Welcome to the weekly Newsroom Poll, where we will give you a sneak peek into the lives and minds of some of the correspondents, writers, editors and producers here at MTVNews.com. Every week, they’ll answer a poll question that will reveal some of what we talk about behind the scenes here in the newsroom. Enjoy!
This week, details surfaced about one of the most hotly anticipated albums of the fall. No, not Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 or Lil Wayne’s Rebirth. We’re talking about the soundtrack to “New Moon,” which will likely feature contributions from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Muse, Kings of Leon and Death Cab for Cutie. There was also the announcement of the soundtrack to “Jennifer’s Body,” the new Diablo Cody-penned horror film. With that, combined with the quarter-century anniversary of one of the finest film soundtracks ever constructed (that being Prince’s Purple Rain), this week’s question is: What is your favorite film soundtrack of all time? Check out what the Newsroom said below, and leave your own thoughts in the comments!
This one is easy for me, though it may earn me a few behind-the-back snickers around the office. The soundtrack to “Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight” remains my favorite to this day. It dropped while I was in high school, and every track was something I wanted to go home and crank up to 11. Let’s start with the face-melting crunch: Sepultura, Biohazard, Pantera, Megadeth, Ministry, Rollins Band, Machine Head, Filter, Melvins — it’s enough to make a budding young metalhead’s skull explode. “The Crow” soundtrack almost edges this one out for me, but “Demon Knight” ultimately wins for introducing me to Gravediggaz. The record’s closing track, “1-800-Suicide,” showed me the shock and awe that is hip-hop horrorcore. You heard me: Shock. And. Awe.
“Trainspotting” is the soundtrack to end all soundtracks for me — that movie and soundtrack came out at the perfect time, as I was in high school and completely obsessed with Britpop. (I still kind of am, even in 2009.) I was already listening to Blur, Pulp, New Order and Sleeper constantly, but this soundtrack was my first introduction to Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and Brian Eno — the very people who influenced my beloved Britpop stars. (Plus, it has “Mile End,” which is probably in my top five favorite Pulp songs.) At 17, my Anglophilia was at a fever pitch, and along came Danny Boyle to provide me with the perfect compilation for such a time. I have that soundtrack on all three formats — the vinyl is transparent orange! Also, I’m sure putting Ewan McGregor’s beautiful mug on the cover didn’t hurt sales one bit.
Other than “Purple Rain,” it would have to be “Above the Rim” from 1994. It perfectly captured the height of the G-funk era. Not only was the early ’90s the “Golden Era” of MCs, it was truly the golden era of hip-hop soundtracks (“Juice,” “Menace II Society,” etc.) all with their own classic singles. Now granted, for pure “traditional” hip-hop value, “Above The Rim” might not quite stack up because of some of the more R&B-ish joints on there. But as far as being an overall great soundtrack album to ride out to, this one did it big. No question though that Snoop and ‘em owned the game right about then, and the music reflected it. A lot of folks would probably argue me on this, but I feel like the laid-back confidence Death Row (and extended family) represented on albums like this one influenced Biggie to transform from “hungry Big” of Ready to Die into his later, smooth Versace self. (Well, that and getting some money in his pocket.) But I digress. Of course, Warren G’s classic “Regulate” is what people will remember most (correct me if I’m wrong, but I swear this soundtrack is where it originally appeared), but to me the hottest song on there was “Big Pimpin” by Daz Dillinger. When a dude can talk about “dripping willows on satin pillows” and still sound cool, you know you’ve got something hot! Wash your car on a sunny Saturday afternoon, put that song on, turn some corners and feel the breeze. If that isn’t enough to make you feel cool then I can’t help you. Shout out also to the Lady of Rage (who has unfortunately gone “milk carton” on us since then) and her song “Afro Puffs,” another heater on there. Hot lyrics, female MCs and classic West Coast production — we could use a little more of all three today, don’t you think?
