10 Best Movie Soundtrack Songs

10 Best Movie Soundtrack Songs

I depart Wednesday for the much-anticipated World Domination Summit that's taking place this weekend in Portland. It's going to be amazing. And completely overwhelming. So, this week's post is just going to be straight up fun & lightheartedness.

Music and movies have to be two of my favorite things in the world. What could be better than when they're combined?!? Some of the greatest music for delivering an emotional thunderbolt over the years have come from movie soundtracks.

Looking back, most of my favorite stuff came out of the 90's. Sadly, I fear this is due to the fact that creativity in the movie industry has been traded in present day for blockbusters and booming bass. It seems, for the most part, the creation of a song by a popular artist solely for use in a movie is a trend that's slowly disappearing.

That being said, one of the songs on this list is from 2013, so all hope isn't dead.

To be clear, these are songs that were created specifically by well-known artists for the movie they were a part of. They are not scores or orchestral songs, nor songs that had already been released and then later included as a part of a soundtrack.

And so, presented in no particular order....

Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Ray - The Great Gatsby, 2013

In the truest Baz Luhrmann style (yes, there are two of his movies in this list), the remake of The Great Gatsby. You felt like you were being drawn in and trampled from the get-go, but every minute of it was exhilarating.

Luhrmann creates these lush, over-the-top productions that you can't help but be fascinated by. They're worlds of vivid color and even more vivid characters. So it's no surprise that the soundtracks are just as larger-than-life.

This video/song pairing has the added bonus of giving a look behind the scenes at the magic of The Great Gatsby. The first time I ever experienced the song was in this video, and I can't think of a better way to share it.

 

Everything I Do, I Do It For You by Bryan Adams - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1991

When someone things of a song written for a soundtrack, this is probably the first that comes to mind. Even better that the official music video incorporated scenes from Robin Hood.

And no matter how down on romance you might be, it's high near impossible not to get at least a little flutter in your chest when Robin Hood comes bursting through the tower window to save Marian.

Loved By The Sun by Jon Anderson (Tangerine Dream) - Legend, 1985

The return of light & love to the universe, spring blooming after a dark winter, and the unicorns reborn - what a moment! The beauty of the song so perfectly accompanies that moment of triumph, I had to post it in it's original context with the final scenes of the movie.

So, apologies for any spoilers. But hey, it's been 20 years, I'd say that's past the expiration date on spoilers.

 

Linus and Lucy by Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965

Yes, yes, I'm a Christmas fanatic. But this is a classic. And the jazz trio that created this song (and this entire album) are talented guys who created a new Christmas sound. When you hear a Charlie Brown Christmas song, you know it's a Charlie Brown Christmas song.

Nothing at Christmas time can bring a smile to your face like this silly little Charlie Brown song from the 60's.

 

All For One, All for Love by Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, & Sting - The Three Musketeers, 1993

You had to know Disney would pop up on this list eventually! Made for one of their non-animated movies, what a feeling this song conveys!

Yes, it's a love song. But, considering the cheeseball movie it evolved out of, it packs some serious emotional power, and delivers a fabulous uplifting jolt.

Not to mention, in the early 90's, these three were BIG names. The harmonization they accomplish together is really quite incredible, and really, having these guys in a room together producing music? That would be like walking in on Santa, Cupid, and the Easter Bunny - legendary.

 

Sunshower by Chris Cornell - Great Expectations, 1998

If you've seen this movie, you know that the original scene this song plays in is quite possibly one of the sexiest scenes ever done (in the less blatant, less obvious sort of way than most current films). However, by itself, the song is somewhat sad and nostalgic sounding.

Either way you listen, Chris Cornell nailed it.

 

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me by U2 - Batman Forever, 1995

What a perfect song for a Batman movie! It almost effortlessly captures the dually playful and sinister natures of Batman villans, even incorporating some of the underlying sexuality that all of the batman villains always carried. Yet somehow, personally this song always felt most like the Riddler to me.

 

Kissing You by Des'ree - Romeo & Juliet, 1996

I present to you yet another production of Baz Luhrmann's, and everything I stated earlier was also true seventeen years before The Great Gatsby was released. The 1996 edition of Romeo & Juliet was stunning and engrossing, with a killer soundtrack that made a choice of a single song difficult.

Still, Kissing You stands out as the most powerful song on the soundtrack, possibly because it was written to convey such a powerful love. And, no matter that some may believe they see evidence to the contrary, love is still the most powerful force on this earth.

Promised Land by Underworld - Wild Orchid, 1990

Both the movie and the song are incredibly obscure, and some people just flat out don't get the movie. But once you get around the relatively horrible acting by model Carré Otis, the current of the movie is quite fascinating.

The placement of the captivating Underworld song, written for this movie, was spot on for the scene it accompanied, as it represented a complete unveiling of vulnerability & obsession by Jacqueline Bisset's character.

 

Circle of Life by Elton John - The Lion King, 1994

Disney again. Likely because in the past three-quarters of a century Disney has been one of the top producers of soundtracks in existence.

Disney has featured many mainstream artists in the creation of songs for their movies over all those years, Phil Collins and Celine Dion, to name a few. But of all the animated movies, The Lion King had one of the best overall soundtracks, also featuring "Hakuna Matata" and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight."

Still, Circle of Life topped the list of songs on what I feel is the best of the Disney animated soundtracks.

Don't see one of your favorites on this list? Share in the comments section!

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