Last week's list of the best soundtracks of the '80s naturally got us thinking--what happened in the next decade? We instantly thought of so many classic '90s soundtracks we couldn't limit it to just 10. Turns out a lot of cool stuff happened in the decade of Zubaz, boy bands, and Ally McBeal. Read on for the top 15 movie soundtracks of the '90s.
15. "Where Is My Mind?", the Pixies, Fight Club, 1999
OK, so this is the best song from the soundtrack by far, but it's so perfect it had to be included.
14. "Graduate," Third Eye Blind, Can't Hardly Wait, 1998
Because we had to include a song by Third Eye Blind. Come on, it wouldn't be the '90s without them. (Though, in answer to the song's rhetorical question, the answer is never, brah.) Plus the movie's named for a Replacements track. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to listen to "Jumper." And "How's It Going to Be."
13. "The Ghost in You," Counting Crows, Clueless, 1995
Same deal with Counting Crows. A '90s soundtrack staple right there. After my Third Eye Blind binge, I'm officially crowning the '90s the era of the sensitive bro. But you can't deny a movie that also includes songs by Radiohead, Beastie Boys, Coolio, Supergrass, and Velocity Girl. The decade at its finest.
12. "At the Dark End of the Street," the Commitments, The Commitments, 1991
This cult classic about a bunch of Irish misfits who form a soul band features seriously great versions of classics like "Mustang Sally" and "Try a Little Tenderness."
11. "Spybreak! (Short One)," Propellerheads, The Matrix, 1999
The Matrix soundtrack features heavy music in all its forms, from Marilyn Manson's goth-rock to Rammstein's industrial metal to this song by big-beat duo Propellerheads, used in the iconic lobby shootout scene.
10. "Down for Whatever," Ice Cube, Office Space, 1999
For a comedy about white-collar workers, Office Space has a surprisingly bangin' soundtrack, featuring the likes of Geto Boys, Scarface, and Kool Keith. Not surprisingly, a theme of terrible jobs and worse bosses runs throughout.
9. "I Want You to Want Me," Letters to Cleo, 10 Things I Hate About You, 1999
The semi-Shakespearean tale of teenage lust and paintball fights ends with an amazing shot of Letters to Cleo (where are they now?) playing their cover of Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me" on top of Tacoma's Stadium High. RIP Heath.
8. "Dead Man Theme," Neil Young, Dead Man, 1995
Neil Young created the soundtrack for this "acid Western" starring Johnny Depp by improvising on his electric guitar in a recording studio while watching the newly-edited film. The result is a hazy wash of reverb and emotionally powerful solos that remains compelling to this day. Now that's talent.
7. "Exit Music (For a Film)," Radiohead, Romeo + Juliet, 1996
The standout track from Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of the doomed-love tale was not released on the official soundtrack, instead appearing the next year on the band's OK Computer album. But that didn't stop the soundtrack from being awesome, with hits like "#1 Crush" by Garbage and "Lovefool" by The Cardigans making the cut.
6. "Glory Box," Portishead, Stealing Beauty, 1996
Liv Tyler had a three-film run of amazing soundtracks in the '90s, starting with Empire Records (with its unforgettable use of Gin Blossoms' "Til I Hear It from You") in 1995, then following up with That Thing You Do and Stealing Beauty the next year. The Stealing Beauty soundtrack is packed with badass contributions from Liz Phair, Mazzy Star, Cocteau Twins, and Sam Phillips.
5. "Dark and Long," Underworld, Trainspotting, 1996
Most people would go for Underworld's "Born Slippy .Nuxx" as the standout track from this film about Scottish junkies, but the equally intense "Dark and Long" plays during the film's most horrifying, tripped-out scene. (If you don't know what I'm talking about... shudder.) Don't do drugs, kids.
4. "Save Me," Aimee Mann, Magnolia, 1999
What is up with the '90s and the spectacular, single-artist-dominated soundtracks? Aimee Mann outdoes herself on the score for P.T. Anderson's Magnolia, and her song "Save Me" was nominated for an Academy Award.
3. "Misirlou," Dick Dale, Pulp Fiction, 1994
Surf and early rock 'n' roll make the backbone of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, because, according to director Quentin Tarantino, it added a certain dramatic flair: "It just seems like rock 'n' roll Ennio Morricone music, rock 'n' roll spaghetti Western music." It also features the Dusty Springfield classic "Son of a Preacher Man." You can't argue with that.
2. "Blister in the Sun," Violent Femmes, Grosse Pointe Blank, 1997
Grosse Pointe Blank is all about the music, so it makes sense that it sports a killer soundtrack. It makes even more sense when you find out the punk, New Wave, and ska songs that make up the soundtrack were chosen by Joe Strummer of The Clash. Duh.
1. "Drown," Smashing Pumpkins, Singles, 1992
Singles goes all the way with grunge (it came out in 1992, after all), featuring songs by pretty much every major band of the era-- Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, Screaming Trees, and Mudhoney are all included. Before they got super-famous. How hip is that? But the best track of all belongs to Smashing Pumpkins, who released "Drown" specifically for the movie.
What's your favorite '90s soundtrack? Add it in the comments!