10 Best Movie Soundtracks: Rebekah Herzberg’s List

10. The Royal Tenenbaums

A part of me feels this should be higher on the list but I had to bump Blade Runner off of the list just so I could fit it on here. First of all, the film plays “Judy is a Punk,” my favorite Ramones song, when we see just how rebellious Margot Tenenbaum has been her entire life. Then in possibly one of the best scenes in the film, when Margot picks Ritchie up from the bus station, “These Days” by Nico is playing. Nico only became famous because of The Velvet Underground. I am not a huge fan of all of her songs but this is one of the few I liked. There are actually two different soundtracks.

9. Drive:

The reason why Drive is so far down on this list is because the score by Cliff Martinez wasn’t all that in a bag of potato chips. That being said, this film features some pretty fantastic electronica tunes. Even my son finds the music to be soothing. The opening credits start off with “Night Call” by Kavinsky. That bass was so high. As soon as the music started and the pink font scrolled across the screen, I knew this was going to be a good film. Two other favorites of mine were “Under Your Spell” by Desire and “A Real Hero” by College featuring Electric Youth. A Real Hero is probably the best song on the soundtrack.

8. The Lost Boys

Now these are my 80’s jams! This is how nerdy my friends and I were; We drove around, listening to this soundtrack, baked out of our skulls when we were teenagers. The Lost Boys is without a doubt one of the best vampire flicks and most underrated horror films, in my humble opinion. I grew up watching this film with my brothers. As a child. I thought the greased up Sax Man was just gross. Maybe he is still gross to me. Call me particular but a girl knows what she wants and I did not want THAT. However, the clip is still hilarious to this day, I jammed it with my friends, and I post a clip of it constantly. What worries me is that when I post the clip, I only get like five comments. COME ON GUYS! The Sax Man is a legend. Those purple spandex, rock hard abs, and mullet of perfection fit the equation of 80’s awesomesauce. Plus, that was the scene where Michael and Star meet. No corny ballad or love song was playing during that memorable scene. It was a shirtless, greased up muscle head with a curly mullet that ‘sort of’ brought them together. So which song is the best song on this soundtrack? I think that’s pretty obvious, “Lost in the Shadows” by Lou Gramm. It’s still the best  song on the album and the best scene in the film. The infamous motorcycle chase scene where Michael wants to impress the half-vampire girl thats way out of his league. A close second place goes to “Cry Little Sister” which was The Lost Boys theme song performed by Gerard McMann. Best opening to a film ever. I’ve heard at least 10 remixes to this song. Not once did I complain. Lets finish this with another one of my favorite bands, Echo & the Bunnymen’s version of “People Are Strange.” Originally performed by The Doors, Echo & the Bunnymen brought something new to the single and I cannot help but like their cover better. I know. You just want to punch me in the ovaries right now. This is the second time on this list I mentioned a cover song being better than the original. Magic to my ears.

7. Singles

In the early 90s, grunge music was pretty ‘hip.’ There are actually a few scenes where Alice in Chains and Soundgarden are playing live. “Dyslexic Heart” by Paul Westerberg seems to be everyone’s favorite. The soundtrack also features Pearl Jam, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Screaming Trees. Many believe that if it wasn’t for the movie Singles, the grunge movement wouldn’t have been as big as it was. It opened the door for these artists.

6. Boogie Nights

Yet another 70s themed film featuring wall-to-wall 70s tunes. However, this time it’s mostly disco and pop. They did go into the 80s when the characters hit rock bottom. My favorite scenes take place in a drug dealers home with three characters, two being Marky Mark and John C. Reiley. Before this deal goes terribly wrong, the songs “Jessie’s Girl” and “Sister Christian” by Rick Springfield and Night Rider play on the mix tape while a China boy is throwing fire crackers in the house. I love the way this was shot and the music was a nice touch. Disco tunes range from The Emotions, Marvin Gaye, ELO, and K.C. & The Sunshine Band. “Brand New Key” by Melanie plays while Heather Graham strips down in her roller skates. This song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in December 1971. The film closes with “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys and the characters straighten out their lives.

5. Dazed and Confused

I’m pretty sure this soundtrack is on everyone’s list. Dazed and Confused featured some of the best songs from the 70s featuring artists; Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Runaways, Aero Smith, Ted Nugent, Foghat, ZZ Top, KISS, Black Sabbath, Nazareth, Peter Frampton, Bob Dylan, Deep Purple, and Alice Cooper. This featured so many epic songs, it had to be broken up into two CDs.

