Best Film Soundtracks: Part 2
What is essential to any film to be successful? Great acting? Flawless special effects? Nope, it all comes down to the beats that move our lives. Nothing makes us jump, cheer, laugh, cry or just downright dance in our seats like a film score does.
Films are sometimes defined by one piece of music or even still a series of simple notes. What music hits your brain when you take that first plunge in the ocean during vacation? Who knew we could communicate with aliens with five singular notes. And when you think of Val Kilmer spinning a volleyball on his finger, what song comes to mind?
In the first installment of the best soundtracks from films, we start with the first half and work our way to No. 1. Sit back, slip on your oversized headphones and enjoy.
7. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Even more impressive than John Travolta’s mane of hair is the soundtrack for this disco classic. The album is a great mixture of pure disco ecstasy and slow ballads that resulted in one of the 500 greatest albums of all time according to Rolling Stone.
6. Top Gun (1986)
This is one of two cassettes that I obliterated during my high school years. It’s one of the few soundtracks that I can listen to completely and not feel the urge to move ahead to another selection. The only downside is visions of Kilmer and Cruise half naked playing volleyball. While iconic, not something you want creeping up at inopportune times.
5. The Big Chill (1983)
Now for my flack choice. Usually when I throw this down as one of my favs, I get blank stares and open mouths, but how can you go wrong with Marvin Gaye, Procol Harum and The Four Tops? “A Whiter Shade of Pale” is the most intriguing song to come out of the sixties.
4. The Graduate (1968)
I love that this soundtrack begins with Simon and Garfunkel’s very heavy “Sounds of Silence”. What’s also unique about the soundtrack is it features two versions of the hit “Mrs. Robinson,” neither of which are the full version. A very mellow hit.
3. Mary Poppins (1964)
Mary Poppins is a delight of a soundtrack. The songs are funny, imaginative and touching. In addition to the obvious choices, “Step in Time” is wonderful, but the masterpiece of the movie is Julie Andrews’ “Feed the Birds” It is also rumored to be Walt Disney’s favorite song.
2. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Talk about a fun disc. The first seven songs, which represented side one when it was released, consist of the title track, the classic “Can’t Buy me Love” and the beautiful “If I Fell”. The soundtrack was a perfect package to follow a frolicking Fab Four throughout the picture. The best moments of the film are when Ringo goes off by himself and nothing goes his way, all the while, the others search unsuccessfully for their drummer.
1. American Graffiti (1973)
This monster of a soundtrack really packs a punch. It boasts 41 hits from the 1950s and 60s and marked one of the first times for contemporary music was used from start to finish in a flick. The only let down for me was it didn’t include Harrison Ford’s “Some Enchanted Evening”. The man can act, but he sure as hell can’t sing.
These are my choices and I’m sticking to ‘em. You don’t agree — then let me hear about it. Tell us here at The Yap what is tops on your pedestal of soundtrack Gods.