Good movies are nothing without good music. It helps to create the mood for the particular scene whether it is a touching moment when the child reunites with the family in a dramatic film or that moment just before you know you are approaching a scare scene in a horror movie. Whether they are cover songs or a curation of original tracks, it is an exciting compilation of songs that are put together to represent the essences of the particular film. Here are just 10 of the soundtracks you should know about.
Purple Rain (1984)
More than three decades and the Purple Rain soundtrack is still known as one of the best music projects ever released. It is both raunchy and powerful with top songs like “Let’s Go Crazy”, “The Beautiful Ones”, “When Doves Cry”, “I Would Die 4 U” and the title track too. Prince and the Revolution really outdid themselves with tunes that encapsulate all genres including R&B, soul, funk, rock and gospel. The title track managed to score an Oscar for the Best Original Song Score in 1985.
Waiting to Exhale (1995)
This is one of R&B music’s most exciting moment when producer Babyface gathered a group of amazing female artists to contribute to this soundtrack namely Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, TLC, Brandy and so many others. It has given us hits like “Exhale (Shoop Shoop)”, “Not Gon’ Cry”, “Sittin’ Up in My Room” and “Count on Me” that remains as R&B classics until today.
William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)
This film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes is accompanied by an amazing popular music acts like Garbage, Everclear, Des’ree, The Cardigans, Radiohead, and more. The William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet soundtrack managed to reach the second spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart by giving us the hits like the cover of “Young Hearts Run Free” by Kym Mazelle, “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, “#1 Crush” by Garbage and “Kissing You” by Des’ree.
Moulin Rouge! Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film (2001)
Though the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack consists mostly of cover songs, it is one of the first musical albums post-millennium that manages to captured our hearts. Besides the only original song “Come What May” performed by the actors Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, the album managed to give us the major remake of the powerful “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya and Lil’ Kim. The soundtrack also featured big names like David Bowie, Fatboy Slim, Bono, Beck, Rufus Wainwright, Massive Attack and more.
Garden State (2004)
Garden State was directed, written and starring actor Zach Braff went on to receive the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Pictures, Television or Other Visual Media at the Grammy Awards for this amazing compilation. It’s a collection of some of the most exciting indie rock acts at that time namely Coldplay, The Shins, Zero 7, Iron & Wine, Frou Frou and more. Whether you have watched the Garden State movie or not, this soundtrack is still something amazing that shouldn’t be left out.
The Great Gatsby: Music from Baz Luhrmann's Film (2013)
This epic soundtrack to the adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald novel of the same name features some of the biggest names in music with the movie director Baz Luhrmann acting as album producer alongside Anton Monsted and rapper Jay-Z. There are new and cover materials of all genres. The Great Gatsby gave us hits like “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey, “Bang Bang” by will.i.am, “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)” by Fergie, Q-Tip and GoonRock. The album also features music by Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Florence + The Machine, The xx, Jack White, Sia and more.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
This soundtrack was named the seventh best-selling album of 2015 and it gave us hits such as The Weeknd’s “Earned It”, Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” and Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love (2014 Remix)”. It’s a collection of sultry songs that are perfect for any romantic outing that include other artists like Annie Lennox, Jessie Ware, Sia, The Rolling Stones, Skylar Grey and others. The soundtrack to Fifty Shades of Grey gave the movie that extra edge especially with Beyoncé doing a remake of her own single.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Suicide Squad is probably one of the coolest movies to be released in 2016 and the soundtrack did equally well as well by earning a Kids’ Choice Award and also a Grammy nomination. This soundtrack gave us hits like “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots, “Sucker for Pain” by Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa and Imagine Dragons, “Purple Lamborghini” by Skrillex and Rick Ross, as well as “Gangta” by Kehlani. The album also features acts like Action Bronson, Kevin Gates, Skylar Grey, Grimes, Panic! at the Disco and more!
Black Panther (2018)
This highly talked about movie produced by Marvel Studios managed to get rapper Kendrick Lamar to curate the album that received many praises from the critics. He was featured on tracks like “Black Panther”, “All the Stars” with SZA, “King’s Dead” with Jay Rock, Future and James Blake, “Big Shot” with Travis Scott, as well as “Pray for Me” with The Weeknd. This powerful album went on to receive plenty of nominations and wins at the recent award shows.
A Star Is Born (2018)
If the movie stars Lady Gaga, it wouldn’t be complete without original songs performed by the pop icon. The leading single from A Star Is Born titled “Shallow” is performed by her and co-star Bradley Cooper that was written together with producer Mark Ronson. The two main actors are the main singers for this soundtrack for obvious reasons and they manage to get contributions from popular songwriters like Diane Warren, Jason Isbell and Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow. It is an emotionally charged soundtrack of pop and rock, but Lady Gaga’s rousing vocal is definitely the star of this project.
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Cover Credit: PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive /Alamy Stock Photo
Writer | Kevin Yeoh
Kevin was the former editor of two music and lifestyle platforms in Malaysia. He is an all-round music enthusiast from the '90's R&B to K-Pop. The Waiting to Exhale soundtrack is one of his favourite albums of all-time. Shoop shoop.