In anticipation of the 84th Annual Academy Awards, Music and Movies writer MJ Galbraith combines the two for his Top 5 movie soundtracks of all time. Think he has it wrong? Let him know with your comments below.
The O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack accomplished a lot of things, least of which was convincing a generation of music fans that they did, in fact, like country music. And bluegrass. And gospel. And old-timey–you get the idea. Soon after the movie’s release, you couldn’t sit in a college bar on a Saturday night without hearing ‘I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow’ enough to eventually get sick of it–at least a little. While that song is great, it’s the Emmylou Harris-Alison Krauss-Gillian Welch ‘Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby’ that’s the real gem.
Pump Up the Volume is early 1990′s campy greatness about angsty teens, parents and teachers who just don’t get it, the early days of ‘alternative’ music, and a pirate radio station on the back of a Jeep Wrangler. So of course it has a great soundtrack: Leonard Cohen, the Pixies, Was (Not Was), Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, etc.
The Bob Dylan ‘bio’ pic I’m Not There is divisive as all get out. I know serious Dylanophiles who can’t stand it and others (i.e., me) who count the movie as one of their all time favorites. Going in, I expected to like the movie but to hate the soundtrack–few phrases make my skin crawl like ‘tribute album’ does. Turns out, I love it too. ‘Goin’ to Acapulco’ by Jim James and Calexico is one of my favorite things ever.
After watching Singles, the studio that was behind Cameron Crowe’s 1992 film was moments away from deciding to not release it. Then Seattle blew up and the studio realized who all these bands were in the movie and on its soundtrack: Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Mother Love Bone, and Screaming Trees. The soundtrack probably sold more copies than the movie did tickets, yes, but there are so many great songs on here that only one movie could prevent it from coming in at number one…
Number one with a bullet: High Fidelity. If ever there was a more perfect union of music and movie, I have yet to see it. It’s so funny and sad and smart and honest and the soundtrack kicks fucking ass. While the CD version of the soundtrack is limited in its fifteen songs, it does an admirable job in trying to represent the many, many songs featured in the film. The use of Bob Dylan’s ‘Most of the Time’ kills every time.
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