12 Nov 2014

The Greatest Film Soundtracks

One of the most loved films soundtracks ever, the songs chosen to soundtrack this tale of extreme drug addiction seem as if they were written for this film. Never has a set of tracks fitted so perfectly. Lust for Life by Iggy Pop and Temptation by New Order come amongst the favourites, but nothing compares to the use of Lou Reed's Perfect Day to get audiences to understand the emotional side. Mile End by Pulp and A Final Hit by Leftfield are no exception, the tracks slotting perfectly into the storyline. Towards the end of the soundtrack only gains perfection; Born Slippy (Nuxx) by Underworld is ten minutes that conjures images of Rents running away with the drug money. And the very last song in the film is Closet Romantic by Damon Albarn and despite not being an Albarn fan, I couldn't think of a better way to finish off the film. 

Perks Of Being A Wallflower
Perks is the film being ~blamed~ for getting hundreds of young teenagers who saw this coming of age film in to The Smiths. It uses Asleep to fit to the spiraling depression that main character Charlie experiences throughout the film and it's done beautifully. Other songs include Come On Eileen by Dexys for a particular prom-time dance scene which will warm your heart. Teenage Riot by Sonic Youth, Low by Cracker and Temptation by New Order are all amongst the story, but possibly the most known from this film is Heroes by David Bowie. Cited as 'the tunnel song,' it's the track that the main characters are unable to identify until the very lovely ending - even if the song says the title copious amounts of times in the song. Never mind, it does make for a wonderfully happy ending alongside beaming teenage smiles and gorgeous shots of San Francisco by night. 

500 Days Of Summer
Another song to use the music of The Smiths, this tragic tale of love and woe is soundtracked brilliantly. Us and Hero by Regina Spektor, You Make My Dreams by Hall and Oats, Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap and She's Got You High by Mumma-Ra are personal highlights, with the songs fitting perfectly to the ups and downs of this film. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out and Please, Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want are the two Smiths tracks used, before lead female, Zooey Deschanel's band (She & Him) cover Please... again to finish off the film. 


Control is probably one of my favourite music based films ever. The story of Ian Curtis and Joy Division, sound-tracked by the Joy Division songs which fit the moment perfectly. Never has a song fitted so perfectly to a suicide than Atmosphere. All the songs link throughout the story line and make the story only more moving. It's a stunning film already and the story of Ian Curtis is of course a touching one and listening to the music of Joy Division works in the most perfect way. And and and, the soundtrack has 3 David Bowie songs on it, as well as a Velvets number and a bit of Iggy. 

Donnie Darko
This film, not the director's cut, (which is probably better overall) has some of the best uses of music in film, ever. Let's start with the start; you're greeted by a 60 minute snippet of soundtrack before one of the most iconic moments in cinema happens; the title character zipping through the countryside on his bike to The Killing Moon by the Bunnymen. It's just breathtaking. And of course, the soundtrack pieces are beautiful interludes to a great film. But the best bit must be the scene where Donnie Darko and his girlfriend (and my one true love) Gretchen Ross make out to Love Will Tear Us Apart. That scene is all the goals. There, I said it. 'All the goals'.

Reservoir Dogs
This film contains what can only be described as the best soundtracked scene ever. A torture scene including monumental amounts of blood and chopping off of ears, ALL SOUNDTRACKED BY STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU by STEALERS WHEEL. Is that not just genius? I mean Tarantino, I knew you were clever, but that's just incredible. The opening credits too, are just iconic; slow mo suited and booted cool guys walking down the street to Little Green Bag. Fuck me, it's just the coolest. Also in there is a Blue Swede song, Magic Carpet Ride by Bedlam and even Coconut by Harry Nilsson. A film thats genius must be watched to be believed. 

Juno, quite like 500 Days of Summer (but much less shit) (don't let Poppy tell you otherwise) is full of cute little indie numbers and suchlike. It's one of those films. But gosh, it has some great tracks on it's soundtrack, doesn't it? Let's start with Anyone Else But You by the Moldy Peaches (and again by the cast) that had limited exposure before the film; it's probably one of the cutest love songs ever written. It's so cute it makes me want to kill small children. And the rest of the soundtrack is just bliss; 60's classics Well Respected Man by The Kinks and I'm Sticking With You by The Velvets, as well as tracks by Cat Power, Belle & Sebastian and Mott The Hoople. OH, and it brought to light Sonic Youth's gorgeous cover of Superstar. (originally by The Carpenters - well not originally by The Carpenters, but it's The Carpenters' version they're covering) If that doesn't establish it as a classic soundtrack I just don't know what is.

(written by Poppy Marriott / with help from Cal)