The Top 10 Soundtracks of All Time ----- The Best Movie Music Ever

Jan 24, 2006

The Bottom Line I have always loved movie soundtracks, because they stir up your emotions and put you right in the middle of the movie every time you hear the songs.

To be one of the best soundtracks, I think that it has to have something that you would like to listen to more than once. The soundtrack has to bring emotional feelings to its listeners, and having a smash track on the album can really help it out. But, I am not here to speak about soundtracks that only really had one hit and sold millions of copies as a result. Instead my choices of the best 10 movie soundtracks of all time are albums where I enjoy listening to nearly every song on the record.

Here are my choices for the Top 10 Soundtracks of all time:


Jamie Foxx was the man who brought the singer to life in the theatrical release of Ray. It won a ton of awards in 2004, including a best actor nod for Foxx. Below the surface though, this film relied almost entirely on the musical influences that Ray Charles had brought to the industry through the years. What the soundtrack did was point out the most moving works, and served as an homage to his musical legacy. With a mix of studio and live tracks on the album, it blends all of the best work that Ray Charles had into one soundtrack. You could almost call it a soundtrack of his life with the music that is included. Standing out from everything else on the album, Georgia On My Mind (both studio and live) really shows just how well that Ray Charles could play and sing a tune. I am very happy to have this disc in my collection, because it has many songs that are never going to grow old.

1. Mess Around (Studio)
2. I Got A Woman
3. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Live)
4. Drown In My Own Tears
5. Night Time Is The Right Time (Studio)
6. Marianne (Studio)
7. Hard Times (Studio)
8. What'd I Say(Live)
9. Georgia On My Mind (Studio)
10. Hit The Road Jack (Studio)
11. Unchain My Heart (Studio)
12. I Can't Stop Loving You
13. Born To Lose (Studio)
14. Bye Bye Love (Studio)
15. You Don't Know Me (Live)
16. Let The Good Times Roll (Live)
17. Georgia On My Mind (Live)

Moulin Rouge

If you have read many of my reviews on music, or lists I have written on my favorite films, you will already know how much I like Moulin Rouge. It is one of those films that is easy to watch again and again, but with each viewing, you are still able to come away with its emotional impact. The first soundtrack of the film brought a lot of important songs from the film to the ears of music lovers, and that included the smash single Lady Marmalade as performed by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink. A few tracks that really stand out for me on this album are Your Song, Come What May, and El Tango De Roxanne. They are all moving songs, but in a movie about love, I expect them to be. Moulin Rouge put out a soundtrack that can be listened to the whole way through, and each time you realize just how well the music of the movie was put together.

1. Nature Boy - David Bowie
2. Lady Marmalade - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink
3. Because We Can - Fatboy Slim
4. Sparkling Diamonds - Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Caroline O'Connor, Natalie Mendoza and Lara Mulcahy
5. Rhythm Of The Night - Valeria
6. Your Song - Ewan McGregor and Alessandro Safina
7. Children of the Revolution - Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer
8. One Day I'll Fly Away - Nicole Kidman
9. Diamond Dogs - Beck
10. Elephant Love Medley - Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor and Jamie Allen
11. Come What May - Nicole Kidman And Ewan McGregor Listen
12. El Tango De Roxanne - Ewan McGregor, Jose Feliciano and Jacek Koman
13. Complainte De La Butte - Rufus Wainwright
14. Hindi Sad Diamonds - Nicole Kidman & Cast
15. Nature Boy - David Bowie & Massive Attack

Batman & Robin

This is one of those soundtracks that slightly cheats when you look at its "inspiration" from the film itself. Batman & Robin was a horrible film to say the least, and a lot of the songs that made it on to the album are never actually heard while the movie is going on. That doesn't make them any less valid as great songs, but in the spirit of movie soundtracks, this one really cheats. The song that drew me to purchasing it was The Smashing Pumpkins with The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning, which they altered slightly to also be The End Is The Beginning Is The End. I really love the up tempo feel of both songs, and they are easy to listen to repeatedly. The addition of Look Into My Eyes by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Gotham City by R. Kelly, and Lazy Eye by the Goo Goo Dolls give the soundtrack a huge boost. But standing above all those songs was a rerelease by Jewel of her song Foolish Games. This haunting version became one of her most successful songs, and in my mind solidified this soundtrack as a must own for any Jewel fan out there. With all of those smash songs, this soundtrack made my list quite easily.

