Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Soundtracks of our Lives

There is something about a movie soundtrack, something that speaks to us, that goes beyond the film it is allied with. Just hearing the music takes me to another time and place. It brings back emotions that had gone unfelt for years in some cases.

So when Entertainment Weekly published a list of the 100 best soundtracks of all time, I was curious to see how many I agreed with. Surprisingly my list would have been very different, and it made me realize how personal ones relationship is with music and film. Some of my favorites were Harold and Maude (music by Cat Stevens), Trainspotting, Chariots of Fire, Poltergeist, Star Wars, The Music Man, Grease, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Commitments, This Is Spinal Tap and Pink Floyd's The Wall.

The top five on the Entertainment Weekly List were:
5: The Wizard of Oz
4: West Side Story
3: Saturday Night Fever (I hated disco)
2: The Sound of Music
1: A Hard Days Night

The library has an extensive collection of Soundtracks on CD. What are some of your favorites?


Karen said...

A personal top 5 could be (although I hate making a commitment):

1. The Sound of Music - I would bet every soprano my age or a bit older would say the same
2. Amadeus
3. The Fabulous Baker Boys - Again, pretty much the story of every struggling, gigging musician's life
4. Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man
5. Godspell - very formative singing and theatre experience for me

David Whittingham said...

Nice, I forgot about Amadeus. Thinking further I would also add the Piano. I am also a huge Leonard Cohen fan.

Anonymous said...

My current favorites are, in no particular order,
Across the Universe
Moulin Rouge
The Wedding Singer

Roberta said...

I listen to Master and Commander over and over. The lovely Yo Yo Ma cello pieces, the stirring martial "battle" music, and the folk pieces that the sailors dance to.

And of course, the morbid musicals with blood and death in them: Chicago, Sweeney Todd, Threepenny Opera, the Nightmare before Christmas . . .

Jo B. said...

I remember being moved by Philip Glass' score for The Hours. Do scores count as soundtracks?

Karen said...

Totally off topic but Leonard Cohen's concert tour is INCREDIBLE. I had the privilege of seeing the Minneapolis show. Cost = several hundred dollars for 3 hours of performance, but worth every penny and every minute of a long drive. The live CD/DVD of this current tour is outstanding.

Heather I said...

I have several I love(d), two of which are travel related: I went to Italy and in the aftermath was addicted to the soundtrack from ONLY YOU (Robert Downey Jr, Marissa Tomei, incredible scenery.....); I went to Ireland and got hooked on the FAR AND AWAY soundtrack as well as any bit of Irish music I could find. Also (come on my '80s compatriots), the PRETTY IN PINK soundtrack!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Amadeus. I'd also add soundtracks from the following: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; O Brother, Where Art Thou; Living Out Loud, and Valley Girl.

Anonymous said...

A lot of those 80s movies had great soundtracks. How about Valley Girl with Nicholas Cage!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes.... Valley Girl. Back when Nicolas Cage was still cute and source for the most '80's break up line ever: "Like, I'm totally not in love with you anymore, Tommy!"

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add the soundtrack to Swingers. I love that one!

Joel said...

Tom Petty's She's the One soundtrack and the Run Lola Run soundtrack run the show on my CD shelves. They keep things in line for the greatest soundtrack (original score) of my collection: Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Karen said...

I suppose U2's "Rattle and Hum" also counts as a soundtrack, and it's definitely another favorite of mine.

Linda K. said...

I have to agree with EW's top five (sorry David, I love that disco, particularly Travolta disco) and of course the voice of Julie Andrews can't be beat whether she's playing a nun, a nanny, or Victor, Victoria - another great sound track. I also enjoyed the soundtrack to "Sister Act" with lots of great girl group songs from the past. I agree with Karen's pick "Fabulous Baker Boys" especially Michelle Pfeiffer's vocal on "Makin Whoopee." Great stuff!

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