Entertainment Weekly chooses the 100 Best Soundtracks of All Time

Kevin Leonard

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(Not sure if this goes in Movies or Music...if it's in the wrong section, mods please move this to the appropriate section.)
I just picked up the latest edition of "Entertainment Weekly" and was interested in their cover article, which lists the 100 Best Soundtracks. The list is as follows; when possible, I've noted the primary composer:
1) A Hard Day's Night (1964) - The Beatles
2) The Sound of Music (1965) - Rodgers and Hammerstein
3) Saturday Night Fever (1977) - Bee Gees/Various
4) West Side Story (1961) - Stephen Sondheim
5) The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Harold Arlen/Cast
6) Superfly (1972) - Curtis Mayfield
7) The Graduate (1967) - Simon & Garfunkel
8) The Godfather (1972) - Nino Rota
9) Purple Rain (1984) - Prince
10) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - Various
11) Oklahoma! (1955) - Rodgers and Hammerstein
12) The Harder They Come (1973) - Various
13) Psycho (1960) - Bernard Herrmann
14) Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937) - Frank Churchill/Larry Morey
15) American Graffiti (1973) - Various
16) Vertigo (1958) - Bernard Herrmann
17) Trainspotting (1996) - Various
18) My Fair Lady (1964) - Various
19) Gone With the Wind (1939) - Max Steiner
20) Mary Poppins (1964) - Richard and Robert Sherman
21) Once Upon a Time in the West (1969) - Ennio Morricone
22) Pat Garret & Billy the Kid (1973) - Bob Dylan
23) Pinnochio (1940) - Leigh Harline and Ned Washington
24) Goldfinger (1964) - John Barry
25) Singin' In the Rain (1952) - Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb
26) Star Wars (1977) - John Williams
27) Grease (1978) - Various
28) Pulp Fiction (1994) - Various
29) Doctor Zhivago (1965) - Maurice Jarre
30) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - Richard O'Brien
31) Easy Rider (1969) - Various
32) Ben-Hur (1959) - Milkos Rozsa
33) Help! (1965) - The Beatles
34) The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - Franz Waxman
35) Performance (1970) - Jack Nitzsche
36) The Band Wagon (1953) - Arthur Schwartz and Howard Deitz
37) Chinatown (1974) - Jerry Goldsmith
38) Cabaret (1972) - John Kander and Fred Ebb
39) King Kong (1939) - Max Steiner
40) Shaft (1971) - Issac Hayes
41) Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - Maurice Jarre
42) Carousel (1956) - Rodgers and Hammerstein
43) The Pink Panther (1964) - Henry Mancini
44) Anatomy of a Murder (1959) - Duke Ellington
45) Let It Be (1970) - The Beatles
46) Fantasia (1940) - Various
47) The Magnificent Seven (1960) - Elmer Bernstein
48) Meet Me In St. Louis (1944) - Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine
49) The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) - Erich Wolfgang Korngold
50) Oliver! (1968) - Lionel Bart
51) The Sting (1973) - Marvin Hamlisch
52) Funny Girl (1968) - Walter Scharf and Julie Styne
53) Jaws (1975) - John Williams
54) Woodstock (1970) - Various
55) The Music Man (1962) - Merideth Willson
56) O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) - Various
57) Amadeus (1984) - Various
58) The King and I (1956) - Rodgers and Hammerstein
59) Beat Street (1984) - Various
60) The Man With the Golden Arm (1955) - Elmer Bernstein
61) The Mission (1986) - Ennio Morricone
62) Pretty in Pink (1986) - Various
63) Taxi Driver (1976) - Bernard Herrmann
64) The Last Waltz (1978) - The Band
65) Jailhouse Rock (1957) - Leiber and Stoller/Elvis Presley
66) Singles (1992) - Various
67) Manhattan (1979) - George Gershwin
68) South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999) - Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman
69) Magnolia (1999) - Aimee Mann
70) Spartacus (1960) - Alex North
71) Pump Up the Volume (1971) - Various
72) Ragtime (1981) - Randy Newman
73) Tommy (1975) - Pete Townshend/Various
74) The Moderns (1988) - Mark Isham
75) Repo Man (1984) - Various
76) A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Walter Carlos
77) The Sweet Hereafter (1997) - Mychael Danna
78) Out of Africa (1985) - John Barry
79) Stop Making Sense (1984) - Talking Heads
80) Beauty and the Beast (1991) - Howard Ashman and Alan Menken
81) Local Hero (1983) - Mark Knopfler
82) Do the Right Thing (1989) - Branford Marsalis/Public Enemy
83) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) - Tan Dun
84) Rushmore (1998) - Various
85) Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1984) - Ryuichi Sakamoto
86) This Is Spinal Tap (1984) - Spinal Tap
87) The Long Riders (1980) - Ry Cooder
88) Waiting to Exhale (1995) - Babyface/Whitney Houston
89) Jackie Brown (1997) - Various
90) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - Elmer Bernstein
91) Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) - John Cameron Mitchell
92) The Piano (1993) - Michael Nyman
93) The Virgin Suicides (2000) - Air
94) Planet of the Apes (1968) - Jerry Goldsmith
95) Good Will Hunting (1997) - Danny Elfman/Elliot Smith
96) Above the Rim (1994) - Various
97) Nashville (1975) - Various
98) Beetlejuice (1988) - Danny Elfman
99) One From the Heart (1982) - Tom Waits/Crystal Gayle
100) Blue Velvet (1986) - Angelo Badalamenti
All in all, a nice mix of old and new. The inclusions of The Long Riders, Rushmore, Beat Street and Pump Up the Volume were surprise and welcome additions.
Sure, there are a lot of great scores missing (more entries from Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith, Ennio Morricone and Elmer Bernstein would've been nice), and the exclusion of soundtracks like Koynisquatsi, Cape Fear and Raiders of the Lost Ark is odd, but the list was a lot more varied than I was expecting.
What are your thoughts?
[Edit: by the way, the article includes an interview with Martin Scorsese on film music as well as a list of Cameron Crowe's favorite soundtracks.]
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[Edited last by Kevin Leonard on October 08, 2001 at 07:19 PM]
 

