Although they are still relevant, movie soundtracks aren’t what they once were. These days it’s one or two songs that are singled out and not the entire body of work. A great soundtrack can make you recall specific events in your life as well as a pivotal scene from the film it represents. These are my favorites in order of preference.
1. Purple Rain
The musical genius that is Prince Rogers Nelson made his acting debut in the 1984 film Purple Rain and showed a side of him that many had never seen. He also wowed us with ballads and headbangers that are still played in clubs, households, and on iPods today. Audiences watched The Kid struggle to finish writing a song that culminated in the title track and closed the film out on an inspirational note. Prince won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score. Only soundtrack on this list that I know all the words to. This is the album that I would want if I were stranded on a deserted island (with Wi-Fi) 🙂
2. The Preacher’s Wife
Whitney Houston’s glorious voice lives on with this gospel infused soundtrack. This genre of music was closest to her heart and it shines through whenever you hear, “I Love The Lord” accompanied by the Georgia Mass Choir. Her mother, Cissy Houston, gets me going with her rendition of “The Lord Is My Shepherd”. A few songs gave way to R&B to complement the film such as “My Heart Is Calling” and the remake of The Four Tops’ “I Believe In You And Me”. They were instant hits. It’s no wonder the album sold over 8 million copies worldwide with writers like Babyface, Annie Lennox, Kirk Franklin, and Diane Warren. But it is Whitney that embodies the soul of it all.
3. City Of Angels
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Sarah McLachlan sing “Angel”. I had not even seen the film yet and her voice took me to a place far, far away. When I finally did see the movie, I played the credits over and over so I could grasp the words to Alanis Morissette’s “Uninvited”. I am struck by the romance, tragedy, and bravery of the tale whenever I hear Peter Gabriel’s “I Grieve”. My favorite tracks are the instrumental ones by Gabriel Yared. And I visualize Meg Ryan’s character riding her bike so filled with love that she closes her eyes and surrenders everything to be in that moment. Classic.
4. Pretty In Pink
I am a huge ’80s pop/rock fan and a huge ’80s film fan. So this one is a double whammy. I still stop dead in my tracks in a department store whenever I hear “If You Leave” on the speakers above my head. I’ll probably never know what “seven years went under the bridge…” means but that’s o.k. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark does. Besides Suzanne Vega’s eclectic “Left Of Center” and New Order’s electronic “Shellshock”, I couldn’t name the other songs on the soundtrack if you paid me. However the album as a whole is still one of my all-time faves because of the sentiments that it revives in my psyche.
5. Honorable Mention, Nahhh
I tend to list 5 items to blog about, but there are only 4 soundtracks that I can truly speak on. To try to come up with a 5th one would be compromising the essence of what I’m trying to say here. Perhaps in another twenty-five years.