Calling all movie buffs and music lovers alike!
There have been so many outstanding collections of music since the dawn of the movie soundtrack that sometimes it can be hard to sift through and figure out which ones to listen to. From Trainspotting to Pulp Fiction, the 90s was a decade that was particularly stacked with outstanding films that came accompanied by even better soundtracks.
Check out some of the best movie soundtracks from the 90s below.
The soundtrack for Danny Boyle’s Scottish burnout flick Trainspotting was first introduced in 1996, stacked with a variety of Britpop and electronica tracks. The two disc soundtrack was a revelation at the time, joining some of the most cohesive, thoughtful albums in history with tracks like Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life,” Blur’s “Sing,” and Primal Scream’s “Trainspotting.”
Empire Records was another stacked flick for music, coming packed with gold like The Cruel Sea’s “The Honeymoon Is Over,” Edwin Collins’ “A Girl Like You,” The Cranberries’ “Liar,” and Lustre’s “Nice Overalls.” What else would you expect from a movie about music-savvy youths that work together at a record store?
The soundtrack of Pulp Fiction is just as much a cultural phenomenon as its accompanying screenplay, stacked with 60s surf rock tunes and resurfaced vinyl gems. Some highlights from the record include Urge Overkill’s cover of “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” and the Revels’ “Comanche,” both playing a prominent role in the scene that they’re featured in.
The soundtrack for Cameron Crowe’s 1992 flick Singles made its mark on the 90s, as it captured the grunge movement in Seattle that revolutionized the sound of rock as we know it. The album came stacked with rad, raucous artists like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and The Smashing Pumpkins, and serves as the perfect package of grunge tunes.
Although Judgment Night may not be the most memorable movie of the 90s, its soundtrack earned the film fame through its peculiarly perfect pairing of rappers and rock bands. The record came packed with mashups of Biohazard and Onyx, Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill, and Slayer and Ice-T, making for heavy, yet fresh tunes that marked an entirely new genre of rap-rock.
The 90s were big for soundtracks packed with cover songs, and The Crow is a perfect example of that with its noise rock tunes. The album came full of covers, with Rollins Band’s rendition of Suicide’s “Ghostrider,” Nine Inch Nails’ cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls,” Pantera’s rendition of Poison Idea’s “The Badge,” and more. The flick is now full of cultural relevance, turning from a movie to a gothic phenomenon after the on-set death of the film’s lead, Brandon Lee.
Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas is stacked with popular hits that span from Tony Bennett’s silky track “Rags to Riches” to Sid Vicious’ cover of “My Way.” Although Scorsese stuffs the soundtrack with legendary tunes, he uses them in ways you wouldn’t expect, making the beloved soundtrack a peculiar mix of unrequited love and mobster drama.
The soundtrack for Reality Bites is a perfect time capsule of the 90s, filled with alt-rock tracks from killer artists like Dinosaur Jr, New Order, Juliana Hatfield, and World Party. Although the movie itself wasn’t a standout, the music was outstanding, playing a pivotal role in the film’s most important scenes and serving as a landmark of the decade’s best soundtracks.
Wes Anderson soundtracks are always a treat, and his 1998 breakthrough Rushmore is no exception. This soundtrack was created alongside his music supervisor Randall Poster, and although the soundtrack seems pretty straightforward in terms of artist selection, with classic rock legends like John Lennon and the Kinks, the selective tracks and deep cuts are unexpected and unbelievably cohesive.
How could a flick based on David Bowie’s life story not have one of the best soundtracks of the decade? 1998’s Velvet Goldmine was stacked with original dance tunes from artists like Pulp and Shudder to Think, and deep cuts from the likes of Brian Eno and Lou Reed. The album’s highlights are its covers, with Placebo’s rendition of T-Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and Venus in Furs’ cover of Roxy Music’s “2HB,” “Ladytron,” and “Bitter-sweet.”
Dazed and Confused
Stoner coming-of-age film Dazed and Confused marks a group of 70’s students’ adolescence with hazy, rowdy tunes that will teleport you back in time. From Alice Cooper’s upbeat rock tune “School’s Out” to the Runaways’ thrilling anthem “Cherry Bomb,” you’ll have this soundtrack playing on repeat all summer long.