24 Unforgettable Movie Soundtracks

Walt Disney Pictures

Recently, I was raving to my fiancée about how much I love the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, and she made the comment that I only like it so much because of its soundtrack. While I don't think that's entirely true, she does have a point. I've listened to the soundtrack way more times than I've seen the movie, and I do love it. So it got me thinking about other movie soundtracks I'll never be able to forget.

Sometimes, the best thing I'll take away from a movie is its soundtrack. Good music can make a bad movie respectable, and make my experience of watching the film so much better. Then, on the other side of the spectrum, great movies can also forever change certain songs for me. For example, any time I hear "Afternoon Delight," I'm instantly transported to the scene in Anchorman where the characters sing it, and that makes me happy. Then of course there are movie musicals, whose whole job is to keep me singing once I leave the theater. If I can remember the majority of a musical's songs (like in say, Grease), then I consider that film a success and a good musical. If I instantly forget the songs I've heard (sorry, Into the Woods), then I'll probably forget the movie, too. So take a look below at 24 movie soundtracks that have stuck with me over the years.


'Guardians Of The Galaxy'

Right from the first scene, I knew this was going to be a different kind of Marvel movie.


'Forrest Gump'

This remains the only movie soundtrack I've ever purchased. No regrets.


'Space Jam'

This was the soundtrack for driveway basketball games in the '90s.


'Magical Mystery Tour'

This was the worst Beatles movie, easily, but the music? Magnifique.


'Top Gun'

'80s schlock at its finest, with some oldies thrown in for good measure.


'The Lion King'

Probably Disney's best overall effort, IMO. Every song is a winner.


'The Royal Tenenbaums'

A great movie, and its little-talked about soundtrack is a real hidden gem.


'This Is Spinal Tap'

Spinal Tap is a parody band, but their songs are legitimately great.


'Garden State'

Probably less cool now than when I was in college, but this will always represent the peak of early 2000s indie rock for me.



Another Beatles soundtrack, and the movie is slightly better than Magical Mystery Tour.



This film showed me a whole new world of what a movie soundtrack could be.


'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story'

Continuing the Spinal Tap tradition of making songs funny while also sounding like the music they're lampooning.


'8 Mile'

The saga of B-Rabbit has become the stuff of legend.



This is only on here for one song, but what a song. Also, the main reason I can't get it out of my head is because my mother and sister played it on a continuous loop throughout 1998.


'American Graffiti'

I'm a sucker for early rock and doo-wop, and this movie's tunes make me feel nostalgia for an era I wasn't even alive for.


'10 Things I Hate About You'

You know there's got to be a movie on here capturing that late '90s/early '00s high school sound.


'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'

It's got Meatloaf on it. Meatloaf!



Martin Scorsese is known for curating great playlists for his films, and this is his best. It's impossible for me to hear the guitar riff from "Sunshine of Your Love" without picturing Robert De Niro menacingly smoking a cigarette.


'The Graduate'

Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.


'The Nightmare Before Christmas'

What's this? What's this?! A really great soundtrack.



Nothing but smooth '70s jams fit for Ron Burgundy.


'A Hard Day’s Night'

Easily the best Beatles movie, with great music to boot.



'70s music meets '50s music, what's not to love?



What can I say? I still can't let it go, and I don't want to.