General News / January 31, 2017

The 10 best film soundtracks of all time

best soundtracks ever
General News / January 31, 2017

The 10 best film soundtracks of all time

Hannah O’Connell outlines the soundtracks that made these films so iconic, from Daft Punk to Hans Zimmer.


With the sequel to Trainspotting being released this weekend we’re taking a look back at some of our favourite movie soundtracks.

24 Hour Party People

Naturally this 2002 comedy-drama about Factory Records and Manchester’s music scene was going to make the list. Joy Division and New Order feature heavily with both bands recording new tracks for the film.

Manchester group Happy Mondays make an appearance with Loose Fit and a club mix of Hallelujah alongside tracks from The Clash, 808 State and the opening track from the Sex Pistols.


The soundtrack for this 2011 Ryan Gosling movie was a commercial success, climbing to number four in the sales chart.

The 19-song album opens with the film’s title sequence track Nightcall by Kavinsky which was produced Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, one half of Daft Punk.

The majority of the remaining tracks were composed by ex-Red Hot Chilli Pepper drummer Cliff Martinez who most recently put his name to last year’s The Neon Demon.

The Breakfast Club

It’s hard to think about this cult classic without automatically humming Don’t You Forget About Me and reminiscing about that final scene.

Simple Minds released the track the day after the official soundtrack dropped on February 20, 1985. It reached no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other highlights on the album include Karla DeVito’s We Are Not Alone and Wang Chung’s Fire in the Twilight.


The entire soundtrack for this adventure thriller starring Saoirse Ronan was composed by The Chemical Brothers. Stand out tracks include Hanna’s Theme the vocal version of which features American singer-songwriter Stephanie Dosen.

Tron: Legacy

The Tron: Legacy soundtrack is the first step by French music duo Daft Punk into the world of film scores.

The film’s producers had previously approached the pair regarding a project in 2007 but they were touring their Alive show at the time and declined. The score features an 85-piece orchestra and took over two years to complete.

The 13th track on the album Derezzed was released as a single and remixed by Avicii and The Glitch Mob.

Saturday Night Fever

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1977 Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. The album which heavily features The Bee Gees will be honoured at this year’s Grammy Awards on February 12.

A host of stars will join original Bee Gees member Barry Gibb for a pre-recorded concert titled Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees.

The disco packed soundtrack spent 24 weeks at the top of the Billboard sales chart in 1977/78. Alongside five songs from the Bee Gees it features music from Kool & The Gang, The Trammps, plus KC and the Sunshine Band.

The Bodyguard

As of 2012 The Bodyguard is officially the best-selling soundtrack of all time. It has sold 45 million copies, became 17x platinum and is the 15th best-selling album in the United States.

There’s one reason for his overwhelming success, Whitney Houston. The star co-produced the two-sided LP with the first side featuring only her own tracks and the second side showcasing music from a variety of other artists. It was the album that brought us the forever iconic I Will Always Love You which was written by Dolly Parton.

The Boat That Rocked

Of course a film about a fictitious pirate radio station in the 60s was going to have a fittingly groovy soundtrack. The two-CD album is packed with just under two hours of new & old rock, pop and soul classics. Stand out tracks include Duffy’s cover of Lorraine Ellison’s Stay With Me, the late, great Bowie’s Let’s Dance and The Who’s My Generation.


You can’t do a best soundtracks list without mentioning Hans Zimmer, the composer behind Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy & Inception. Interstellar sees the Nolan Zimmer duo team up again for an intergalactic score that went on to receive a 2015 Academy Award nomination. Zimmer began composing two years prior to the film’s release having received a hand-written note from Nolan detailing the premise behind the blockbuster. He reportedly composed the poignant main theme in one night and it is said to emote the feelings of “what it means to be a father”.


Would Trainspotting have generated the cult following it did without the accompanying soundtrack? Is it possible to think about the film without the urge to listen to Born Slippy? The answer to both questions is probably not. The original soundtrack was released on July 9th 1996 and was in such high demand that the film makers decided to release a second album full of tracks that either didn’t make the cut for the first release or were considered but didn’t appear in the film. Besides Underworlds iconic 90s anthem highlights include the Iggy Pop’s ironic opening sequence track Lust For Life and Lou Reed’s Perfect Day.

Trainspotting and its accompanying soundtrack are out on Friday January 27, but we were treated to the track listing two weeks ago. Edinburgh threesome Young Fathers are the reoccurring band on the album, Rubberbandits are flying the flag for Ireland with Dad’s Best Friend, Lust for Life is getting a Prodigy remix and Underworld return with Slow Slippy.