Saturday, April 18, 2009

5 Essential Soundtracks - Starmummy tested and approved

As you know, I love movies and watch a lot of them (see last post). What about soundtracks though? Surely there must be movies that I watch that I am blown away by the soundtracks. Then there are films that I actually find out about because of their soundtracks. Here is a list of 5 of my favorite soundtracks:

Return of the Living Dead soundtrack

Enigma Records

Track listing

1. Surfin' Dead
The Cramps
2. Partytime (Zombie Version)
45 Grave
3. Nothing For You
4. Eyes Without a Face
The Flesheaters
5. Burn the Flames
Roky Erickson
6. Dead Beat Dance
The Damned
7. Take a Walk
Tall Boys
8. Love Under Will
The Jet Black Berries
9. Tonight (We'll Make Love Until We Die)
10. Trash's Theme

Where Repo Man is pretty much the Holy Grail of Punk soundtracks, I actually like the Return of the Living Dead soundtrack better. Where Repo Man featured many of the great early California punk/hardcore bands, the ROTLD soundtrack has a much darker feel, with more of an emphasis on darker Goth-Punk bands.

Favorite Tracks: The Damned's Dead Beat Dance (unavailable elsewhere) and T.S.O.L.'s Nothing for You (from their criminally underrated Revenge album, this is the song that got me listening to them)

Phantom of the Paradise soundtrack

A&M Records

Track listing

performed by "The Juicy Fruits" (lead vocal - Archie Hahn)
vocal - Bill Finlay
performed by "The Beach Bums" (lead vocal - Jeffrey Comanor)
4. SPECIAL TO ME (Phoenix Audition Song)
vocal - Jessica Harper
5. PHANTOM'S THEME (Beauty & the Beast)
vocal - Paul Williams
6. SOMEBODY SUPER LIKE YOU (Beef Construction Song)
performed by "The Undead" (lead vocal - Harold Oblong)
vocal - Ray Kennedy
vocal - Jessica Harper
vocal - Paul Williams
vocal Paul Williams

The Phantom of the Paradise is a movie recommended to my friend and I in high school by his girlfriend because she knew of our love for horror movies. Though not really a horror movie, I fell in love with it instantly and ended up buying the soundtrack with said friend on a memorable "last hurrah" type trip before going out into the real world (whatever that is). The story is pretty much a mixture of Phantom of the Opera and Faust, with a little bit of Rocky Horror Picture Show thrown in for good measure.

Favorite Tracks: Goodbye, Eddie Goodbye (a great 50's style greaser anthem about a singer who commits suicide to become famous and pay for an operation for his sister) and Upholstery (Beach Boys-type song about the love a man has towards his woody - the car that is)

Repo Man soundtrack

MCA Records

Track listing

1. Repo Man (05:11)
Iggy Pop
2. TV Party (03:50)
Black Flag
3. Institutionalized (03:49)
Suicidal Tendencies
4. Coup D'Etat (01:59)
The Circle Jerks
5. El Clavo Y La Cruz (02:56)
The Plugz (Later formed Tito & Tarantula)
6. Pablo Picasso (04:01)
Burning Sensations
7. Let's Have a War (02:29)
8. When the Shit Hits the Fan (03:11)
The Circle Jerks
9. Hombre Secreto (01:46)
The Plugz
10. Bad Man (04:59)
Juicy Bananas
11. Reel Ten (03:09)
The Plugz

The Repo Man soundtrack reads like a best of from the early 80's LA punk/hardcore movement. Black Flag, Circle Jerks (who appear in the film as a lounge act), Fear, Suicidal Tendencies....all classics. It doesn't get much better than this.

Favorite Tracks: Institutionalized (fits the main character in the movie perfectly) and TV Party (another slacker anthem that fits great with the feel of the film).

The Harder They Come soundtrack

Island Records

1. You Can Get It If You Really Want (02:39)
Jimmy Cliff
2. Draw Your Brakes (02:56)
3. Rivers Of Babylon (04:15)
The Melodions
4. Many Rivers To Cross (03:00)
Jimmy Cliff
5. Sweet And Dandy (02:58)
The Maytals
6. The Harder They Come (03:39)
Jimmy Cliff
7. Johnny Too Bad (03:01)
The Slickers
8. Shanty Town (02:45)
Desmond Decker
9. Pressure Drop (03:40)
The Maytals
10. Sitting In Limbo (04:54)
Jimmy Cliff
11. You Can Get It If You Really Want (02:42)
Jimmy Cliff
12. The Harder They Come (02:42)
Jimmy Cliff

Not only one of the greatest soundtracks ever made but also one of the greatest reggae compilations ever made. All of the greatest groups of the early wave of Jamaican reggae are here.

Favorite Tracks: 007 (Desmond Dekker's classic rejected James Bond song) and The Harder They Come (when I first saw this movie the scene where Jimmy Cliff is recording this in the recording studio gave me shivers it was so good).

The Terminator soundtrack

Enigma Records

Track listing

1. The Terminator Theme (04:30)
2. Terminator Arrival (03:00)
3. Tunnel Chase (02:50)
4. Love Scene (01:15)
5. Future Remembered (02:40)
6. Factory Chase (03:50)
Last track of side 1 of LP
7. You Can't Do That (03:25)
Performed by Tehnee Cain and Tryangz. (Ricky Phillips)
8. Burnin' In The third degree (03:38)
Performed by Tehnee Cain and Tryangz. (Tahnee Cain, Mugs Cain, Dave Amato, Brett Tugge, Ricky Phillips)
9. Pictures Of You (03:58)
Performed by Jay Ferguson and 16mm (Jay Ferguson)
10. Photoplay (03:30)
Performed by Tehnee Cain and Tryangz. (Tahnee Cain, Jonathan Cain and Pug Baker)
11. Intimacy (03:40)
Performed by Linn Van Hek (Linn Van Hek, Joe Dolce)

This soundtrack is very memorable for me because it was the first compact disc I ever bought. It came in one of those huge longboxes that CDs used to come in and I bought it about 4 months before I even owned a CD player. I used to stare at this thing every day and even memorized the track listing in order and who performed each song, all before I had even heard the damn thing. Another great thing about this soundtrack is that the first half features the score from the film and the second half is filled with some (very dated) 80's rock songs.

Favorite Tracks: Photoplay and Burnin' in the Third Degree. These songs were both recorded by Tahnee Cain (the guy from Journey's wife) and Tryanglz. If you listen to them back to back they actually sound like the same exact song, but I still love them both.


  1. Fully agree with Terminator and Harder they Come. Both essential works! Still owe you for the extended version of Terminator that you helped me acquire ..

    And what is essentially a Jimmy Cliff compilation disc, Harder they Come introduced me to the Maytals and Desmond Dekker. Some real classic organic reggae from the 70's. One of those albums where every song is a hit. Excellent track list!

    My favorites wouldn't carry much weight on your site ..but one might - Lost Highway; a mix of compositions by Angelo Badalamenti, and soundtrack performances by Bowie, Reznor and various others. Extremely atmospheric and edgy! Still love Bowie's "I'm Deranged" mixes - real screwy! Good stuff ...

  2. I downloaded a 4 disc version of the Terminator soundtrack awhile ago...wait didn't I burn you copies of that before you even bought the Extended edition? I think so.

    I've heard the Lost Highway soundtrack before and it's decent, just not really my type of stuff for the most part (Though I love Bowie and dig early NIN). I actually want to see the movie and see how it fits.