March 22, 2012

My Top 20 Favorite Movie Soundtracks:

FACT: Most of my favorite songs come from movie soundtracks. I love how music can enhance a movie’s enjoyment and how after overdosing on a soundtrack, you can re-watch a movie and see things differently because you now know a song by heart. I think it’s also pretty interesting how you can find a song you wouldn’t normally like and enjoy it because it reminds you of a scene in a movie. Win-win!

Today I put a list of all of my favorite soundtracks (I just HAD to throw Dirty Dancing in there!) When I’m working, I like to put on a full soundtrack so I can be transported into movie land. I also listed some of my favorite tracks from each soundtrack. ENJOY!

  • Almost Famous Favorite Songs: Tiny Dancer, The Wind & Simple Man
  • Amelie From Montmartre Favorite Songs: Comptine D’Un Austre eTe & La Redecouverte
  • Boogie Nights Favorite Songs: Jungle Fever, Brand New Key & Livin’ Thing
  • Dirty Dancing Favorite Songs: Be My Baby, Hungry Eyes, Love is Strange, Stay & The Time of My Life
  • Drive Favorite Songs: Under Your Spell, A Real Hero & Tick of the Clock
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Favorite Songs: Mr. Blue Sky & Theme
  • Garden State Favorite Songs: New Slang, Fair & Such Great Heights
  • Juno Favorite Songs: All I Want Is You, Vampire, Sea of Love & Anyone Else But You
  • Little Miss Sunshine Favorite Songs:Til the End of Time, The Winner Is, Chicago & No One Gets Left Behind
  • Lost in Translation Favorite Songs: Too Young, On the Subway, Just Like Honey & Alone Kyoto
  • Magnolia Favorite Songs: One, Momentum, Nothing is Good Enough & Save Me
  • Pretty In Pink Favorite Songs: If You Leave, Pretty In Pink, Round Round, Bring on the Dancing Horses & Please Please Let me Get What I Want
  • Reality Bites Favorite Songs: My Sharona, Stay, Spin the Bottle, All I Want Is You & Locked Out.
  • Romy & Michele’s High school Reunion Favorite Songs: Our Lips Are Sealed, I Want Candy & Heave Is a Place on Earth
  • Rushmore Favorite Songs: Hardest Geometry Problem, Blinuet, Oh Yoko & Here Comes My Baby
  • Stealing Beauty Favorite Songs: 2 Wicky, Glory Box, My Baby Just Cares for Me & Superstition
  • The Life Aquatic Favorite Songs: Gut Feeling, The Way I Feel Inside & Ping Island Lighting Strike Rescue Op
  • The Royal Tenenbaums Favorite Songs: Need in the Hay, These Days, Stephanie Says & Christmas Time Is Here
  • The Squid & The Whale Favorite Songs: Courting Blues, Hey You, The Swimming Song & Street Hassle
  • The Virgin Suicides Favorite Songs: Magic Man, How Can you Mend a Broken Heart, Crazy On You & Come Sail Away

Runners up include: Good Will Hunting, Dazed & Confused, Run Lola Run & Trainspotting.

Now…you tell me what movie soundtracks you love! GO!

  • Rebecka

    Sherlock Holmes (1 & 2)! My favourite thing to listen to when I’m working on a tight deadline. Makes me feel like I’m on a mission 🙂 Local Hero is another one, beautiful, dreamy sounds by Mark Knopfler (who also scored Princess Bride!) that I always listen to when I’m painting. My sis is tooootally into the Descendants and Broken Flowers

  • Veronika

    wow, that’s great list, I can’s stop listening to the one from Drive – Under Your Spell. You mentioned this in your podcast, right?
    great stuff, thanks for sharing

  • Shannan

    Love the list. I would add Rocky Horror (love hearing my five year old say Dammit Janet), Scott Pilgrim and Mad Men (both volumes).

  • Lia

    YAY for Reality Bites! Only the best soundtrack ever!!! I’m also a sucker for Beaches (er, how old am I?!) and Stand By Me 🙂

    • Tracy

      Ummm. YES!!! I love love love Beaches and Stand By Me is Casey’s favorite movie of all time. Noted!

  • Katerina from Psit Jewellery

    Nice selection! You should do a list with your favorite songs from your favorite soundtracks on Grooveshark and share it with us (like you did with Joy in one of your podcasts).
    The soundtrack of the film “I am Sam” is very good too.

  • Jessica

    Love this post! totally agree with you with Rushmore, Garden State and Amelie. Best ever would be the soundtrack for Once. Second best, Across the Universe.