Bruce Hedtke

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I would've liked to have seen Dazed and Confused make the list. It is a great collection of 70's music, not just a Greatest Hits of the 70's either, but some real gems.
I also noticed a lack of any Oliver Stone films. Whatever you think of his films, the guy does have a great knack for picking out a song (usually fairly obscure) to mesh with a scene perfectly. Natural Born Killers comes to mind here.
And yes, kudos for including Pump up the Volume. A tremendous and eclectic mix of punk, soul, folk and alternative music. One of my favorite soundtracks.
Bruce
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Peter Apruzzese

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It's good to see that Entertainment Weekly knows just as little about film music as they do about film itself.
 

Greg_Y

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It's not a bad list, as lists go. I just can't believe Paris, Texas didn't make the cut.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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True - I just noticed one GREAT thing about the list - nothing by James 'Anvil-Clanker' Horner.
They should not mix up song scores & musicals based on stage shows with real film scores, though. Completely different animals.
 

Rob Tomlin

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The first thing that came to my mind when going through the list was "Where is Bernard Herrmann's Cape Fear?
Then I read the rest of your post, Kevin, and you actually mention the fact that Cape Fear is not on the list! Great minds must think alike?!
Of course Bernard Herrmann had a few other movies that ARE listed, but for Cape Fear not to make the top 100 just doesn't make sense to me!
[Edited last by Rob Tomlin on October 08, 2001 at 09:05 PM]
 

Brian Perry

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I'm surprised Rocky, Batman, and The Blues Brothers didn't make it.
I think if they had listed their top 100 alphabetically, the list would be more palatable. I mean, Superfly #6?
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[Edited last by Brian Perry on October 09, 2001 at 06:43 AM]
 

Sean Laughter

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Am I the only one that doesn't consider a movie CD that contains nothing but a ton of rock songs and no original score a "soundtrack"?
 

