Movies and music are two peas in a pod, interacting with each other to create an amplified experience. We’ve put together a list of 10 movies that took soundtrack curation to the next level.
Baby Driver (2017)
Taking its title from a song on Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, Baby Driver is packed with songs that span decades. The soundtrack plays such an integral part of the film that moments without music feel strange to the ear. From the technical side, the songs are tempo-mapped together with the sound effects, delivering a new kind of sonic interaction. Not only that, Edgar Wright understands the true power of music as he lets the majority of the songs play out until the last note.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction broke ground on a lot of things. The movie rebirthed surf rock and fired up the career of cult Chicago rockers Urge Overkill, who had a hit with their cover of Neil Diamond’s “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon”. The songs weren’t just there for the sake of it but rather used to amplify the blend of pop-culture with perfect story-telling style. As a result, the delicately curated soundtrack peaked at #21 on the Billboard 200.
High Fidelity (2000)
For a film housing the three most musically snobbish characters to exist, High Fidelity’s soundtrack perfectly explained just the kind of people the leads are. After filtering 2,000 tracks down to 70, the screenwriters made the flawless mixtape to accompany every stage of heartbreak and self-discovery. If you’re ever in need of musical affirmation, just check out the soundtrack.
Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
The movie that started a new era of Marvel’s superhero soundtracks was filmed to the music rather than the other way around. The sound of the ‘70s and ‘80s is saturated with classics making even the youngest viewers sing along. Here’s a fun fact, this is the first soundtrack to consist of pre-released songs to top the Billboard 200.
In short, it’s just an epic and fun soundtrack. However, there is also a longer version. A Guy Ritchie classic is an impulsive and somewhat aggressive cinematographic experience, with the soundtrack following the lead. Delivering a somewhat dreamy feel, the movie created icons of culture, from the line “get the dog of my seat” to the song “Golden Brown” by The Stranglers.
Once Upon A Time in… Hollywood (2019)
One of the biggest musical homages to the ‘60s, the soundtrack of Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood perfectly embodied the spirit of the LA at the time. Quentin Tarantino not only wrote and directed the film, but he also curated the soundtrack ensuring not a single song was released after 1969. Music was used as an integral part of the climatic storytelling moments transcending them to new heights.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Creating a perfect soundtrack for Freddy Mercury’s biopic seems like an easy task at first glance. Produced by Queen’s original members, Brian May and Roger Taylor, the soundtrack required filtering piles of archived tapes and an incredibly diligent level of mixing. As a result, we got to hear Smile’s ‘Doing All Right’, several stripped-down songs and a handful of true classics.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Reaching #2 on the Billboard 200, the Shakespeare original became a romantic zenith of the ‘90s. While DiCaprio did play a big part in this, it was also the soundtrack, together with Baz Luhrmann’s vision, that built on the fusion of alternative and glam rock. ‘From ancient grudge break to new mutiny’ is no only the opening monologue, it is also an accurate summary of the soundtrack’s sonic juxtaposition.
The Crow (1994)
The incredibly potent soundtrack to Alex Proyas’ The Crow gave a breath of fresh air to the emo and grunge kids. Everything about the movie screamed morbid, with the music being no exception. And while it does cover a range of genres, the theme is anything but sunshine and rainbows as the light mainly falls on metal and hard rock. It is basically a deep dive into the darkness of leather and thick eyeliner.
The origin of Trainspotting came from music, as the book was inspired by The Clash and The Police, indicating just the kind of quality to expect from the curation. This one isn’t so much a soundtrack to the movie as it is to the characters’ lives with music being cleverly used for a deeper source of understanding. Something that becomes evident from the start as Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’ accompanies Renton journey while adding a level of livery to the somewhat ominous delivery.