September 8, 2008
I was going to be conventional and just pick O Brother Where Art Thou, since it is the most significant movie soundtrack in country music history. But it would be a bald-faced lie to call it my favorite soundtrack, as it’s a distant second.
My favorite soundtrack accompanies a pretty crummy movie, but the music is classic. Xanadu features ten fantastic songs. The star of the film, Olivia Newton-John, dominates the first half, which was once “Side A.” Every one of her tracks is a keeper, including the #1 hit “Magic”; her best ballad ever, “Suspended in Time”, and satisfying collaborations with Gene Kelly (“Whenever You’re Away From Me’), Cliff Richard (“Suddenly”) and The Tubes (“Dancin’.”)
“Side B” features Electric Light Orchestra, and in addition to the top twenty hits “I’m Alive” and “All Over the World” are two songs that are even better: “The Fall” and the beautiful ballad “Don’t Walk Away.” Jeff Lynne is a great singer, but it’s their signature ELO musical style that make the tracks so satisfying. The set closes with the title track, bringing the headlining talents together. “Xanadu” was a #1 single in England and a top ten here in the states.
I always knew the soundtrack was fantastic, but seeing the show on Broadway brought home how solid a score it really is. Actually, some of the songs sounded better on stage, and I am one of those rare New York City creatures who cannot stand going to Broadway shows. I only checked it out because I loved the music and Whoopi Goldberg was starring in it for a limited time. It was worth every penny.
So that’s my favorite movie soundtrack, and since Olivia Newton-John is a former CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, I think I can get away with giving it a shout-out. The video below, featuring a medley of every song on it, will either prove to you that I’m right or that I’m crazy.
What’s your favorite soundtrack?