10 Classic Movie Soundtracks

Sunday, December 5 by Travis Petersen

Music is important to many a film and the movies behind these 10 classic movie soundtracks would be nothing without music. These classic movie soundtracks use popular music to help tell their tales, enrich the visuals and entertain above and beyond what's happening on screen. Here are ten classic movie soundtracks, without which the films they assist would not be the same.

  1. "A Hard Day's Night" The Beatles' best film features their best soundtrack. Beatlemania combines with comedy and experimental filmmaking in this great film and the best of all classic movie soundtracks provides the songs. Marriage of music and film would never be the same.
  2. "Pulp Fiction" Quentin Tarantino's magnum opus features one of the classic movie soundtracks with obscure surf and soul songs commingling to soundtrack scenes of extreme violence and tremendous humor. Dick Dale's "Miserlou" kicks things off and it never stops from there.
  3. "Saturday Night Fever" The Bee Gees' disco hits tell the story in this time capsule of a film. Think of the late '70s and this entry on the best classic movie soundtracks will pop into mind right away.
  4. "Superfly" Curtis Mayfield's soul-funk masterpiece of an album soundtracks one of blaxploitation cinema's grittiest films, the story of an iconic crook just trying to get by. The film makes little comment, leaving the social commentary up to Mayfield's perfect songs, including "Freddie's Dead," "Pusherman" and the title track.
  5. "Purple Rain" The film that made Prince a household name also features some of his most enduring song, from the opening "Let's Go Crazy" to the closing title track. Any list of classic movie soundtracks should make a place for "Purple Rain."
  6. "The Harder They Come" This Jamaican crime film's iconic soundtrack introduced reggae, ska and rocksteady to a mass American audience. Songs like "Pressure Drop" from Toots & The Maytals and star Jimmy Cliff's own title track showcased a vibrant musical culture while providing one of the classic movie soundtracks.
  7. "American Graffiti" George Lucas's nostalgia film had its characters listening to their car radios throughout, leading to an array of pre-British Invasion pop and rock and roll hits soundtracking the action. It remains one of the classic movie soundtracks.
  8. "The Sting"Paul Newman and Robert Redford played charming con men in this wonderful film. The music is Scott Joplin's ragtime-era best, one of the classic movie soundtracks of all time.
  9. "The Graduate" Simon and Garfunkel provided the hits for this coming-of-age in the '60s film. "Mrs. Robinson" alone ensures the album a place on any list of classic movie soundtracks.
  10. "The Virgin Suicides" The newest on our list of ten classic movie soundtracks was written and performed by French pop group Air. It is an ethereal masterpiece that closes out our list.