The Five – Movie Soundtracks
Written by: Jose Castaneda
Compiled by: Jose Casteneda, Okechi Apakama and Kyley Warren
On today’s The Five we try to set the record straight on the best movie soundtracks of all time. We focused on soundtracks that: beautifully complemented their films, included great songs and innovated on the very idea of music in film.
Honorable Mentions: A Star is Born, Silver Linings Playbook, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Great Gatsby and Shrek
5. The Graduate (1967)
The Graduate follows recent college grad Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) as he embarks on an introspective quest to find meaning in his life. His journey is soon interrupted when he stumbles into an affair with Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), an older family friend. The film’s soundtrack serves as a sort of complementary rival, which parallels the movie’s greatness while also working together to create a unified spectacle. This symbiotic relationship can be seen during one of the first scenes of the movie when Ben is solemnly standing on a moving walkway while “The Sound of Silence” plays in the background. The feature’s album, which is spearheaded by Simon and Garfunkel, encapsulates the tone and sentiment of the movie as well as the era in which it was released. The film’s track list included “The Sound of Silence,” “April Come She Will,” and “Mrs. Robinson,” which was not even finished when the movie was released. The film’s soundtrack graduates with flying colors due to its quality and relationship to the film and the era.
4. Baby Driver (2017)
This Edgar Wright flick chases the narrative of a musically-driven getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) who is trying to escape his life of crime. Baby constantly blasts music into his earbuds in order to drown out a ringing in his ears, due to an injury in his early life. Therefore it is only fitting that the sound track is filled with fast-paced throwbacks that incorporate seamlessly into the film. Every song in the movie is placed in that exact time and space for a specific creative purpose. These tracks run, speed and swerve alongside the vibrant action sequences in the film, instead of just supporting them without a purpose.
3. Guardians of the Galaxy 1 (2014) & 2 (2017)
These films represent Marvel’s first experimentation with a more colorful and campy group of heroes. The features focus on a group of intergalactic misfits and their adventures in saving the universe. The story, color palette and music all reflect this revolution to the traditional superhero blockbuster. The album became the first soundtrack in history to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 with songs that were all previously released. The music collaborates with the film in order to elevate the narrative and create a relatable and interesting story.
2. Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther follows the story of T'Challa, the new king of Wakanda and the supherhero Black Panther, and his battle to retain the crown when a long-lost adversary returns to challenge him for the throne. The film’s soundtrack is led by Kendrick Lamar, Grammy award-winning rapper and songwriter. The song “All The Stars” by Lamar and SZA garnered widespread praise and an Oscar nomination for best original song. The album does an amazing job of complementing the movie through its ability to mirror the tone and theme of the film.
1. Footloose (1984)
This film tells the story of Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon), a newcomer to a town where dancing and rock music are forbidden. Footloose is tightly packed with iconic songs that stand the test of time and land it at number one on our list. The track list includes songs from Bonnie Tyler, Kenny Loggins, John Mellencamp, Foreigner and Quiet Riot. In other words, this film is an extravagant amalgamation of songs that defined the 80’s and countless parodies and recreations through the years. The songs “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams earned the movie two Oscar nominations for best original song. This film will make you find your nearest abandoned warehouse and dance-punch all your rage out to the soundtrack.