10 Most Popular Movie Soundtracks

Wednesday, January 19 by Johnny Pace

A solid song can paint a picture in a listener's mind that can take an audible pleasure and give it cinematic qualities. A solid movie soundtrack can add to the dramatic intention of a film. The most popular movie soundtracks of all time are comprised of songs that not only fit the emotional feeling of the movie but accentuate those feelings and engrain that moment into your mind for a lifetime.

  1. "Easy Rider." Just as the movie "Easy Rider" represented a shift in the way motion pictures were created and marketed, the soundtrack was comprised of epic music from the late 1960's that also represented a major change in society making this one of the most popular movie soundtracks of its time and of all time.
  2. "Garden State." This Generation "Y" coming of age tale was widely hailed for the music that played throughout the film's pivotal moments. The music was a mix of contemporary indie rock and classic folk that meshed perfectly with the protagonist of the film's yearning for something more. A whole generation identified with these songs making it one of the most popular movie soundtracks of its time.
  3. "A Hard Day's Night." It should probably come as no surprise to see one of the most enduring albums of all time on a list of the most popular movie soundtracks. This album still featured the early song structure of the Beatles but with more developed songwriting on showcase.
  4. "Baller Blockin.'" This tragic comedy about life on the streets of New Orleans starred the Cash Money rappers including Lil' Wayne, B.G., Juvenile, Mannie Fresh and Baby. The soundtrack to this independent film was comprised of their greatest hits at the time which were all dominating the radio waves in the late 1990s. This was when Cash Money was truly an army.
  5. "Forrest Gump." The critically acclaimed Tom Hanks film dealt with a lot themes juxtaposed over the backdrop of America from the racism in the 1950's to AIDS in the 1980's. The soundtrack for this used some of the biggest hits of the respective times portrayed to help place the viewer right in that certain place and time. It is the ability of these songs to send people back to a different era of society that has helped them collectively endure as one of the most popular movie soundtracks in all of cinema.
  6. "Rocky Horror Picture Show." A British musical turned into a racy cult-classic film is pretty much a guaranteed formula for admission into the canon of most popular movie soundtracks.
  7. "Pure Country." The King of Country music makes a movie rebelling against the pop country movement of the 1990's and provides a soundtrack comprised of his trademark traditional, Bob Wills inspired country songs. For those who love country music this is a lock for their most popular movie soundtrack playlist.
  8. "Empire Records." A movie all about damning the man and saving the empire with a score providing by some of the best alternative rock acts of the time including Better Than Ezra, Cracker, Gin Blossoms and Toad the Wet Sprocket. The music fit the demographic of this film perfectly and the scene with Renee Zellweger singing "Sugarhigh" is pure 1990's movie magic.
  9. "The Graduate." Much like "Easy Rider,"  this film's score and the movie itself were emblematic of a sea change in the entertainment industry solidifying its spot as one of the most respected and popular movie soundtracks ever to be scored.
  10. "Hustle & Flow." This independent film told the tale of a street hustler who aspired to become a big time rapper. The story lends itself to a memorable soundtrack and the music does not fail to live up to these standards.
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