. I would say I listened to at least one song from La La Land for about 8 straight months in 2017. After you fall in love with the piano arrangements and huge dance numbers, you’ll be listening to a lot of jazz in the future.
A Star Is Born
If you want to tell me that I’m suffering from recency bias or it’s too early to name this the “greatest soundtrack of all-time,” I’ll hear your argument. However, I know for a fact that it’s not to early to call this a great soundtrack in general. Who knew that Bradley Cooper can sing? Cooper and Lady Gaga had unreal chemistry throughout the entire film. The soundtrack is a mix of rock anthems, ballads, and powerful duets. I dare you to say something about about “Shallow.”
West Side Story
The title of “best film adaption of a broadway musical” belongs to West Side Story thanks to the iconic score and lyrics from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. West Side Story has it all: romance, action, conflict, and great music. This tragic love story and its themes of loyalty, revenge, and class warfare are still prevalent in 2019. If I had to recommend one musical to watch that any person would appreciate and enjoy, my recommendation would be West Side Story
Almost Famous, Black Panther, Fifty Shades of Grey (100% serious), Grease, Garden State, Purple Rain, Saturday Night Fever, The Sound of Music, Straight Outta Compton
Do you agree with my choices? Do you hate every single one of them? Let me know your choices for greatest soundtrack on Twitter @danny_giro.