Okay, so this might seem a little pretentious, but honestly, my favorite movie soundtrack of all time would have to be “24 Hour Party People.” Because the film is about the Manchester scene and Factory Records, it kind of lends itself to having an amazing soundtrack. The music is the content in a lot of ways, and the soundtrack serves as much of a documentation of this critical part of New Wave as the film does. Like the film, the soundtrack takes us from the Sex Pistols to Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, Duritti Column and 808 State — a journey that perfectly mirrors that of the movie. Besides my personal bias toward the content itself, objectively speaking it’s an extremely successful soundtrack. Besides the point: I defy any actor anywhere to do a better Tony Wilson than Steve Coogan.
The soundtracks I love are ones with variety. I don’t want them just to be a pre-made Pitchfork mixtape of whatever is hot right now (the “Garden State Syndrome,” as I like to call it). The first soundtrack I remember that I loved was from “Scream 2,” just because those artists have no business being on the same compilation. Sure, many of them are dated groups that might still haunt Adult Contemporary stations (Collective Soul, Tonic), but I love the eclectic assortment: Eels, Nick Cave, D’Angelo, Master P, Less Than Jake and Ear 2000 (David Arquette’s band. What, you don’t know them? Don’t be surprised if they’re on the “New Moon” soundtrack!) It’s the perfect horror movie soundtrack because it reflects what a good horror movie should be: A non-serious, fun and wacky compilation with a twist of self-deprecation.
Close second: The “Judgment Night” soundtrack. I’ve never seen the movie, but to go along with my theme of the loving strings of non-sequiturs, this is the perfect random playlist. Just look up the track listing, which features collaborations by Del Tha Funky Homosapien and Dinosaur Jr, Cyprus Hill and Sonic Youth, Sir Mix-a-Lot and Mudhoney and Teenage Fan Club and De La Soul.
And If the question was favorite score: “Jurassic Park.” Hands down. Doo doo do doo do. Now the theme is stuck in your head. You’re welcome.
That’s tough. I used to love back in the day when movies and soundtracks were married. When the music used to really belong in the film. I’m going to shock everyone with my choice: I love the soundtrack to “New Jack City.” “I Wanna Sex You Up,” the title track, Johnny Gill’s “I’m Still Waiting,” Christopher Williams “I’m Dreamin'” — it was superb R&B that fit the lifestyle of everything going on back then. Ice-T even came off hard with “New Jack Hustler.” So I would say a tie between that and “Saturday Night Fever.” The Bee Gees still blow away most of what’s going on right now. “Night Fever” and “More Than a Woman” were my favorites, although “Staying Alive” got the most props from the masses.
Honorable mentions go to “Boomerang” and the soundtrack to “Boyz in the Hood,” which was in heavy rotation in my tape deck in the summer of 1991!
This one is pretty easy: It’s “Footloose.” The title song, followed by “Let’s Hear It for the Boy,” followed by “Almost Paradise,” followed by “Holding Out for a Hero.” It’s 15 straight minutes of cheesy pop bliss.
That’s a hard question, as there are some I’ve listened to so much that I’m almost embarassed to admit it (why yes, I am referring to the “Titanic” soundtrack) and others that I have practically memorized by heart (yes, “Grease,” I am talking to you). However, if I had to pick an all-time favorite, I think it would be the soundtrack for “Into The Wild.” It’s not at though I was a huge Pearl Jam fan prior to seeing the movie, but there’s just something about Eddie Vedder’s vocals combined with the visuals of Sean Penn’s film that makes this album unforgettable. The song “Society” gets special props for being equal parts depressing and uplifting.
“Trainspotting” is, without a doubt, my favorite soundtrack. (And I’m referring to the first soundtrack, released in 1996, not the second in 1997.) I think it’s just an album that fits the movie so perfectly, from the first to last frame. You can’t listen to a single track without remembering — in vivid detail — the associated scene. The movie begins and you hear a few seconds of feet running before seeing Renton and Spud chased by the police, and it’s all set to Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life.” Then, toilet diving with Brian Eno’s “Deep Blue Day.” Everyone at the club? Sleeper’s cover of “Atomic.” Heroin overdose: “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed. And of course, in the film’s final minutes, with Renton walking happily and then fading to black for the end credits: the epic Underworld track “Born Slippy.” It’s absolutely incredible — all while using a song that my friend Andrew always referred to as what must be the most wonderful karaoke song ever.
