Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 lands at the multiplex this month, serving up more space-based shenanigans from the Marvel movie universe. With its charismatic cast of comic book creations, eye-popping action, and LOLapalooza of a script; the first film was something of a surprise smash hit. The real star of the show however was its soundtrack, a mixtape of 80s classics that helped to set its tone from start to finish.
So with Volume 2 looking set to follow suit by shoving more iconic tracks down our earholes, we decided to delve into our record collections to uncover some of the best movie soundtracks of all time.
1. Jackie Brown (1997)
Quentin Tarantino has a habit of setting his scenes to iconic songs. There was Reservoir Dogs’ super sounds of the 70s, and then the pithy pop culture infused accompaniment to Pulp Fiction. But the director outdid himself with the audio accompaniment for Jackie Brown, a soulful soundtrack that ranks as one of the best to ever grace the big screen. Amazingly Tarantino actually decided on many of the tracks during the writing stage, repeatedly delving into his record collection to help define what he calls the movie’s ‘rhythm’.
Memorable track ‘Across 110th Street’ by Bobby Womack, a tune that instantly recalls the sight of Pam Grier on an airport escalator.
2. Tron: Legacy (2010)
It’s a simple formula really. Tron + Daft Punk = awesomeness.
Memorable track There’s so many to choose from, but ‘Derezzed’ is up there with the best of them.
3. The Bodyguard (1992)
The film itself doesn’t really stand up to repeated viewings, but Whitney’s iconic accompaniment certainly does. The Grammy-award winning album has sold more than 45 million copies to date, making it by far and away the most successful movie soundtrack of all time.
Memorable track Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ dominated charts around the globe.
4. Trainspotting (1996)
A love letter to British music that combines everything from Britpop to punk via acid house, the soundtrack for Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting was so good that they actually had to release it over two volumes. Including the likes of Brian Eno, Pulp, Primal Scream and Underworld the track list reads like a mix tape maker’s dream. Indeed Trainspotting’s soundtrack perfectly captured the movie’s chemically induced mood, helping to set the tone for a film that continues to be every inch the pop culture phenomenon today that it was more than 20 years ago.
Memorable track Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’ –an oldie but a goldie, which has since become synonymous with the movie.
5. Garden State (2004)
All too often modern soundtracks feel like they’re thrown together with little or no regard for how the music fits the movie. That’s certainly not a complaint that could be levelled at Zach Braff’s Garden State however, a pitch perfect accompaniment to an unashamedly introspective indieflick.
Memorable track The Shins’ ‘New Slang’ is the movie’s take-home track, and just one of the song choices that helped scoop the former Scrubs star a much-deserved Grammy award.
6. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Forget the glitter balls, the light up floors and the pristinely pressed polyester bell bottoms; the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is what defined disco for generations of fans when it was first hit theatres in 1977. In fact the music itself is as much a character in the movie as Travolta, which is testament to the work of the Bee Gees who helped to compose the tracks on an album that topped the U.S. album charts for 24 straight weeks and didn’t exit them until 1980.
Memorable track ‘Stayin’ Alive’ would become one of the Bee Gees’ most memorable hits.
Saturday Night Fever is available now on Sky Cinema
7. High Fidelity (2000)
It’s got Bob Dylan, it’s got Elvis Costello and it’s got Bill Callahan, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. In essence it’s the type of album that any music buff worth their salt would want to own.
Memorable track Sure Marvin Gaye is one of the greats, but you haven’t truly experienced ‘Let’s Get it On’ until you’ve seen it performed by Barry Jive and the Uptown Five.
8. The Graduate (1967)
Mrs Robinson wasn’t solely responsible for seducing the cinema-going public; The Graduate’s soundtrack has to take some of the blame too. With it’s collection of Simon & Garfunkel greats, Mike Nichols’ film was one of the first times that a mainstream movie had been set to popular music. It worked.
Memorable track The bittersweet ‘Sound of Silence’ was used three times in the film.