    P.S. I started listening to the Joy the Baker podcast. You guys are wonderful. I love the sound of your voice. Is that creepy? haha!

  • amy

    Empire Records, Shawshank Redemption…both really good!

  • Ali

    I am so glad you included Crazy on You and Come Sail Away from Virgin Suicides!! Those are two of my all time favs and I get so much crap for loving them!

  • Karen

    Risky Business and Fast Times at Ridgemont High!

  • Carly

    1. I love your choice of movies. You got so many of my favourites. Nobody ever knows of Stealing Beauty. Lost in Translation makes me swoon.
    2. My alarm clock woke me with Tiny Dancer this morning and I’ve had it stuck in my head since I woke up.
    3. I always wanted the Dirty Dancing soundtrack as a kid and finally bought it for myself a few years ago. I was kind of disappointed, although I still love the movie.
    4. The Reality Bites soundtrack was one of my favourites in university, along with the Trainspotting soundtrack.
    5. Garden State is my all time favourite soundtrack and one of my all time favourite albums.

    • Carly

      PS. Speaking of movies that make me swoon, I highly recommend watching Amelie in French with English subtitles. I’ve never seen it with the English dub but she is brilliant in French.

    • Tracy

      Tiny Dancer- sing it and replace it with Tony Danza. It will make you smile. That’s what I do in my head.

      Stealing Beauty is sooo good. It got me through my later high school years and early college. True story.

      I remember sitting in the back of my mom’s station wagon requesting that she rewind (we had a tape) the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing OVER AND OVER again.

  • Robyn

    i had the reality bites soundtrack ON TAPE and it’s all i listened to in grade 10. i also love the waiting to exhale soundtrack – it’s like a time capsule of 90s r&b – whitney, tlc, toni braxton, mary j. blige – amazing.

  • Meredith

    I still love the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack (so 90s)- especially that Radiohead song Talk Show Host.

  • Rosemarie

    I love your choices! I agree with Meredith and Romeo + Juliet. Also Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs (even though I never watched the movie!)

  • Kate

    I LOVE movie soundtracks! I will have to check these out. It makes me feel like homework is the most epic journey EVER when I listen to soundtracks, but they have to be instrumental or orchestral because I find words distracting while I’m working. My favorites are Pride & Prejudice, all of the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtracks, and all of the Harry Potter soundtracks.

    Funny story: once I was listening to the first Pirates soundtrack and reading for my undergrad sociology class about a prison riot. My heart rate was going up and up and I was getting super nervous and I couldn’t figure out why this particular reading was making me so tense! Then I realized that the swashbuckling music was making everything seem like it was happening in real life! I sheepishly turned off my CD player (for realsies) and finished my reading as my blood pressure went back to normal.

    • Tracy

      That is HILARIOUS. That’s part of the reason why I can’t listen to music while I cook. IT STRESSES ME OUT.

  • lauren @ the talking kitchen

    Romeo and Juliet soundtrack is a given, I secretly love musicals (do they count?) like les miserables, oklahoma and west side story!

  • Mary

    I love your choices- especially Dirty Dancing! I would have to add the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, the Breakfast Club soundtrack, and perhaps most importantly, the soundtrack to The Big Chill.

  • Emily

    I like your list! I love the soundtracks to Eternal Sunshine (my favorite movie) and Garden State. I worked in a movie theater in high school (early 2000s), and we could bring our own CDs to play in the lobby as long as they were movie soundtracks. I spent a lot of time listening to the soundtracks to Clueless, Blast from the Past, Shrek, and Bring it On! There are several songs that will always remind me of those movies. Oh and then there was the summer we listened to nothing but the soundtrack to Disney’s Tarzan. Yikes!

  • Megan

    You have so many of my favorite movies on here! I put the Trainspotting soundtrack on my top 5. Also the Crow, Dazed and Confused, South Park, Pulp Fiction, and Empire Records. (and I know that’s more than five!)

  • Ashley

    Juno is great! Also loved the soundtrack for “Into the Wild.” Eddie Vedder was the musician for the entire album and it paired really well with the story. Love!

  • Leah

    The music in Drive made that movie, the story and acting are great but the music.. oh baby! so good!!
    I love the Empire Records soundtrack!!

  • Helen

    Definitely loved the Once soundtrack, and I could listen to the music from Grease everyday!!

  • Karmen

    love all those you posted – here is mine – from the movie “In Good Company” w/ Topher Grace – some Damien Rice, Sam Beam, Shins etc – check it!

  • Melio

    I LOVE this!!!! I want to live in a Wes Anderson movie just for the soundtrack alone!