Kevin Leonard

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Glory said:
Good question! It's one of Herrmann's best efforts and worse of all, that score has been out-of-print for years.
I'm putting together a Martin Scorsese website and was working on some soundtrack information and was shocked to discover that that great music--both Herrmann's 1962 original and Elmer Bernstein's 1991 adaptation--is not available on CD or cassette anymore. Here's to hoping there will be a reissue soon.
Two more things: this list proves again that two of my favorite composers, Howard Shore and Graeme Revell, will always get the public shaft. And although I knew it wasn't going to be on there, I was a little let down that Apollo--Atmospheres and Sountracks (the soundtrack to For All Mankind) was not on the list. Damn!
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Have you ever noticed anyone driving slower than you is an idiot? And anyone driving faster than you is a maniac!! - George Carlin
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Justin Doring

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Bernard Herrmann, Max Steiner, Milkos Rozsa, Franz Waxman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and Alex North must be rolling over in their graves! Can you imagine the embarassment of being lauded by Entertainment Magazine? Jerry Goldsmith, Ennio Morricone, John Barry, John Williams, Maurice Jarre, and Elmer Bernstein are probably red with anger and shame, trying to burn all copies!
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Kirk Tsai

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At the least, EW should have tried to seperate the song soundtracks from original scores. Lists should have some kind of crediability alongside with controversy, but this one does not have the former at all.
 

Steve Enemark

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When you leave off the greatest score of all time (THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY), the rest of the list is rendered worthless.
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Iain Lambert

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Aaah, I see the mistake. The author of the article obviously had some kind of typing problem, that must be why he mistyped 'Blade Runner' as 'Superfly'.
Actually, they generally seem to have it in for the score fanboys. Elfman only makes entries at 95 and 98, neither of which are for Edward Scissorhands or a Batman film, and I can't believe that Howard Shore has been totally ignored; no Ed Wood, no Silence of the Lambs, no eXistenZ, nothing. Finally, while he's not really to my taste most of the time, there is probably a job going on the EW letters desk purely for dealing with all the letters about there being no Zimmer on the list!
 

Dave_P.

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Glad to see both soundtracks for The Virgin Suicides made it. Man those are depressing, but beautiful tunes. Disappointed that Edward Scissorhands didn't make it, though.
 

Jay E

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I can't believe people here are complaining about "Superfly" being so high on the list.Have you ever seen the film? One of the greatest & most powerful soundtracks ever written for a film and some of the best music written over the past 30 years.
I'm stopping right there, as I'm afraid of what I might say if I go any further.
 

Todd Hostettler

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quote: I mean, Superfly #6?[/quote]
I agree. It should've ranked even higher.
As no fan of EW's earlier lists, I found this one to be surprisingly astute. I was also happy to see The Harder They Come ranked as high as it was.
[Edited last by Todd Hostettler on October 09, 2001 at 09:08 AM]
 

Brad_W

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Why aren't soundtracks like Titanic, Braveheart, Contact, Conan: The Barbarian, Gladiator, The Prince of Egypt, Transformers: The Movie (okay, just for my own satisfaction), Mission To Mars, The Red Violin, Immortal Beloved, Shine, and the like not on here? These soundtracks are emotion-invoking scores and were left out. Well, that just my opinion.
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Chuck Mayer

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As I know my man Brad will be flamed for liking audience pleasers...I have to agree with him. I agree with most of the above titles he mentioned. I can understand Titanic not making it (due to "making a statement" or b/c of backlash), but Glory will remain my all-time favorite. Aliens also was a masterpiece, even if it is overused today in trailers. Where is Raiders of the Lost Ark, I second? Definitely a hardcore list, which is good to see, but not to my taste. I am glad that others who are more passionate than I like it. I was happy to see Purple Rain, one of the greatest CD's of all time on there.
Take care,
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Joel Mack

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I was disappointed to not see "Moulin Rouge" on the list, either. This disc is still getting regular spins in my player...
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Bruce_S

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I'm suprised that "TOP GUN" and "The BODYGUARD" (Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner) didn't make it on the list and some others. Who voted on these soundtracks? Bunch of OLD PEOPLE on their deathbed...? Who knows. I think, it was rigged.
bruce
 

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