The 6 Most Iconic Movie Soundtracks That A Film Lover Knows By Heart

The 6 Most Iconic Movie Soundtracks That A Film Lover Knows By Heart

By: Sara Araujo -

Take a look at some of the best movie soundtracks you must listen to at least once in your life.

Can you imagine watching the famous shower scene from Psycho without the suspenseful music? It may sound like something insignificant, but it’s actually a game changer. Music plays a huge role in movies, to the point that sometimes we can conclude whether we liked a movie or not based solely on their soundtrack. As a matter of fact, it recently happened to me after watching Baby Driver. While the story itself wasn’t that inspiring or captivating, the synchronicity between the photography and music managed to turn this movie into one of my personal favorites. The meticulous selection of artists and the way each scene paces with the rhythm of each song is absolutely genius. This is just a recent example, but there are several beautiful soundtracks that have enticed the audience with the passing of time.

Throughout film history, music has been able to put movies in the spotlight by creating a wave of emotions and a dynamic narrative that perfectly fits the story. This is why sometimes some feature films have gained so much popularity, no matter what the script was about or who directed it. There are tons of iconic movies that have been complemented with unforgettable music. Here are some worth mentioning.

Trainspotting (1996)

The best indie rock for a perfect indie movie. The soundtrack includes legendary icons such as Iggy Pop, Blur, Brian Eno, New Order, Joy Division, and Underworld, who have created that underground electronic tune that inevitably makes us think of the movie. What’s very valuable from this soundtrack, besides the talent comprised in it, is the eclectic variety of music that creates the narrative for each particular moment. You have romantic, head-banging, and dance songs, all in one. This movie album was so good that in 2007, Vanity Fair ranked it as the seventh best motion picture soundtrack in history.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

If there’s something that makes a Tarantino movie so special it's the music that complements his unique stories. For Pulp Fiction, Tarantino wasn’t afraid of using very different genres, and I have to say that the combination between surf tunes, smooth soul, and heavy rap gives this movie a very particular feeling of mystery and sophistication that perfectly describes what this story is about. Plus, there’s a little something for everyone: whether you have a hardcore ear, or you prefer something softer, you can still enjoy this amazing soundtrack.

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Way back when Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin were rocking everyone’s heads out, disco wasn’t as popular, until John Travolta arrived with his youthful moves and made thousands of women drool like never before. Evidently, this groovy soundtrack includes one of the most iconic disco bands: the Bee Gees. But there’s so much more to it that it's almost a pity people didn’t give the same opportunity to similar artists. If you like this genre, you should definitely listen to Tavares, Kool & The Gang, and the joyful KC & The Sunshine Band. If you need a reason to do so, well, you may want to know that this soundtrack was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress for being culturally significant.

Mary Poppins (1964)

We all know that when it comes to movie soundtracks, Disney knows how to deliver catchy tunes that will get stuck on our brains (and hearts) forever. Among these amazing records, I have to admit that Mary Poppins is a must for every film lover out there. My reason: Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. These two are so talented that it almost doesn’t matter what they do, they do it flawlessly (remember Andrews on The Princess Diaries and Van Dyke in Night at the Museum). This soundtrack is such a unique masterpiece that it won the Academy Awards for Best Original Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) and Best Original Score.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

A little ahead of its time, but definitely genius, this movie is one of my favorite musicals ever. The seventies soft ballad and classic rock definitely made up for this very particular movie. If we were looking for another reason to love this movie album, the cast includes the majestic Tim Curry, a very young and talented Susan Sarandon, and Meat Loaf. Sure, it’s one of a kind, and you may not be into this kind of productions, but if you want to give it a try, you won’t regret it. The tunes are really catchy, and the songwriting behind them is overall funny and enjoyable.

Amadeus (1985)

Okay, this one may be a choice for particularly hardcore melomanes and film lovers, especially because nowadays classical music is seen as boring. But come on, deep down we all know Mozart was a true music genius. Even if you’re not so sure about this, this movie has all the elements to prove it. Besides being incredibly entertaining, the music (from Mozart, duh) is completely captivating. It truly makes the emotion on every scene come to life, from the humorous jokes to the bleakest moments. 

Music is a key element on movies. Songs are, in a way, the soul of the story. If it’s properly performed, a film can be lived in a whole different way thanks to the soundtrack. Music makes us feel what the characters are feeling, and experience the movie as if we were in it.


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