Discussion: Favorite Soundtrack

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?


  1. Ah, this brings back memories. My dad loves this soundtrack too. Sadly, he’s also charmed by the movie.:(

    I’ll have to think of my favorite country music related soundtrack. I’m a big fan of musicals though, so I have a lot of favorite musical soundtracks.

  2. O Brother is definitely worthy of at least an honorable mention. But some of my favorites for some reason are based around music I don’t traditionally listen to. In no particular order:

    Black Hawk Down
    Pulp Fiction
    Jackie Brown
    Natural Born Killers

  3. My favourite soundtracks are Casino & The
    Big Easy. For country, I like The Apostle, All The Pretty Horses & You Can Depend On Me.

  4. WICKED!!!

    My mom bought the soundtrack, and we never listened to it until a year later, we saw the show, and I love it. It was an amazing play, and the soundtrack is fun, but only great if you’ve seen the play, IMO.

  5. As far as movies go, I love the “Moulin Rouge”, “Love Actually” and “Gladiator” soundtracks. (Umm, Nicole Kidman is married to Keith Urban who is friends with Russell Crowe, and Kelly Clarkson is touring with Reba–does that count as a country connection?)

    As far as country-related soundtracks. I love “O’Brother.” “Walk the Line” isn’t bad, but it seems to be getting worse the more I listen to it. I also like “A Prairie Home Companion”.

    My love for Olivia Newton John may have started and ended with “Grease” (also a great soundtrack).

    If we start doing musicals, this list will get a lot longer.

  6. My four favorites, all of an older vintage:


  7. I am probably in the minority here, but I have to choose ‘The Bodyguard’. While the second half is hit and miss, all 6 Whitney Houston tracks are just magic. And they take me back to a place that only existed in my mind.

    For country, I would have to choose ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’. Or maybe ‘Straight Talk’ – probably my favorite Dolly flick too.

  8. My favorite soundtrack is “Still Crazy.” It features a lot of original music and there are a couple killer songs on there by actor/singer Jimmy Nail. Also would agree about “Love, Actually.” “Walk The Line” is good as well… Also, it goes without saying that O Brother is a good sountrack. I also am sometimes partial to Christmas soundtracks like “The Polar Express.”

  9. My favorite movie soundtrack related to country music is the one for Robert Altman’s Nashville (even if much of the material is satirical). O Brother is classic too, of course.

    My other favorite movie soundtracks are those for Once, That Thing You Do!, and Disney’s Hercules (don’t hate). Oh, and the original Pirates of the Caribbean – that crap makes for some epic driving music.

    And as musical soundtracks go, my favorite is for Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Or really anything Sondheim did. I was a theatre nerd in a past life.

  10. Well, as far as Xanadu goes, you can’t really get me on board with the Olivia Newton-John side, but I do love the ELO songs.

    As for favorite country soundtrack in general, I would have to go with Honeysuckle Rose. I’ve never seen the movie, but that album is just amazing.

  11. JR,

    I can’t believe you mentioned Straight Talk! I saw that movie once a long time ago and really wished I could get my hands on the soundtrack for it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck.

  12. I was a theatre nerd in a past life.

    Past life, Dan? Huh.

    But in all seriousness, soundtracks don’t quite stick to me like artist releases do, but this has been a great topic because it reminds me how much I enjoyed, say, the Pirates soundtrack or the August Rush one.

  13. Blake,

    I really wish playing the guitar that well was that easy as it was for that ‘prodigy’ in “August Rush.” You have to check out the “Still Crazy” movie and soundtrack.

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