Every movie has a soundtrack. Some are arguably better than others. So, here are some of APN staff members’ favorite movie soundtracks.
Star Wars: A New Hope Soundtrack
My favorite movie soundtrack is “Star Wars: A New Hope” composed by John Williams and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra . Two iconic tracks came out of this score: “The Main Title” and “Cantina Band.” “The Main Title” starts off with the startling burst of sound that is a staple in every “Star Wars” film. The “Cantina Band” on the other hand is a catchy tune composed of mainly horns.
The other songs in the score enhance the viewing of the movie by adding intensity or emotion to a scene. The soundtrack as a whole provides great background noise to listen to when studying or doing work. I personally listen to it when I write my papers. “Cantina Band” is also the ringtone on my phone, so I get a small smile on the rare occasions that my phone rings.
Your Name. (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
My favorite movie soundtrack is “Your Name. (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Edition]” by RADWIMPS. No matter how long I’ve gone without watching the movie, playing the first song of this soundtrack always places me right in the center of Itomori (a town in the movie). The guitar and other instruments in the background make for the perfect anime movie. The song starts off mellow but ends fast tempo.
The other songs in this soundtrack flow with the plot and emotions of the characters throughout the movie. “Your Name” is all about two people trying to find each other, so the fast-paced sounds add to the anxiousness and thrill of meeting someone for the first time. Although this soundtrack is originally in Japanese, I like listening to the dubbed (English) version because it’s also the deluxe edition. I personally listen to this soundtrack whenever I get a day to myself to practice self care, so light a candle, put on a face mask, and listen to this soundtrack! (But maybe watch the movie first).
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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
A movie is only as good as its soundtrack, I’m a firm believer in that. People typically focus their attention more towards the dialogue and action, but I’m always a little more focused on what’s playing in the background throughout each scene. Music truly adds to the tone and tempo.
If you’re an old soul, much like myself, you’ll truly appreciate the sounds within “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Quentin Tarantino is a directorial genius who had every intention of creating a love letter to old-school Hollywood when producing this movie.
As the setting takes place in 1969, Tarantino was sure to only select timeless tunes from the 1960s. The songs I adored most include “Hush” by Deep Purple (1968), “Choo Choo Train” by The Box Tops (1968), “Mrs Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel (1968) and “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” by Bob Seger System (1968). Other tidbits were sprinkled into the movie such as radio advertisements for Mug Root Beer, Tanya Tanning Butter, the KHJ Los Angeles Weather Report and live-action Batman series theme song; all of which added vintage appeal and helped paint a better picture of the media content in those days. This soundtrack truly is a time capsule.
My favorite movie soundtrack is for the movie “Interstellar,” composed by Hans Zimmer. The soundtrack is ethereal. There is a beauty in the suspense, curiosity and loneliness it provokes in listeners. I can still remember sitting in the fifth row to the front in the theatres watching this film, and just being in awe of the score itself. My personal favorite songs from the arrangement have to be “Where We’re Going,” and “Cornfield Chase.” There’s a rawness to these two, partially due to the crescendo in each along with the organ, which makes you appreciate the beauty of the world around you.
I’m typically not one to pay much attention to movie arrangements, unless they are for animated films, but this one has always stuck with me. I’ll throw the album on in the background while I study, or when I need to take a second to reorganize my thoughts. Hans Zimmer has done countless beautiful scores, but this composition will always be held near and dear to my heart.
Princess and the Frog
I will say Disney’s production of “The Princess and the Frog” contains my favorite soundtrack. The entire album is a bop through and through. When the movie came out in 2009 I was astonished to see a mainstream entity release starring a dark-skinned black woman from New Orleans. As a Black woman I felt very celebrated. The soundtrack works around a very bluegrass and jazz paradigm, and generously incorporates the slew of cultures within Louisiana.
The singers and vocalists all have experience correctly using the southern drawl, which is unusual in mainstream media.. The sound track has its fair share of vocal led songs, but I must say the instrumentals are exquisite. Understanding the main consumers of this movie are children and pre-teens, the songs have a very detectable repetition shared between them, but also different enough that the tune fits in perfectly. Overall I believe that “The Princess and the Frog” soundtrack is underrated because very rarely would someone listen to it by itself, but if you ever choose to you will not be disappointed.
My favorite movie soundtrack has to be the “Mamma Mia! Official Soundtrack (2008)”. This was a tough choice because I wasn’t sure whether to pick a musical or not, but once I thought about “Mamma Mia!”, it was an easy choice.
I have so many memories from this movie and this entire soundtrack; and even the original ABBA songs. I watched this movie a lot during my last few years of high school with a couple of my closest friends, my sister and cousins. Watching the scenes and listening to actors versions of the classic ABBA tracks just brings back all of those wonderful memories.
I love this album so much because the producers were two of the original members of ABBA, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Anderson, who wrote a majority of the songs. This means the movie or musical productions could get direct input from the ones who know the songs best, which I think makes it better. They even make cameos in the movies.
The highlight of the album (and movie) for me is “Dancing Queen,” as performed by Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski.