Thursday, March 3, 2011

Top Soundtracks: Many on Cutting-Room Floor

I love lists, and I think it's because I like to debate. This morning, I noticed NME released a top 50 soundtracks of the last 50 years list. Before I opened the link I gave myself 60 seconds to jot down the soundtracks that I felt had to make my list. A few of my favorites, indeed, did make the cut. Ultimately, however, I was pretty disappointed with NME's picks. In fact, there are a few soundtracks on the list that were just released in the past few months ('127 Days,' 'Black Swan' and 'The Social Network'). That's too soon and very lazy. Did they put this thing together as they watched the Academy Awards the other day? NME's top 10, in particular, is pretty rough. Here is part of what the publication came up with:

1. 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me'
2. 'Dazed And Confused'
3. 'Trainspotting'
4. 'Natural Born Killers'
5. 'Garden State'
6. 'The Life Aquatic'
7. 'Blade Runner'
8. 'A Clockwork Orange'
9. 'Reservoir Dogs'
10. 'The Blues Brothers'

I can almost guarantee none of the top four would make my top 50 at all. The list isn't all bad. There are a few inspired picks, such as 'Blade Runner,' 'Dancer in the Dark,' 'Goodfellas' and 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,' to name a few, but there are an awful lot of head scratchers. If you are trying to round out a list by inserting iconic films from past generations, such as 'Easy Rider,' then where is 'Saturday Night Fever?' And no, for the record, neither one of these soundtracks would have made my list.

There are some films that are little more than long-running music videos. One of NME's selections, 'Purple Rain,' comes to mind. What an awful film. If you are going to include films that double as music videos, then you had better have 'A Hard Day's Night' and 'Once' on there long before 'Purple Rain.'

In case you're curious, this is what I came up with in 60 seconds. Keep in mind they weren't ranked, but I will list them in the order they came to me. An asterisk means the selection made NME's list.

'That Summer!'
'Repo Man'
'High Fidelity'
'(500) Days of Summer'*
'The Royal Tenenbaums'*
'The Life Aquatic'*
'Fantastic Mr. Fox'
'The Virgin Suicides'*
'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'*
'Lost in Translation'
'Xanadu' (my one guilty pleasure... love me some ELO)

In one minute I found at least six soundtracks (I'll exclude 'Xanadu') that should be on NME's list. Even if you don't agree with my very quick picks, I'll guarantee you will find plenty on NME's list to get your blood boiling. Check it out. That's a wrap.

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