Lately, I’ve been bagging on movie soundtracks. Didn’t like Prometheus, didn’t like the Hunger Games. I thought I’d spotlight some movies that did get it right.
The Harder They Come (1972), Jimmy Cliff and various artists
This was the first time most people in the States heard reggae music and the songs still hold up.
Favorite tracks: Sitting in Limbo and The Harder They Come
Full listing for The Harder They Come soundtrack.
The Lost Boys (1987) Various Artists
Music to spoof vampires by. As cool as Jason Patric in his sunglasses.
Favorite tracks: Cry Little Sister-Gerald McMann
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me-Roger Daltrey
Find more of The Lost Boys soundtrack here.
Dirty Dancing (1987) Various Artists
Great mix of Baby’s pop-ish middle-class sensibilities with Johnny Castle’s back-door man raunchy rock.
Favorite tracks: Be My Baby-The Ronettes
Love is Strange-Mickey and Sylvia
Full listing of the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999) Various Artists
A veritable cornucopia of 90s alt-pop music plus some nice covers, a little rap and Heath Ledger singing Frankie Valli.
Favorite tracks: I Want You to Want Me-Letters to Cleo
In the movie but not on the album:
Bad Reputation-Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Get ‘Em Outta’ Here-Sprung Monkey
Six Underground-Sneaker Pimps
Full list of music from 10 Things I Hate About You
Gladiator (2000) Hans Zimmer, Lisa Gerrard
More a score than a proper soundtrack, it still kicks.
Favorite track: Elysium-(aka Maximus is toast) Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard
More of the Gladiator soundtrack.
Kill Bill Volume One (2003) Various Artists
Quentin Tarantino is as much of a cult music geek as he is a cult film geek, which is why you get music from Nancy Sinatra, the RZA and Japanese barefoot surfer-chick artists the 5,6,7,8s on one soundtrack.
Favorite tracks: Twisted Nerve-Bernard Hermann
Battle Without Honor Or Humanity-Tomoyasu Hotei
A full list of the Kill Bill Volume One soundtrack.
Half Nelson (2006) Various Artists
The songs provide a propulsive underscore to this story of a troubled teacher and his equally troubled student. Broken Social Scene teach others how to enhance the action of a scene rather than overcome it.
Favorite tracks: Shampoo Suicide-Broken Social Scene
Just Begun-Blak and King Honey
More Half Nelson soundtrack.
Surf’s Up (2007) Various Artists
Ska and music for the uke infuse this surfer/penguin movie.
Favorite tracks: Lose Myself-Lauren Hill
Stand Tall-The Dirty Heads
More on the Surf’s Up soundtrack.
Disturbia (2007) Various Artists
Some of the songs are dark, some are kitschy, but it all works in this tidy little thriller.
Favorites: One Man Wrecking Machine-Guster
The full Disturbia soundtrack can be found here.