Ever since I rediscovered the gem that is the Babes in Toyland soundtrack in my iTunes library, I’ve been all about the soundtracks. Broadway, made-for-television, tv shows, movies, etc., my soundtracks playlist has been getting a lot of love. Music has always been very important to me (my iTunes is meticulously organized) and, like for most, can make or break a tv show/movie. When I interned in LA I met another intern who was spending her summer in the music department for E! Network and her experience sounded ah-maze. That track that played when Kourtney started over-the-top crying? Yup, that was orchestrated by her. Too cool.
I couldn’t narrow it down to five, and 10 seemed like a cop-out, so I settled for my seven favorite soundtracks. Shout out to honorable mentions: Chicago, One Tree Hill: Friends With Benefit, and The Book of Mormon. It also pains me not to include the Pitch Perfect soundtracks, but life goes on. These are personal favorites, but I tried to keep in mind quality of the music too. Sentiment somehow trumps quality at times, am I right?
[in no particular order]
A Walk to Remember
This is a CD (yes, I actually own the CD) that I can play from start to finish without skipping any songs. This is a feat, especially for me. I always appreciate the soundtracks to Adam Shankman films. I think his music background makes him especially particular about choosing the tracks, and it shows. He can also come back and replace Jason DeRulo on So You Think You Can Dance. What kind of decision was that, Nigel?
Favorite song: Ok. So my favorite use of a song has to go “Dare You To Move,” because that song was used perfectly within the context of the film. Admit it: you cried. But my favorite actual song off the album is “Cry.” Mandy Moore doesn’t get enough credit for her vocal ability, although I will always be Team Britney.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
I had just graduated when this movie came out and I saw it in a packed theatre with my best friends from high school and bet your ass I bawled like a baby. I’m the first to admit that the cast of HSM doesn’t have the best voices, but I’ve always appreciated that they never resorted to auto-tune to make them sound better. You get mediocre voices in all their glory. Not really selling you on this, am I? Each song is catchy as hell and we’re all in this together, man! I’m itching to include the other two soundtracks on here, but I saved you from reading my incoherent bursts of love for the HSM trilogy. You’re welcome.
Favorite song: “High School Musical,” because that final jump still makes me weepy. But my favorite from the entire series has to be “Gotta Go My Own Way” because that’s exactly how every break-up go. And if you don’t sing both Troy and Gabriella’s parts, you’re missing out on a true musical experience.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella
I have to clarify that it’s the 1997 Whitney Houston/Brandy version because it’s my favorite interpretation of Cinderella EVER (I was never a fan of the animated one). Not only is the music top notch, the diversity of the cast is off-the-charts, and it brings the nostalgia of old-school Disney like whoa.
Favorite song: This is seriously so hard, but I’m going to have to go with “Impossible,” because THESE DAFT AND DEWY-EYED DOPES KEEP BUILDING UP IMPOSSIBLE HOPES.” Yes, the caps were necessary.
The Lion King
While the Broadway version is freaking amazing, I’m just as much of a fan of the original movie soundtrack. It’s a classic. And you’re lying if you don’t still get goosebumps during “Circle of Life.”
Favorite song: “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” because who doesn’t love two lions making bedroom eyes at each other? And just to add, my favorite from the Broadway version is “Endless Night,” because shout-out to high school show choir.
When they’re done well, I’m a huge fan of covers. And Moulin Rouge fills that void very nicely. Apart of it being my favorite movie EVER, I’m a fan of the soundtrack alone. I especially like when covers are original and completely rework a song, and that’s the case for many of these. Plus, I mean, Ewan McGregor singing love songs. I sit through Star Wars movies for him.
Favorite song: “Your Song,” because Ewan is dreamy and paired with Elton John is a recipe for success. “El Tango de Roxanne” comes in as a close second because that whole sequence is amazing. “Elephant Love Medley” because it’s the perfect karaoke song to belt out with your friends. “Come What May” because the hopeless romantic part in you, no matter how small, will rise from the ashes. Actually, just listen to the whole damn CD.
Again, Broadway lovers may scoff at that I like the movie version better than the live version. I liked that they could film on location—really gave you a picture of the time period—and the music sounded more perfected, which I’m a sucker for. Also, during the stage version that I saw the band was so loud that you could barely hear the singing, so I like that you can actually hear on the movie soundtrack.
Favorite song: “What You Own,” because it has one of my favorite lyrics ever: “I don’t own emotion. I rent.”
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Mmkay. So I went to Catholic school and at least once a year a theology teacher would get lazy and pull out this baby. And not gonna lie, that was always a highlight of our education. I’d say it’s not an exaggeration to say that everyone could sing this entire musical word-for-word by graduation. Although I was rejected for community theater production (not bitter or anything), Joseph still remains one of my fave musicals.
Favorite song: “Any Dream Will Do,” because it’ll get stuck in your head for hours and you’ll wish you were in jail with Joseph just to get away from it. (I wore my coat…ahhh!)