Friday, 18 March 2011

Top 5 Movie Soundtracks that are also great Albums

... and from movie posters my mind inevitably wandered onto movie soundtracks. This top five came together quite quickly but I was slightly surprised to find it didn't include any John Barry, Ennio Morricone or Lalo Schaflin. That got me thinking about what I liked about these collections and I figured, for the most part, these are great song collections that work as albums on their own merit. However much I enjoy Barry, Morricone & Schaflin, I can't say I'd play a complete film score very often. Hence the title.

1. The Blues Brothers - Storming collection of blues and soul that ignited my interest in the era it originated from. The band, formed by some of the best session musicians from the glory days of Stax and MoTown, rip through these classic standards. Ackroyd & Belushi may not have the voices as good as the artists that recorded the originals but they're clearly having a lot of fun.

2. Pulp Fiction - A typically eclectic selection of tracks, compiled by my favourite director. Veering from the surf rock of Dick Dale's "Miserlou" to the perfect pop of Dusty Springfield's "Son of a Preacher Man" and interspersed with some brilliant Tarantino dialogue. Quentin can certainly pick a tune.

3. Paris, Texas - Slightly disproving my comment about "film scores" Ry Cooder's subtle and downbeat soundtrack to Wim Wender's movie of the same name is never the less a stunning piece of music. It's ingrained into the very fabric of the film to the extent that I cannot picture a scene from the film without hearing a haunting melody from the soundtrack.

4. Footloose - Hmm. How to explain this to people that know my taste in music. I think both the film and soundtrack capture a moment in time that I remember very fondly. This would have been around the time I was taking my O-Levels. My tastes in music were expanding in all sorts of directions and the best known tracks were played on radio a lot while I was failing to revise. Still enjoy the way these songs can take me back in time. Let's hear it for the boy-oy-oy!

5. American Werewolf in London - Another fiddle if I'm honest. I haven't got this album and have struggled to even confirm what was on the original release. Elmer Bernstein composed an original score but it was the use of various moon referencing pop hits that makes it work. At least three versions of "Blue Moon", Van Morrison's "Moondance", Cat Steven's "Moonshadow" and best of all Creedance Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising". Would have been even better had they decided to include Warren Zevon's excellent "Werewolves of London".


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