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Hundreds of Readers Told Us Their Favorite Soundtracks. Which Came Out on Top?

Hundreds of Readers Told Us Their Favorite Soundtracks. Which Came Out on Top?


Some readers confessed to by no means having seen the movie whose soundtrack they love; others even reported disliking it. No matter what they thought concerning the film, nonetheless — together with nothing — they had been passionate concerning the music.

Finally, a shout-out to Carole Barrowman of Wauwatosa, Wis., for introducing me to “Bellbottoms” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, from “Baby Driver.” It’s taking part in as I write this.

Here’s a sampling of reader submissions:

Fran Cameron of Longmeadow, Mass., on The Harder They Come(1972):

I used to be 12, my brother 14. We walked previous the theater poster for “The Harder They Come.” The selection to make use of lunch cash for an R-rated film about gangsters in Jamaica was easy. It was the primary elaborate lie I instructed my mother and father. The songs opened the door to world music. Fifty years on, I don’t tire of this soundtrack.

Ferris Kerr of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on The Aristocats(1970):

I watched this film feverishly as a child, memorizing each catchphrase and tune. My favourite observe as a baby was “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat,” a basic. Now, as a grown grownup, I recurrently play “Cat’s Love Theme,” a delicate romantic leitmotif for the 2 important characters. Each 12 months, Spotify jogs my memory of my barely odd obsession by bumping it into my top-played songs of the 12 months.

Lauren Rankin of Longmont, Colo., on That Thing You Do!(1996):

I used to be fully obsessive about the Beatles and ’60s popular culture, which was bizarre for a 10-year-old. I begged my mother to get me the CD. I listened to it obsessively over time and nonetheless do to at the present time. The music is so catchy, so heat, so nostalgic, so good, that it has stayed with me for almost 30 years.

Spencer Glesby of Santa Barbara, Calif., on Marie Antoinette(2006):

I used to be a fourth grader, inexperienced and desperate to study extra about music. A household buddy (who to me appeared to be the best individual on the planet) gifted me the soundtrack, and I spent the subsequent 12 months listening to it on repeat on my transportable CD participant, confused and excited concerning the seemingly anachronistic combine of latest wave, post-punk, ambient and baroque songs. How on earth might this film work? When I lastly bought my palms on a DVD, I used to be floored.

Michael Adams of New York on Ben-Hur(1959):

Saw it within the first run of the movie as a baby whereas my household was visiting Cincinnati. Had by no means been so overwhelmed by the narrative sweep and visible splendor of a movie. And the music! The soundtrack was issued in two separate LPs, and I wore the vinyl of each to mud. Even now, a digital model of every observe lives fortunately on my telephone.

Susan Campbell of Rockford, Ill., on Valley Girl(1983):

I principally keep in mind watching it on VHS again and again with highschool girlfriends in the course of the mid-80s. I really like the efficiency by the Plimsouls, particularly, however all of the songs take me again to being a brand new waver and wishing a younger Nicolas Cage was my boyfriend.

Debi Bass of Bridgewater, N.J., on The Big Chill(1983):

I noticed “The Big Chill” in 1983 in Boston after I was younger and single and in search of love. Today, after I hear any of the songs, so many recollections come flooding again about previous boyfriends, courting, happening ladies’ holidays and lots of extra.

Lori Rhodes of Lisbon, Portugal, on Pretty in Pink(1986):

Loved the soundtrack greater than the movie — and was pleasantly stunned after I met my husband-to-be a number of years later and he performed this cassette on our first highway journey collectively.

Grace Bosley of New York on William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet(1996):

This soundtrack holds a particular place in lots of still-brooding, angsty and lovelorn Xennial hearts.

Mary Beth Reece of Boulder, Colo., on Doctor Zhivago(1965):

This was my mother’s favourite film; launched the 12 months I used to be born. She died in 1973 after I was solely 7 years previous. I really like the film too, nevertheless it’s actually the soundtrack that may convey me to tears (in a great way, I feel, and pretty rapidly). Sometimes, it’s good to recollect on this method. Maurice Jarre’s rating is gorgeous, jarring, unique and scary unexpectedly.

Emily Chang of Los Angeles on Chungking Express(1996):

I used to be 19, it was my first spring at U.C.L.A., and I used to be a lonely individual in a brand new metropolis. The “Chungking Express” soundtrack will all the time convey me again to that campus and that spring. To being younger sufficient to romanticize something, even loneliness, with a track. To sketching up new desires, and sharing them with new mates, mates with distinctive desires of their very own.

Heather Mead of Seattle on Singles(1992):

I used to be a freshman in school, a child riot lady with purple hair, floral clothes, flannel and armed forces surplus boots — obsessive about every part musical from Seattle. I wore out the cassette, dreaming of the day I’d transfer to Seattle and get to see these golf equipment and bands and the entire Seattle scene. Which I did 4 years later.

