Last week Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver crashed into cinemas, immediately becoming both a commercial and critical hit.
The film’s hero, Baby, is a young and talented getaway driver who relies on the beat of his preferred soundtrack to be the best in a vast criminal world.
The movie really is driven by the music and the soundtrack is one of the best that cinema has seen.
But it got us thinking, what are the best film soundtracks ever?
[ooyala code=”pkcmdzYjE6ZdJkxfMNSkKDSBVKiTSXHC” player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”1280″ height=”720″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l”]
Director Quentin Tarantino always ensures that his films have cracking soundtracks and many could have made this list.
His 1992 directorial debut Reservoir Dogs not only made Tarantino a director to watch out for, but it also started a trend in cinema of compilation soundtracks.
The film’s music actually inspired many of the soundtracks featured on this list!
The songs in the film are mostly connected with a fictional radio show, ‘K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies’, allowing the music to form a part of the story rather than just being background noise.
Oozing with style and cool beats, the soundtrack sets the tone of a film that is suave, sophisticated and overflowing with flair.
The main theme ‘Little Green Bag’ is an instant hit, but it is Stealers Wheels’ fantastic ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ that stays with you, the perfect but strange choice for a violent torture scene.
When you ask someone what their favourite film soundtrack is often their reply is Trainspotting and when you take a listen it is quite obvious why.
Danny Boyle’s 1996 film about a group of Scottish heroin addicts played on the popularity of British pop which was huge at the time of its release.
Boyle’s cleverly crafted soundtrack combined the music of contemporary Brit pop bands such as Blur and Pulp with sounds from rave culture like Underworld and Iggy Pop.
Many of the songs helped make certain scenes iconic, such as Renton’s experience self-injecting heroin, followed by his trip to A&E, that is set to the eerily beautiful ‘Perfect Day’ by Lou Reed.
And who could forget the classicopening scene that sees Renton running through the streets of Edinburgh whilst Iggy Pop’s fantastic ‘Lust For Life’ blasts out.
The soundtrack sold so well that a second volume featuring songs that did not make it into the film was also released.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Marvel’s hit film Guardians of the Galaxy stars Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, a man who would do anything to protect his Walkman and accompanying Awesome Mix Vol. 1 tape which features classic rock songs from the seventies.
Music is therefore a vital part of the film and director James Gunn wrote the songs into the script, baking them into the story ensuring that the soundtrack was in harmony with the movie.
The soundtrack, like the film, became an instant hit and shot to the top of the charts.
It was so popular that the sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, took its name after the tape that defines the film.
Featuring classic seventies artists such as David Bowie, 10CC and The Jackson 5, it has everything you could possibly want and more.
And the soundtrack for the sequel is somehow just as good…
[ooyala code=”BramhzYjE6bKt9eo-orRRa2kBXkzHMCt” player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”854″ height=”480″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l”]
Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t the only superhero film with a killer soundtrack…
Violent indie hit Kick-Ass may not have made as many waves as Guardians but its poppy soundtrack is just as good, if not better.
Fast paced and action packed but with a serious message and some upsetting scenes, Kick-Ass needed a song for every scenario and this is something that they managed rather well.
The Hit Girls version of ‘Bad Reputation’ is the absolute highlight, a hotly paced song with a quick beat, perfect for a violent, thrilling and bloody action sequence that will leave you in awe.
It really is a scene that will stick with you forever.
The film also features the best use of Elvis Presley to date with his ‘An American Trilogy’ working beautifully during a triumphant climax that features a jet-pack with machine guns attached. Truly awesome!!!!
[ooyala code=”BzcGhzYjE6fFjPQZQQoToEVCbvTs4a83″ player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”1280″ height=”720″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l”]
Baby Driver was not the first film about a getaway driver where the soundtrack was key.
Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive starred Ryan Gosling as a Hollywood stuntman whose night job saw him having to escape from the cops in high adrenaline car chases.
Like all of Winding Refn’s films, Drive is sleek and sexy with an uber cool soundtrack to match.
The majority of tracks have an eighties electronic vibe full of synth sounds to mirror the neo-noir style of the film.
Alas, songs such as Kavinsky’s ‘Nightcall’ and Desire’s ‘Under Your Spell’ are eerie and moody much like Gosling’s mysterious protagonist.
Trust me, if you are ever driving through the city at night, the Drive soundtrack is a must.
[ooyala code=”JtdWdzYjE69-sxaISkXD9Nu3tM2W4doR” player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”1280″ height=”720″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l”]
Okay, so Disney’s Tron: Legacy was a box office flop and is a pretty shoddy film.
But what the film lacked in acting ability and story, it certainly made up for with its stunning neon-lighted visuals and the wonderful techno soundtrack that fitted just perfectly with the style.
Seriously though, whoever thought of calling in Daft Punk to do the soundtrack is a genius.
Futuristic, electrifying and a blast, this soundtrack is bursting with energy.
Jeff Bridges’ silky voice speaking over a slow synthesised beat in ‘The Grid’ will make the hairs on your neck stand up while ‘The Game Has Changed’ builds and builds tension until the drumming gets manic.
You really don’t need to bother with seeing the film, just buy the soundtrack instead!
[ooyala code=”ZteWdzYjE6Sr7uGet29gG2scpD8y7M9Z” player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”1024″ height=”672″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l”]
What do you think are the best film soundtracks of all-time?
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.