If there’s one thing I have always loved about movies, it’s the integration of music. Sometimes it’s something that you don’t even notice in a scene, or it will be the main focal point and everything in the scene will revolve around it. Today I am going to be talking about some of my favourite movie soundtracks. Although, just to keep this list as concise as possible, I am going to exclude movie scores as well as musicals and focus on movie soundtracks. The score of a film is the background music (usually instrumental) that is composed specifically for that film. While the soundtrack is typically a compilation of songs (usually including lyrics) that are chosen to be included in the film, and are sometimes even written specifically for the movie — I’m not going to be including scores & musicals because if I did that this list would be about 50 movies long, and I don’t really think any of us really want that — do we?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2013, dir. Stephen Chbosky)
I have talked about this movie a lot on my blog — probably because it is one of my favourites. And one of the main reasons I love this movie so much, is the soundtrack. And not only that, but in the book the protagonist Charlie creates a mixtape to give to his friend Patrick for Christmas — and I myself recreated that exact mixtape to give to my friend for Christmas one year! All the songs in the soundtrack (and even the mixtape, titled one winter) are 80’s and 90’s songs that were compiled by the author/director of the book/movie, so it’s introduced me to a lot of awesome songs and artists, and I actually still listen to the soundtrack on a regular basis because I love so many of the songs. (and here is the one winter mix tape as well!)
If there’s one thing these movies are most well known for, it’s their extensive and excellent soundtracks. Comprised of mostly old school songs (all being ones the protagonist Peter (Starlord) Quill’s mother made into “Awesome Mix” mixtapes). I personally think the first one is a liiiiitle bit better, mainly because I enjoyed the 1st movie a bit more, but the second volume did include some Fleetwood Mac — so who can complain. And much like the Perks soundtrack, this one also introduced me to so many awesome old songs as well as artists.
Baby Driver (2017, dir. Edgar Wright)
I don’t think I have talked about this movie on my blog yet, and if I’m being honest I don’t think people talk about it enough in general. This was one of my favourite movies in 2017, one of the main reasons being the integration of music at almost every moment of the film. The main character, Baby, has tinnitus and so he listens to music through his earphones for pretty much the entire movie. And with different songs playing throughout most of the film, everything goes to the beat of the music (!!!) every little gun shot, head turn, foot tap, and punch. As someone who did dance for most of my life, it is incredibly satisfying when things go to the music and so this movie was no exception. Not to mention the actual soundtrack itself is so good and full of so many different songs. The summer this was released I was listening to the soundtrack at literally any moment I could have headphones in. (also if you don’t believe me watch the opening sequence of the film here on youtube)
Lady Bird (2017, dir. Greta Gerwig)
Now this movie is definitely not one where immediately after watching it I wanted to listen to the soundtrack. Although there is something very cool that they have done with the soundtrack that I very much enjoy. They integrated short little snippets of dialogue from the film, and placed them in-between some of the songs. I really like this (and have even see them do this with other soundtracks like the one for A Star is Born (2018)) That being said if you haven’t seen this movie there is a chance you may not love the soundtrack, because many of the songs are very relevant to the film and seem odd out of context. (they also included a HAIM song which is not in the movie so I usually skip that but whatever…)
Call Me by Your Name (2017, dir. Luca Guadagnino)
now I know I said I would not be talking about the scores of films, which are primarily instrumental songs that play throughout the movie. but I would say that the Call me by Your Name soundtrack doesn’t count because not only were the songs not composed for the movie — but there are several songs with lyrics and so on (and two original songs by Sufjan Stephens). This soundtrack is beAuTiFuL, and I love listening to it because it makes me feel like I’m on vacation somewhere in Northern Italy, while i’m actually stuck at home doing school work. The original songs are also beautiful and high-key make me want to cry. While there are also some very fun 80’s classics in there as well.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009, dir. Chris Weitz)
No, this is not a belated April fool’s day joke. All of the soundtracks for the twilight movies are actually really good — although my favourite is New Moon (which is funny cause it is most definitely my least favourite movie/book of the saga, but that’s not the point right now). I find it very funny that these movies, which are not very good if we are being honest with ourselves, have some of the best soundtracks. Pretty much all of the songs were written specifically for these movies, many being written by very well known artists. To me, I think it is because the artists knew how much money these movies made and how popular they were — so this would then result in publicity for them and their music. That being said, this soundtrack in particular contains one of my favourite songs of all time (“Roslyn” by Bon Iver & St. Vincent) and the other movies had many other classics like “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” by Iron & Wine (both of which are songs I have done lyrical solos to when I was in dance). So yeah, while you may hate the twilight movies with a burning passion — there’s a very good chance that you will enjoy the soundtracks.
So there ya have it! some of my favourite movie soundtracks. Like I said, I decided to not include movie scores as well as musicals, because then this list would be very long. That being said, since there are many other movies I love for their integration of music, I may make another list — and possibly one specifically for scores and musicals!