Music plays an integral role in building atmosphere, tension and emotion in movies, so there’s little wonder that some of the best albums of all time are actually film soundtracks. Here are five of the most iconic, memorable, and best film soundtracks to add to your record collection.
1. The Bodyguard (1992)
The Bodyguard remains the best-selling film soundtrack of all time having sold more than 44 million copies across the world. Renowned pop singer Whitney Houston starred in the film and performed many of the songs on the soundtrack. The movie is perhaps best known for the leading track ‘I Will Always Love You’, which was originally a country song penned by Dolly Parton in 1973 and took an epic pop-gospel twist when Houston covered it.
Original singles from The Bodyguard include timeless ballads ‘I Have Nothing’ and ‘Run to You’, both of which were nominated for Oscars. The soundtrack also features Houston’s performances of Chaka Khan’s disco hit ‘I’m Every Woman’, and hymn ‘Jesus Loves Me’ which was given a pop-gospel arrangement for the movie.
2. The Lion King (1994)
One of the best films from the 90s was the animated Disney film ‘The Lion King’ and it is renowned for its dramatic soundtrack which opens with the uplifting and life-affirming track, ‘Circle of Life’. ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’ never fail to kick off a singalong, while ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ has become a timeless love song in its own right.
Elton John and Tim Rice joined forces to compose The Lion King’s songs and lyrics, while Hans Zimmer composed the film’s score. With such musical masterminds responsible for the soundtrack there’s little wonder it is the world’s biggest-selling soundtrack for an animated film and one of the best film soundtracks with music lovers.
3. Top Gun (1986)
With the recent release and hype surrounding the brand new Top Gun: Maverick, it’s impossible not to get nostalgic about one of the best soundtracks on vinyl, the original Top Gun soundtrack. The 1986 blockbuster boasts an array of classic tunes including Berlin’s iconic moody ballad ‘Take My Breath Away’, Jerry Lee Lewis’ catchy ‘Great Balls of Fire’, and Otis Redding’s timeless posthumous hit ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay’.
One of the leading songs from the soundtrack is ‘Danger Zone’, a punchy, upbeat and quintessentially 80s track that was recorded by Kenny Loggins. The Top Gun soundtrack was the best-selling soundtrack of the year when it was first released and it remains one of the biggest best-sellers of all time.
4. Interstellar (2014)
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar received critical acclaim after its release in 2014, and its soundtrack was a key part of its excellent reception. Hans Zimmer, one of the world’s best-known film score composers with two Oscars and four Grammys under his belt, composed Interstellar’s soundtrack after having previously worked with director Nolan on The Dark Knight film trilogy. Zimmer has worked on more than 150 films with some of his most notable scores including Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Last Samurai, and Dune.
The Interstellar soundtrack heavily features bold, reverberating pipe-organ which generates sinister thunderous and rumbling sounds that reflect the epic high stakes of the movie. The score is rich, vibrant, atmospheric and at times hypnotic, making it an iconic piece of music in its own right when separated from the film.
5. Gladiator (2000)
Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, is one of the best-known historical drama movies of all time. Hans Zimmer composed the score with Australian singer and composer Lisa Gerrard who also performed vocals. The Lyndhurst Orchestra performed the score led by British conductor Gavin Greenaway.
The Gladiator soundtrack is regarded by many as one of the best film soundtracks of all time and it’s even won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score, and nominated for an Academy Award and BAFTA Award. It was highly influential in its composition and set new trends for wailing female vocals and dramatic, waltzing battle music in future historical war films.