1. The End Is The Beginning Is The End - The Smashing Pumpkins
2. Look Into My Eyes - Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
3. Gotham City - R. Kelly
4. House On Fire - Arkarna
5. Revolution - R.E.M.
6. Foolish Games - Jewel
7. Lazy Eye - Goo Goo Dolls
8. Breed - Lauren Christy
9. The Bug - Soul Coughing
10. Fun For Me - Moloko
11. Poison Ivy - Me'shell Ndegeocello
12. True To Myself - Eric Benet
13. A Batman Overture - Elliot Goldenthal
14. Moaner - Underworld
15. The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning - The Smashing Pumpkins

Forrest Gump

With the biggest compilation of hit songs that I have ever seen, the Forrest Gump Soundtrack really broke the mold when it came to having successful songs inspired by a film. 35 songs (1 being the movie suite) are crammed onto 2 discs, and it becomes basically a list of who's who in the music business from the years the film spans. Some of my favorites on the CD include Blowin In The Wind, Turn! Turn! Turn!, and For What It's Worth . It is amazing just how many great songs are on the soundtrack, and you could almost look at it like one of those compilation CD's that you would pick up honoring a generation of music. Nearly every fan of music will find something of interest on this one, and with 2 CD's packed with music, you can pop them in and enjoy them for hours. The bonus here, is that every one of the 35 songs found a place in the film, so you really are getting a soundtrack that stays true to its film.

Disc: 1

1. Hound Dog
2. Rebel Rouser
3. (I Don't Know Why) But I Do
4. Walk Right In
5. Land Of 1000 Dances
6. Blowin' In The Wind
7. Fortunate Son
8. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)
9. Respect
10. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
11. Sloop John B
12. California Dreamin'
13. For What It's Worth
14. What The World Needs Now Is Love
15. Break On Through (To The Other Side)
16. Mrs. Robinson

Disc: 2

1. Volunteers
2. Let's Get Together
3. San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair)
4. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)
5. Aquarius
6. Let The Sunshine In
7. Everybody's Talkin'
8. Joy To The World
9. Stoned Love
10. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
11. Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man)
12. Sweet Home Alabama
13. Running On Empty
14. It Keeps You Runnin'
15. I've Got To Use My Imagination
16. Go Your Own Way
17. On The Road Again
18. Against The Wind
19. Forrest Gump Suite


Rock and more rock. That is what you get with the Armageddon movie soundtrack. Standing out from the pack (in my opinion) is the Aerosmith smash I Don't Want To Miss A Thing. It plays out as the theme to the movie, and was on the music stations for months after the movie hit theaters. I really like the song a lot, and could listen to it over and over again, but there are many other songs on the soundtrack that also deserve some attention. That list includes Remember Me by Journey, and Chantal Kreviazuk's version of Leaving On A Jet Plane. Aerosmith also includes two other hits songs from their past that were used in the film, and even ZZ Top found a spot into the movie and on to the CD. If you are a fan of rock then this is an album that is right up your alley, because it combines a lot of great rock songs into the 14 selections here.

1. I Don't Want To Miss A Thing - Aerosmith
2. Remember Me - Journey
3. What Kind Of Love Are You On - Aerosmith
4. La Grange - ZZ Top
5. Roll Me Away - Bob Seger
6. When The Rainbow Comes - Shawn Colvin
7. Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith
8. Mister Big Time - Jon Bon Jovi
9. Come Together - Aerosmith
10. Wish I Were You - Patty Smyth
11. Starseed - Our Lady Peace
12. Leaving On A Jet Plane - Chantal Kreviazuk
13. Theme From Armageddon - Trevor Rabin
14. Animal Crackers - Steven Tyler

City Of Angels

Some people will list this as the best soundtrack of all time, because it blends some of the best artists in many different genres of music. Starting off with a song from U2, the soundtrack then goes into Uninvited by Alanis Morissette. In what I say is her best song ever, she sings a dark ballad about a love that was uninvited. It really rings true to what the movie was about, but it also helps set the stage for other tracks on the album. The most popular of those tracks was Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls, which ironically enough only took the lead singer about an hour to construct from beginning to end. The other song that stands out for me is Angel by Sarah McLachlan which really touches on the sadness and emotions that the film tried to portray. There are many other artists on the album that lend a hand to it being in many people's collections, and it is one that I will always have sitting in my 200-disc changer.

1. If God Will Send His Angels - U2
2. Uninvited - Alanis Morissette
3. Red House - Jimi Hendrix
4. Feelin' Love - Paula Cole
5. Mama, You Got A Daughter - John Lee Hooker
6. Angel - Sarah McLachlan
7. Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
8. I Grieve - Peter Gabriel
9. I Know - Jude
10. Further Up On The Road - Eric Clapton
11. An Angel Falls - Gabriel Yared
12. The Unfeeling Kiss - Gabriel Yared
13. Spreading Wings - Gabriel Yared
14. City Of Angels - Gabriel Yared


Rent was a Broadway musical way before it became a major motion picture, and as a result a lot of the fans that liked the music from the play aren't the biggest fans of the movie soundtrack. For me though, I have fallen madly in love with the Rent double-CD soundtrack, and can hardly go a few days without hearing one of the songs. Yeah I's a musical, but I really don't care! Nearly all of the tracks are worth listening to again and again (the exception being that crazy song Over The Moon), but even when that one comes on, I end up just singing along in my own way. The songs are all strongly written, and come straight over from the writings of the author for the play. Nearly all of them appear in the movie, but a couple of them were cut due to time constraints. The big bonus is that the soundtrack has the songs all in the correct order, so as you listen it is almost like watching the movie again.


