The Best Movie Soundtracks Ever Made

As we’re watching a movie, we respond to the action on screen, the effects that the director uses to make the story move, and the music that ties it all together. The musical score of a movie is one of the most underrated aspects of a movie’s direction, and it’s something that any good director takes seriously.

There have been so many incredible producers and composers who have worked solely in film for their entire career, and even if we don’t know their names, we’ve heard their work. Today, we’re bringing you a list of some of the best movie soundtracks of all time.

Help!

If you grew up in the last three decades, you may not realize that many of your favorite Beatles songs were originally written for the soundtrack of their film Help! The movie itself has long been forgotten, but the songs that were written for the movie are still in regular rotation — “Yesterday”, “Ticket to Ride”, and even the rollicking “I’ve Just Seen a Face.”

Unbelievably, half of the songs from the movie were left off the American version of the movie soundtrack and replaced with an orchestral score, so American fans had to wait until the 1980s for the soundtrack’s reissue to hear these songs.

Saturday Night Fever

Saturday Night Fever is a movie about a young man who finds himself through the joy of disco dancing, and it celebrates the complications of young adulthood while serving as a tribute to the rise of disco music. This movie came out in 1977, when disco was just starting to be taken seriously as a genre.

There are tons of songs on the soundtrack from incredible artists like Kool and the Gang, the Trammps, and KC and the Sunshine Band, but the real stars of the album were up-and-coming artists The Bee Gees. “Stayin’ Alive” and “More Than a Woman” were both intended for their own album, but the artists were convinced by the movie producers to let them be used in the movie instead.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Canadian composer Howard Shore has a lot of movie credits, but he truly became a household name with the release of the soundtracks for The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Shore composed most of the music for each of the three soundtracks and recruited a slew of amazing guest performers like Annie Lennox and opera stars Isabel Bayrakdarian and Renee Fleming.

The scores were performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, supplemented with unusual instruments like a hardanger and double-fiddle (which was invented specifically for this score), as well as a chorus of boy sopranos.

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