Best Movie Soundtracks to Own on Vinyl
The best movie soundtracks allow you to relive the best moments from your favorite films. There is a premium level of talent that goes into curating the perfect song list or creating the best original music that sets the tone for a movie and enhances the experience for viewers.
Listening to these soundtracks transports you back to a time of watching your most beloved movies and quoting your favorite scenes. It’s hard to narrow down the choices of which stand out the most, but here are Victrola’s top picks for best movie soundtracks to own on vinyl. See if you agree!
Whether or not you’ve actually seen the Kevin Bacon movie from start to finish, everyone knows Kenny Loggins’ song, “Footloose.” As one of the most recognized soundtracks of all time, Footloose permeated the music scene in the mid-1980s with other timeless hits like “Let’s Hear It for the Boys,” and “Holding Out for a Hero.”
This soundtrack echoes the foot-tapping, soul-shaking music of the movie to delight listening audiences of all ages. For a sweet sense of nostalgia and plenty of sing- and dance-along moments, Footloose is a movie soundtrack vinyl album everyone should own and play on repeat.
The Big Chill
The Big Chill delivered a star-studded lineup of actors and actresses including Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, and Tom Berenger. The movie is a classic story of college friendships being reignited by memories and appreciation for the past. It largely was a critical hit, mostly thanks to the chemistry of its cast, but some may argue the great soundtrack surpassed the film in terms of popularity.
The 1983 original soundtrack took people back to the years of Motown with classic songs like “Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “My Girl,” “Good Lovin’,” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” among the listings of the 10-track album. As one of the best soundtracks to own on vinyl record, it’s a cumulation of some of the best artists and singles from the Motown era, all brought together in one place. Even if you don’t revisit the film, The Big Chill soundtrack is one you’ll revisit often.
Another soundtrack that nearly surpasses the popularity of the movie is Pitch Perfect. In this case it’s easy to see why three of the songs from the 2012 album charted on the Billboard Hot 100. The musically-driven movie recreated classic hits for the fictional, competing a capella groups. Listening to this movie soundtrack vinyl version almost feels like watching the film itself
The song “Cups,” sung by lead actress Anna Kendrick, found its way to number six and is one of the most beloved songs from the film. Other mash ups featured on the movie and recreated for the Pitch Perfect soundtrack include the Bellas Finals performance of “Price Tag/Don’t You (Forget About Me)/Give Me Everything,” and the iconic riff off that featured ‘80s female hits “Mickey/Like a Virgin/Hit Me with Your Best Shot/It Must’ve Been Love.”
As a character, movie, and soundtrack, nothing quite compares to James Bond. The instantly recognizable first chords of the “James Bond Theme” is part of a comprehensive music compilation that includes songs from multiple Bond movies on a three-LP set. It’s one of the best movie soundtracks to own on vinyl for any Bond lover as a way to musically recreate the exotic locales and smooth-operating scenes the films are known for.
Every song on the movie’s soundtrack is a hit with everyone set on their own favorites. Among the long list of tracks are Grammy award-winning artists Adele’s “Skyfall” and Sam Smith’s “Writing on the Wall.” From the timeless sounds of Bond movies of old to the modern sounds recreated for the new generation, all fans can agree this is one for the books.
With rap artist Ice Cube as the lead for this 1995 comedy film, it’s no surprise the Friday soundtrack also was a hit among listeners. Since the movie depicts life in the ‘hood of South Central LA, it made sense for the music to feature West Coast artists as well. The soundtrack reached number on the Billboard 200 and Dr Dre’s single off the album, “Keep Their Heads Ringin’” became a breakout hit.
Other artists contributing to the soundtrack include Cypress Hill, Bootsy Collins, Rick James, and 2 Live Crew. The songs keep pace with the laid-back vibe and colorful language and antics portrayed in the film and serve as the best possible soundtrack to depict a day in the life of friends making it through life in LA. It’s one of the best soundtracks to own on rap vinyl if you want to conjure up visions of palm trees, sunshine, and blue skies.
Actor Taron Egerton had some heavy shoes to fill when he slipped into the role of music legend Elton John for the 2019 film Rocketman. Not only was he responsible for representing the artist and the story respectfully but also embodying the theatrical performances Elton John is known for. Egerton’s bravado translates over to the Rocketman soundtrack with the actor recreating all of the top hits audiences have come to know and love throughout the years.
He sings solo on nearly every track, including “Crocodile Rock,” “Your Song,” “I’m Still Standing,” and “Tiny Dancer.” Although, he’s joined by Elton John himself on “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.” Actress Bryce Dallas Howard also owns the musical spotlight for a moment with the track, “I Want Love.” Filled with pop history and musical whimsy, the Rocketman soundtrack is a favorite for anyone who wants to hear a creative reinterpretation of one of the greats.
West Side Story
West Side Story is one of the most popular Broadway musicals to ever hit the stage. When the film was released in 1961, it was important to keep the integrity of the musical numbers intact. The music is composed by the legendary Leonard Bernstein and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim, who is responsible for much of Broadway’s music, making this one of the best movie soundtracks to own on vinyl for those that love the theater.
The West Side Story soundtrack spent over a year at number one on Billboard’s album charts, making it the longest number one of any album in history. While some may be wondering, “does color vinyl sound worse?” the limited double 180gm yellow-colored vinyl LP pressing contains 15 tracks that were an integral part of both the film and movie. Standout favorites include “I Feel Pretty,” “Maria,” and “Tonight.”
Translating a stage play to the big screen takes the right cast and the right production. The stakes are even higher when it’s a musical, as the songs move the story along and are noticeably missed when they’re left out.
Sometimes the best soundtracks are less about the lyrics and more about the sound. The sweeping melodies that make up the Braveheart film score take people back into the movie’s most important scenes.
With music beautifully composed and conducted by James Horner and the London Symphony Orchestra, it’s easy to be placed back with Mel Gibson’s Sir William Wallace in 13th century Scotland. The songs include heavy Celtic and Scottish influences, with tracks marked by significant moments of the film. You know when a soundtrack is powerful when just the swelling of strings or a switch in tempo evokes the same anticipation felt when watching the movie for the first time.
The quirky plot and interesting look at love in the 2015 movie, The Lobster, captures many emotions at once, making the soundtrack an important accompaniment to the movie. The music was curated by the film’s director Yorgos Lanthimos and musically supervised by Amy Ashworth. They combined the tension of the film through orchestral pieces and original songs by artists, including Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Kylie Minogue.
The soundtrack opens with the Juilliard String Quartet playing “String Quartet in F Major Op. 18 No. 1 Adagio Affettuoso Ed Appassionato (Live)'' and is followed by other quartets including The Goldner String Quartet on track five playing “3 Pieces for String Quartet No. 3” and “The Tale Quartet playing “String Quartet No. 2 | Moderato.” Suffice it to say, The Lobster isn’t your average movie soundtrack. However, it perfectly evokes the feelings of melancholy and intensity that permeate throughout the film.
Musical Movie Moments Sound Better on Vinyl
As with any music, the best movie soundtracks transport you back to the fictional place and characters of stories you were impacted by in some way. Whether it’s a boppy hit that marked the decade of the time, a reinterpretation of beloved classics, or original music that truly set the scene, the best movie soundtracks to own on vinyl are the ones that make you want to close your eyes and and imagine your place in the film.
The best musical moments help make movies better. And, listening to these songs on your record player amplifies the experience even more. Whatever your go-to soundtrack may be, owning it on vinyl is the way to go. Take a look at the record store and experience the world of Vinyl!