4. Carrie

When it comes to horror soundtracks, I strongly believe that Carrie has the best soundtrack. This movie was influential to me and my home girls in middle school. We watched it over and over again. The original score by Pino Donaggio with the soft flute and sharp violin strokes fit perfectly with the tone of the film. As I have been saying for years, the music in a horror film is everything. It helps to set the mood for the film and builds up that tension right before a scare. I don’t own many horror movie soundtrack but this and The Lost Boys are among the few. This score will get under your skin, give you chills, make all of your hairs stand straight up, and haunt you after the movie has ended. My favorite song goes to “Bucket Of Blood.” This music fit so perfectly with this scene! Sue is happy to see Carrie happy and winning Prom Queen. She sees the rope and follows it with her eyes then discovers the disaster that is about to happen. It’s so chilling. Then we have the song from the dance between Carrie and Tommy Ross, “I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me” performed by Katie Irving. I cannot get enough of this sweet tune. I really wanted to dance to this song at the Texas Frightmare Weekend Prom Night but my partner is not a fan of dancing. I was also very pregnant so we retired from the party early. Even the camera circling them as they dance. *sigh* That scene was magical for girls like me.

3. The Crow

I’m betting that everyone is putting this on their list. How could you not with artists like Rollins Band, Rage Against the Machine, The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots, Pantera, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Violent Femmes? What I love the most about this album is that they feature immaculate cover songs by some of my favorite artists. Big Empty by Stone Temple Pilots became the most successful song on the album, reaching number 3 and 7 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and MOdern Rock Tracks charts. I highly recommend the live version of this song. This was not one of the cover songs on the album. My favorite cover song is Dead Souls by Nine Inch Nails. You guys know how big of a Nine Inch Nails fan I am. I also love Joy Division, who originally played this tune. I hate saying this but I strongly believe that NIN’s cover is better than the original. Speaking of Joy Division, they and The Cure were highly influential to the original comic book. The Cure landed a song on the album, the song Burn. Two other favorites of mine and original songs are “Snakedriver” by The Jesus and Mary Chain along with “Time Baby II” by Medicine. I loved the band in the film, “Hangman’s Joke” and what little we heard of “It Can’t Rain All the Time.” Try as I may, I am not a fan of Jane Siberry’s version that plays in the credits. In closing, we have Eric Draven’s whimsical roof top solo. Heaven, just heaven.

2. Pretty in Pink

I’m sure a lot of you, especially horror fans, are thinking huh? What the hell is that doing on your list? Pretty in Pink just happens to be one of the best 80s films of all time. John Hughes was a genius filmmaker. Let me assure you that this soundtrack isn’t on this list because of the song “If You Leave” by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark although I have to tell you that I am a HUGE fan of that song. The majority of the music in this film is by New Order, only one of the greatest bands of all time. Unfortunately, their music isn’t even on the soundtrack! Their only song on the soundtrack is “Shellshock.” Songs “Thieve Like Us” and “Elgia” are missing but you can find them on albums Low Life and Lonesome Tonight. The film’s theme “Pretty in Pink” by the Psychedelic Furs was actually released in 1981 on the album Talk Talk Talk but rereleased for this soundtrack. The most memorable sequence in the film is inarguably the sec where Duckie (Jon Cryer) dances to Otis Redding’s “Try a Little Tenderness.” Top this off with “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths and “Bring on the Dancing Horses” by Echo & the Bunnymen. This soundtrack features some of the best bands of the 80s along with a great score thanks to New Order and that’s why it’s number two on this list. I forgive Molly Ringwald for wearing that hideous dress to the prom.

1. Phenomena

Everyone and their mother has already written about how Halloween, Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Exorcist have the best soundtracks for a horror film. Same with Suspiria. How about Phenomena? No one ever mentions this soundtrack unless we are talking about the film! I was surprised to see that no one voted for it. Phenomena’s soundtrack kicks Suspiria’s n the ovaries. Suspiria is very schizophrenic when it comes to the score. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the soundtrack by Goblin but the ‘Lah lah lah’ in the background of what would have been the perfect theme for a horror film is no match for Iron Maiden, Motorhead, and the score Goblin made for Phenomena. The opening scene of Phenomena already had me thinking, “This music is awesome!”

Honorable Mentions:
Cruel Intentions
The Slugger’s Wife
Valley Girl

So there you have it. I wanted to put more detail into these soundtracks but I have limited time.

  • JamesD

    ha ha..right on we shared one…