Soundtracks are gems for finding great music in one place. Here is a list of the top ten soundtracks containing classic rock music (for part one, click here.)
Number Ten: Platoon. Released in 1970, the Platoon soundtrack contains hits like “Tracks of my Tears” by Smokey Robinson, “Hello, I Love You” by The Doors, “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin, “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge and “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding.
Number Nine: Dick. Released in 1999, the soundtrack to Dick is all about the funk. Besides well-known hits like Carly Simon’s “You’re so Vain,” Jackson 5’s “ABC” and Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock,” it also features great songs like “Rock On” by David Essex and “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson. It also features songs that are considered one-hit-wonders, like Stories’ “Brother Louie,” Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love” and Hot Butter’s “Popcorn.” Other highlights include Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” and Grand Funk Railroad’s “The Loco-Motion.”
Number Eight: 1969. Released in 1988, the soundtrack to 1969 fits the title; it’s chock-full of hits from this time period and more. Songs include “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix, “When I was Young” by The Animals, “Time of the Season” by The Zombies, “White Room” by Cream and “Green River” by Creedance Clearwater Revival. Other highlights include “Tuesday Afternoon” by The Moody Blues, “Wooden Ships” by Crosby, Stills & Nash and “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Blind Faith.
Number Seven: Moonlight Mile. Released in 2002, the soundtrack to Moonlight Mile contains well-known tracks like “Twntieth Century Boy” by T-Rex and “Rock and Roll (Part 2) by Gary Glitter, however this album is a gem for containing lesser-known songs by classic artists. This includes “Sweet Head” by David Bowie, “Buckets of Rain” by Bob Dylan, “Moonlight Mile” by The Rolling Stones and “I’ll Be Your Lover Too” by Van Morrison. The album also contains two tracks by Sly & The Family Stone, Robert Plant’s rendition of “Song to the Siren” and my personal favorite, Elton John’s “Razor Face.”
Number Six: The Devil’s Rejects. Released in 2005, the soundtrack to The Devil’s Rejects is better than one might think for being a Rob Zombie film. The album houses numerous classic rock gems, like “Midnight Rider” by Allman Brothers Band, “Shambala” by Three Dog Night, “Funk #49” by James Gang, “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Rocky Mountain Way” by Joe Walsh. However, the highlights of this soundtrack are featured in the three tracks present by the highly underrated Terry Reid: “Brave Awakening,” “Seed of Memory” and my personal favorite, “To Be Treated Rite.” Clearly, Zombie has a broadly excellent taste in music.
Number Five: Running with Scissors. Released in 2006, the soundtrack for Running with Scissors will bring you right back to this unique film. The album features well-known songs like “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John, “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and “Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band. Tracks that deserve more exposure are Phoebe Snow’s “Poetry Man,” Nat King Cole’s “Stardust” and Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” (which plays in the scene where the characters need “high ceilings.”)
Number Four: Boogie Nights (Volume 1 & 2). There are technically two soundtracks to the brilliant film Boogie Nights; the first was released in 1997 and the second was released in 1998. Both soundtracks are the perfect blend of rock and funk. Volume one contains songs like “Best of My Love” by The Emotions, “Spill the Wine” by Eric Burdon and War, “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys, “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger and “Livin’ Thing” by ELO. Volume two features tracks like “Boogie Shoes” by KC & The Sunshine Band, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” by Three Dog Night and “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” by Elvin Bishop.
Number Three: Pirate Radio. Released in 2009, the soundtrack to Pirate Radio features both classic hits and unknown gems. Disc one features songs like “All Day and All of the Night” by The Kinks, “Ooh Baby Baby” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, “Wouldn’t it Be Nice” by The Beach Boys and “Dancing in the Street” by Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. This disc also features tracks like “I Can See for Miles” by The Who, “Judy in Disguise” by John Fred & His Playboy Band, “With a Girl Like You” by The Troggs and “I’m Alive” by The Hollies. Disc two features “My Generation” by The Who, “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie, “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens, “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues and “I Feel Free” by Cream. Other tracks include “The Wind Cries Mary” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “These Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding and “The Happening” by The Supremes.
Number Two: Now and Then. Released in 1995, the soundtrack for Now and Then is the perfect blend of music from the late 60s and early 70s. If you’re a fan of this movie like me, the songs should bring you right back to certain scenes. Highlights on the album include “All Right Now” by Free (when the girls smoke cigs with the vet,) “No Matter What” by Badfinger (when the girls ride their bikes,) Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back (the “girls can’t play softball” scene) and Vanity Fare’s “Hitchin’ a Ride” (when the girls steal the boys clothes.) Other highlights include “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees, “Knock Three Times” by Tony Orlando & Dawn and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder.
Number One: The Last Waltz. Released in 1978, The Last Waltz is both the thirteenth and final album for The Band and a soundtrack to the film/documentary of the same name (the film was directed by Martin Scorsese.) Occurring at Winterland Ballroom in 1976, this soundtrack is a triple-album (six sides) and features live performances from various musical guests, most of whom The Band had worked with previously. Side one features two tracks by The Band written by Robbie Robertson: “Up On Cripple Creek” and “Stage Fright.” It also features Ronnie Hawkins’ rendition of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love?” and Neil Young’s “Helpless,” which features backing vocals by Joni Mitchell. Side two features Neil Diamond’s “Dry Your Eyes,” Dr. John’s “Such a Night” and Mitchell’s “Coyote,” on which Dr. John plays congas.
Side three features Eric Clapton’s “Further On Up The Road,” The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and Muddy Waters’ “Mannish Boy,” on which Paul Butterfield plays harmonica. Side four opens up with The Band’s “The Shape I’m In” and closes with “Van the Man” Morrison’s “Caravan.” Side five features The Band’s “Life is a Carnival,” and Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” and “I Shall Be Released,” this latter track which features all the musicians singing back-up. Side six features new tracks recorded by The Band, including a remake of their infamous hit, “The Weight.”