Christina Crowley of Georgia on The Lego Movie (2014) and its sequel:

Saw each motion pictures in theaters with my son. We listened to the soundtracks on a regular basis. In the automobile, at dwelling, taking part in exterior, taking part in inside, on walks, at bedtime, on birthdays, after college, earlier than mattress, whereas preparing for varsity. All the time.

Dana Still of Parksville, British Columbia, on Local Hero(1983):

A Mark Knopfler masterpiece. The first time I ever performed the entire album, I listened to it alone whereas mendacity on the ground. Right up till the two minute and 28 second mark of the ultimate observe, “Going Home,” after I was pushed to my ft and impelled to bop across the room with joyous tears streaming till the tip, after which I simply began the album once more.

Kevin Fox of Nashville on Until the End of the World(1991):

The continuity of vibe, not a skipper on the entire CD. So, nice to have on when making out 🙂

Carole Barrowman of Wauwatosa, Wis., on Baby Driver(2017):

This is my go-to soundtrack after I’m in a temper. Doesn’t matter what type. It’s a “kitchen sink” compilation. It’s bought every part. Rock, blues, jazz, plus T. Rex and the most effective opening track ever: “Bellbottoms” by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Try to remain underneath the velocity restrict.

Laurie Lynn Berger of Clarkston, Wash., on 8 Mile(2002):

I keep in mind driving round in my Miata with the highest down, jamming to that CD and marveling at a white man who might rap with such originality and fervour. The tracks include a lot pathos, humor and freshness. To at the present time I get pleasure from these tracks and gleefully rap alongside (badly!).

Kelly O’Brien of Seattle on Into the Wild(2007):

Eddie Vedder’s voice is a present. I hearken to it recurrently when climbing. The music seems like being within the mountains, like being immersed in nature. To me, it’s half-hour of pleasure.

Virginia Lawro of Hilton Head Island, S.C., on “The Book Thief(2013):

When the e-book turned a film, I went to see it in Orlando, Fla., in 2013. Afterwards I typically performed the soundtrack in my classroom when the scholars had been doing quiet work. The soundtrack captures the fun of youth, and the ache and struggling demise brings to the village throughout WWII. The soundtrack takes me again into my classroom, a spot the place I so loved my college students and seeing them fall in love with literature.

Donna Verteramo of Rosendale, N.Y., on “Rushmore” (1999):

I beloved the film, however I beloved the music extra.

Alex Abrams of Winston-Salem, N.C., on If Beale Street Could Talk(2018):

Having by no means seen the movie hasn’t stopped me from loving the soundtrack. It’s my go-to after I want some enjoyable music. I’m listening to it now whereas a child is crying on my flight to Chicago.

Brigid Riley of Minneapolis on One From the Heart(1982):

I’ve by no means truly seen the movie by Francis Ford Coppola, however a buddy launched me to the soundtrack within the mid-80s and it’s been on my go-to listing ever since. My buddy and I each had kiddos on the time, so our excursions had been auditory whereas in her front room in south Minneapolis with the little ones sleeping close by. The mixture of Tom Waits’s and Crystal Gayle’s voices is so unexpectedly proper.

Stephen Kitts of Galveston, Ind., on The Rose(1979):

The soundtrack comprises full performances that solely appeared within the movie as snippets. I gleaned nothing from the album concerning the movie’s contents apart from its ending, however I used to be mesmerized. Of course I ultimately noticed the movie, which can also be mesmerizing, however I’m nonetheless, to at the present time, all the time a bit upset after I watch the movie, as a result of the album is so burned into my mind.

Daniel Evans of Brooklyn on “Tron: Legacy” (2010):

The film is memorable just for being considerably dangerous, a spinoff stab into the uncanny valley that didn’t fulfill anybody. The soundtrack although, arguably one among Daft Punk’s best albums, is all stunning strains of digital music that mixes a few bangers that may get your blood thumping with some beautiful atmospheric items that recall to mind a film that would have been however by no means was.

Brian Beer of Dalton, Ga., on Judgment Night(1993):

I’ve by no means seen the film! The soundtrack’s sensible pairings of punk rock-metal and rap stars stands so nicely by itself.

Allyson Martel of Rochester, N.Y., on Chelsea Walls(2002):

I’ve but to see this film, however I nonetheless need to. It is Ethan Hawke’s directorial debut. I discovered the soundtrack at a file retailer and acquired it with out previewing it. The songs nonetheless pepper my life. It is Wilco-filled, atmospheric and features a cowl of John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.” The opening and finish instrumentals had been coated at my marriage ceremony.

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