It was the summer of 1999 and my best friend *Chucky (*names may have been changed to protect the innocent) had just come back from London and Spain on one of those high school field trips. You know, the ones where you were supposed to learn about other cultures but all you really discover is that you can drink anywhere at any time even though you were 17. Of course with that comes some great stories to add to your repertoire. One of which includes a cute girl, an Irish pub, a dark stairwell and — eventually — a movie theater. That’s all I can say. The point is, in that movie theater my buddy discovered “Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels.” Upon his return home, we hashed out all the details of his trip, reminisced about the girl in the stairwell and talked about this badass movie he had seen (all told in Chucky’s extremely fake British accent). As it turned out, “Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels” also happened to come with an awesome soundtrack that served as our music bed not only that summer day reminiscing, but the rest of my summer days to come.
So maybe it’s the way that I was introduced to this album that makes it one of my favorites. It’s tough these days when we spend most of our waking hours staring at a computer screen, to remember how much fun it used to be sitting around in a circle of lawn chairs with a cooler of beers and just talking, telling stories and listening to some great music.
You kids should try it. When you do, pop in this soundtrack and let it ride. You get a taste of some quality rock and roll from bands like Ocean Colour Scene and the Stooges, a fun reggae vibe from Junior Murvin and some brilliant James Brown funk. Throw in a few sound bites from the movie, some totally chill Pete Wingfield and a serious guitar rendition of “Zorba the Greek” and you’ve pretty much just laid out the perfect lazy Sunday afternoon. Believe me kids, this old-school method of getting together beats stalking your ex-girlfriends on Facebook — trust me! Oh and there is one more thing: It’s been emotional.
I’m pretty sure I spent, like, seven months listening to nothing but the soundtrack to “A Life Less Ordinary.” The movie is totally irrelevant to me, but I was completely obsessed with Beck and needed to listen to “Deadweight” all the time. Then I moved beyond the cassette’s (!) first track, and there were all these good songs by the Cardigans, Ash, Luscious Jackson, Sneaker Pimps and Folk Implosion — and I just aged my 23-year-old self in mentioning how much I loved those bands.
The Dirty Dancing soundtrack would have to be my absolute favorite of all time. What girl didn’t want to go away to some summer resort, meet a guy like Johnny Castle, carry a watermelon and dance to “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley? Of course, let’s not forget Patrick Swayze’s classic “She’s Like the Wind.” “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen mixed in with good old favorites like “Be My Baby” and “Love is Strange” is a recipe for a great soundtrack. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that “Dirty Dancing” is one of my favorite movies of all time. After all, nobody puts Baby in the corner.
“Hackers!” Easily one of the (surprisingly) best dance/techno compilations of the ’90s, featuring Prodigy, Underworld and Stereo MCs. I still listen to it on my iPod. The movie wasn’t super great, but it sounded awesome. It always makes me think of Angelina Jolie with that crazy short haircut, too.
My favorite film soundtrack of all time is the album for “Batman Forever.” Not only does it have the only U2 song that doesn’t make me want to punch a baby (“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”), but it also has a remarkably great Seal song (“Kiss From a Rose”), a brutal PJ Harvey track, a rap by Method Man about the Riddler (seriously!) and great one-offs from Flaming Lips, Sunny Day Real Estate, the Devlins and Nick Cave. The kicker? “Forever” is by far the worst of all the Batman flicks (anybody who says “Batman and Robin” sucked more clearly doesn’t appreciate the greatness of Ah-nold’s performance as Mr. Freeze). And yet I listen to the “Forever” soundtrack four or five times a month, and it always reminds me of summer vacation in 1995 when it was too rainy to go to the beach and my dad took me to see “Forever.” And I liked the song over the credits so much that I immdiately bought the soundtrack (at a record store called “Tape World,” no less) and was just a little bit heartbroken that the song in question was a U2 track. The images of Jim Carrey chewing huge chunks of scenery have been scrubbed from my brain, but Michael Hutchence’s cover of Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger” sticks with me.