  • Amy

    I love the Pretty Woman soundtrack (King Of Wishful Thinking, Wild Women, Must Have Been Love), Garden State (um, all of it) and 500 Days Of Summer (again, all of it). When I was younger, I loved the My Best Friend’s Wedding Soundtrack.

  • Candice

    The Vanilla Sky soundtrack is surpisingly good (considering the movie bombed).

    LOVE the Garden State soundtrack! I also love some TV soundtracks, like Greys Anatomy and Felicity.

  • Shaleen

    Wow! I was so excited to see my favorite movie on this list-Stealing Beauty!No one ever knows what I’m talking about when I mention it. My husband and I chose “My Baby Just Cares for Me” as our wedding song. Love Nina Simone!

  • Clara

    And to think I was the only person who loved soundtrack albums!! They totally transport you. My fave is One Find Day… oh George Clooney.

  • ChocoMeat

    The Bodyguard sdtrk was my first CD. True story.

  • NerdyBaker

    The Last Days of Disco is by FAR my favorite movie soundtrack. I was listening to it while in labor with my 8 year old. The nurse said I was too young to be listening to it. I was 24 at the time.

  • Kelly

    I love that you have Amelie and most of Wes Andersons movies on your list.

    Oceans 11 and Hannah are a few of my other favs.

  • Nicole

    Yessss….great choices! I was obsessed with the Dirty Dancing soundtrack as a kid and obsessed with Garden State as an adult. R&M HSR is such a fun one. I used to play the Go and Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack in my college days. Ah, memory lane!

  • Kristen M.

    Empire Records is probably my number one soundtrack, closely followed by Rushmore. Trainspotting is also an awesome one though I’m kind of over the movie now that I’m a bit older. And I have to admit to still loving the Singles soundtrack. Go grunge!

  • Linda

    Favorite (yet sadly predictable) sound tracks of an old woman: Out of Africa, Sleepless in Seattle, Bridges of Madison County and lest you think I am beyond hopeless, Blade Runner! Ta da!

  • Gaby

    I love Almost Famous too! Some of the best music ever in one of my absolute favorite movies.

  • Britt

    Oh what a fun post! One soundtrack that I love is 13 Going on 30–so many amazing 80s hits! It instantly brightens my mood and makes me want to dance every time I put it on.

  • Lacey Chalenor

    I LOVE movie soundtracks! What a great list. Thanks for all the suggestions and the reminders on gems I had forgotten 🙂

  • tamara

    My favorite soundtracks include “Dead Presidents,” “Kill Bill, Vol. 1,” “Jackie Brown,” “The Last Days of Disco,” “Purple Rain,” “Monsoon Wedding,” “Marie Antoinette,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Pina” and “Elevator to the Gallows.”

    I must give props to movie scores as well, “American Beauty,” “Virgin Suicides,” “Talented Mr. Ripley.”

  • Courtney

    I LOVE the Rushmore soundtrack (and The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic…). Tarantino movies tend to have good soundtracks as well–Pulp Fiction is one of my favorites. I also love the soundtracks for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Crow, and Whip It.

  • lynn @ the actor's diet

    growing up i was obsessed w “say anything,” “some kind of wonderful,” and the “pretty woman” soundtracks.

  • Kim

    I love this! We walked down the aisle after getting married to “Let Me Tell You About My Boat” from The Life Aquatic Soundtrack. Happiness!

  • Tammy

    We own like half your collection of faves:) my fave soundtrack is so I married an axe murderer ! Fave song there she goes, followed by Woman!!

  • Leslie

    I bought myself a ukelele just so I could learn to play Sea of Love-Juno version. Obsessed. (And only song I can play.)

  • hellywelly

    fantastic list! such a fun post! some readers mentioned vanilla sky and so i married an axe murderer…love those 🙂 two of my other faves are dan in real life and about a boy.

  • Bailey W.

    I love Amelie! It’s just a beautiful movie all around. My favorite soundtrack is the soundtrack from Once. Beautiful movie and beautiful music.

  • Kassie

    Great soundtracks, I’m not going to lie. BUT I am mostly just distracted by the fact you wrote your list in alphabetical order…

  • Heidi

    Eep! I don’t own any soundtracks. However, Amelie and Reality Bites are two of my most favorite-ist movies. Royal Tennenbaums is the schnizz, as well.

  • Beverlily

    My all time favorite is “Saturday Night Fever.” Boy does that date me! Also love the track for
    “Romancing the Stone.”

  • Winter

    I love Amelie too!