1. Seasons Of Love
2. Rent
3. You'll See
4. One Song Glory
5. Light My Candle
6. Today 4 U
7. Tango: Maureen
8. Life Support
9. Out Tonight
10. Another Day
11. Will I
12. Santa Fe
13. I'll Cover You
14. Over The Moon


1. La Vie Boheme
2. I Should Tell You
3. La Vie Boheme B
4. Seasons Of Love B
5. Take Me Or Leave Me
6. Without You
7. I'll Cover You - (Reprise)
8. Halloween
9. Goodbye Love
10. What You Own
11. Finale A
12. Your Eyes
13. Finale B
14. Love Heals

A Hard Day's Night

What could be better than a CD containing 13 Beatle's songs? Well their 1964 movie soundtrack from A Hard Day's Night is a must have simply because of that. The title track A Hard Day's Night is of course a great song, but from all the choices I would pick Can't Buy Me Love as my favorite song on the album. The Beatles were very smart to include all of the songs in the movie on the soundtrack (and vice-versa) because it helped create its own little phenomenon when both the movie and record were released. When compared to some of the other albums that The Beatles released, it doesn't stand up quite as well, but in regards to albums that were movie inspired this one is very near the top of the list. For this record, you didn't even have to like the movie to enjoy all of the great tracks that they were providing their fans.

1. A Hard Day's Night
2. I Should Have Known Better
3. If I Fell
4. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
5. And I Love Her
6. Tell Me Why
7. Can't Buy Me Love
8. Any Time At All
9. I'll Cry Instead
10. Things We Said Today
11. When I Get Home
12. You Can't Do That
13. I'll Be Back

Waiting to Exhale

Whitney Houston is basically the queen of movie soundtracks. In addition to this one, she was the main voice behind the soundtrack of her other movie, The Bodyguard. That one barely missed my list, but with only two songs on it that I was willing to listen to, I couldn't really put it on my list of the best. She is also the top selling soundtrack artist of all time, just ahead of Celine Dion who has been part of four #1 hits that made albums. With Waiting to Exhale, gives us three hits that include the smash single Exhale (Shoop Shoop). The addition of Brandy with Sittin' Up In My Room helps solidify the album, and having Toni Braxton, Aretha Franklin, and Mary J. Blidge tracks becomes just icing on the cake. I really enjoy listening to this album, and with all of these soulful ladies singing ballads to me, its not wonder it made it on to my top 10 list.

1. Exhale (Shoop Shoop) - Whitney Houston
2. Why Does It Hurt So Bad - Whitney Houston
3. Let It Flow - Toni Braxton
4. It Hurts Like Hell - Aretha Franklin
5. Sittin' Up In My Room - Brandy
6. This Is How It Works - TLC
7. Not Gon' Cry - Mary J. Blige
8. My Funny Valentine - Chaka Khan
9. And I Gave My Love To You - Sonja Marie
10. All Night Long - SWV
11. Wey U - Chante Moore
12. My Love, Sweet Love - Patti La Belle
13. Kissing You - Faith Evans
14. Love Will Be Waiting At Home - For Real
15. How Could You Call Her Baby - Shanna
16. Count On Me - Whitney Houston


In honoring the great music of the 1980's, I had to find a place for Footloose on my list of best soundtracks. The funny thing about it, is that I am not even really a fan of the title track Footloose by Kenny Loggins. Standing on its own, it wouldn't have even made my list of great soundtracks. Instead the songs Holding Out For A Hero and Waiting For A Girl Like You get my nod as the best the the disc has to offer. One more track, Let's Hear It For The Boy by Denise Williams also has its place as a hit song, but its Tyler and Foreigner that keep me coming back to this soundtrack for another listen. This is a real 80's movie, with music that can't be mistaken for any other decade. When you need a pick-up, what song is better than the up-tempo piano of Tyler, and what could be better than dance music like this.

1. Footloose - Kenny Loggins
2. Let's Hear It For the Boy - Denise Williams
3. Almost Paradise (Love Theme) - Ann Wilson/Mike Reno
4. Holding Out For A Hero - Bonnie Tyler
5. Dancing In The Sheets - Shalamar
6. I'm Free (Heaven Helps The Man) - Kenny Loggins
7. Somebody's Eyes - Karla Bonoff
8. Girl Gets Around, The - Sammy Hagar
9. Never - Moving Pictures
10. Bang Your Head (Metal Health) - Quiet Riot
11. Waiting For A Girl Like You - Foreigner
12. Hurts So Good - John Cougar Mellencamp

There is my list of what I feel to be the 10 best soundtracks out there. Listening to each one of them is a treat, and there is a great mix of some of the better artists we have seen.

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