    I love the City of Angels and Sleepless in Seattle soundtracks–all those gooey love songs and stuff. But I also love me some Tron Legacy soundtrack (Daft Punk!) for running.

  • Hannah

    There are so many! Pride and Predjudice and Young Victoria for studying, New Moon (don’t judge), (500) Days of Summer, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs (my parents had those on repeat throughout my childhood).

    Under Your Spell, from Drive, has been playing on my computer ever since I saw it. It makes Ryan Gosling wearing jean on jean come to mind. Delicious.

  • Leah

    The Life Aquatic – Portuguese Bowie and! Real Bowie with Queen Bitch at the end. So much love.
    Marie Antoinette – Natural’s Not In It

    Great post!

  • Catherine

    Moulin Rouge is great! So is Amelie, love that movie…and Les Choristes is another french one with beautiful music.
    The Hours, too. Philip Glass is brilliant.

  • Hilary

    Anyone mention There’s Something About Mary? Oh, I really liked that soundtrack about a decade ago. Still brings back good memories. 🙂

  • Sonia

    Damn girl. You got all mine! PS. the Shins have a new album – it feels nostalgic (circa Garden State years).

  • Jennifer P.

    Wes Anderson soundtracks are the best! I walked down the aisle at my wedding to Sparkplug Minuet from the Royal Tenenbaums.

  • Tiffanie

    Love your list, and love this concept for a post. In the few months since I started reading your awesome blog, I haven’t seen a post like this. Very cool!

    My two favorites that popped right to mind were Repo Man and Sixteen Candles. Our wedding song right when we kissed was “If You Were Here” from Sixteen Candles by the Thompson Twins. Still gives me chills!

  • Tiffanie

    Oh, oh, oh, oh! FLASHDANCE! I LOVE that soundtrack, going to go buy it (again) right now!

  • Leslie

    Giiiirrrrl, your choices are fantastic. You have so many of my favorites in there. I love Amelie, Tenenbaums, and Garden State, too! Another of my newer favorites is 500 Days of Summer. It’s a good one to listen to all the way through. Another recommendation is Everything is Illuminated.

  • Kate @ eatrecyclerepeat

    ummm….Aladdin and the Jungle Book! Haha. In the adult category, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is beautiful.

  • Kate @ eatrecyclerepeat

    oh and Once! best original soundtrack, and all of Swell Season’s stuff is amazing

  • Lori from a family's life

    I love the sound track from something’s gotta give and of course dazed and confused!

  • Emily D.

    We are soundtrack twins. Almost Famous, Juno, and all Wes Anderson.

  • Emily @ Peck Life

    I love all of these! Juno, Garden State, and Amelie are staples in our house. 🙂 I also love the “my best friends wedding” soundtrack – lots of good classics. 🙂

  • Michelle

    sleepless in seattle.

  • Carol

    Awesome list! So many of my favorites are included – some I haven’t listened to in a long time… And some new ones worth checking out!

  • Stephanie

    I love the soundtrack to Once. Oh, yes, I cannot forget to mention Magnolia which I loved also. Great List!

  • Ronni

    Beautiful Girls! I love it so.

  • Gwen Edwards

    Tracy! Not only is Almost Famous my all time fav movie, but my fav soundtrack as well. I love that this was at the top of your list. CLASSIC!

  • Kelley

    I think you would also love the soundtrack from ‘Zack and Miri Make a Porno’. Your favorites are so many of mine as well!

  • Nicky

    We seem to have a very similar taste when it comes to soundtracks, I own more than half of your list 😉 If you are looking for some more great tunes to add to your collection, you should check out L.A. Confidental, Outsourced, Mulholland Drive or Paris, Texas.

  • cynthia

    AWESOME list! I would add (from my iPod) a few other great soundtracks:
    The Big Chill
    Charlie’s Angels (the first one)
    Forgetting Sarah Marshall (lots of great Hawaiian vibes, 50 First Dates also good for this))
    I Am Sam
    O Brother, Where Art Thou
    Shrek 2

    • Tracy

      Oooh! We have Forgetting Sarah Marshall. That one’s pretty good too! Thanks for your recommendations!

  • Dana

    We have the EXACT same taste in music…which means you’re awesome! 🙂


  • Louisa [Living Lou]

    Lovely list. So glad to see some Wes & Sofia films in there – my two favourites. Love how music plays such a strong part in their films! Rushmore is one of my favourite sound tracks and gotta love Needle In The Hay in Tennenbaums – introduced me to Elliott Smith!

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    I generally do. Pandora’s ambient channel is pretty good.

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