One of the things any budding musician or band dreams of is seeing their names on the big screen in the music credits of a major film that broke box office records. Wouldn’t that be a feather on their cap toward being a talent to go down in the history books? Have you ever wondered where your particular genre of music would be best suited when it comes to being the soundtrack for a movie?
Actually, if you look at films over the past few decades you just might begin to imagine what kind of movie your music would be perfect for and maybe, just maybe, that is something you can strive for! Here are five of the best movie soundtracks ever recorded to give you an idea of just what it takes to see your name on screen and hear your tracks in key scenes.
1. 1964 – A Hard Day’s Night
If you’re going to dream, why not dream big? Although this one doesn’t really fit the mold in the traditional sense as the movie was created for and by the Beatles, it is one of the most memorable soundtracks of an era. With key songs that also topped the chart, this movie also gave fans a look at the crazy antics of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
In fact, after a movie like this hits the box office, music recording studios around the world become booked up months out in the future. PIRATE, who offer music recording studios in Los Angeles, have found that key moments in soundtrack history spur bands on to get in that recording time, and it’s no surprise why. Can you imagine topping the charts with a tune like Hard Day’s Night or Can’t Buy Me Love? Impressive, isn’t it!
2. 2014 – Guardians of the Galaxy
Jumping forward in movie soundtrack history exactly five decades later, let’s look at something that goes beyond the fantasy of Marvel superheroes. In this movie that brings together several of the best loved heroes, songs in the soundtrack were also cult classics. For decades now, superheroes have loomed big in the film industry, and this is one of the reasons why so many musicians would do almost anything to have their tunes included in a soundtrack.
How can a soundtrack fail with tunes like those recorded by Marvin Gaye, David Bowie, and the Runaways? As an all-girl band that recorded at music recording studios in Los Angeles, The Runaways were an inspiration to so many girl bands of the time and from which Joan Jett emerged as a star in her own right. Then, years later, to be on the soundtrack of a movie that was followed by Marvel fans around the globe, they too, took their place in the history of soundtracks.
3. 1984 – Purple Rain
Sandwiched in between all that was another classic by, and about, the recording artist who laid down the soundtrack for the movie. It is said to be partially biographical about the trials and tribulations of the life of Prince, and the title song Purple Rain seemed to dispel the darkness that was in the young artist’s life. At least, when it came to fame and fortune, this one song alone spoke to the world of the genius hidden behind glitzy façade.
4. 1969 – Easy Rider
Let’s hop back for just a moment to the days of the Beatles and the dawning of a new era both in music history as well as in the culture of the day. With free love and hippies abounding, there were still pockets of holdout where ultra-conservatives ruled the roost. It was in this classic movie with stars like Peter Fonda and Dennis Hooper making names for themselves that will also go down in history, the soundtrack featured some of the most memorable tunes of the time.
Was it the tunes that made history or their place in the soundtrack of the movie that earned them a spot in music and film history? Perhaps it was both as tracks laid down by greats such as the Byrds and Steppenwolf were bound to top the charts one way or another. Who doesn’t still remember that rock classic Born to Be Wild and sing it as a theme song when coming of age? Then there was the sound of Jimi Hendrix on the tracks. Could anything be more expressive of the signs of the 1960s counterculture?
5. 1994 – The Crow
Then there’s the tragedy of this film that seemed to bring the melancholy music of the soundtrack to new heights. During the filming of the movie, a prop gun misfired, and Brandon Lee died as a result. Songs from Nine Inch Nails and the gothic track from The Cure, Burn, were indicative both of the darkness of the film as well as the star losing his life in the filming of it.
There is no doubt that the soundtrack would have earned its place in history had there been no tragedy during the filming, but that event seemed to cement its success, no questions asked. Sadly, a movie soundtrack expressed the reality of events during the filming, but together they made this a soundtrack not to be soon forgotten.
Every Musician’s Dream
In the end, it is not a far stretch of the imagination to say that it is every musician’s dream to see their names scrolling across the credits of a movie that topped box office charts. While these movies included songs by musicians that had already earned their fame in the recording industry, there are many other films that featured songs by virtual unknowns at the time.
These are listed as an example of what hard work can do for a musician. If you are working toward a career, why not envision one that brings you to the film industry as well? There’s nothing like capturing an even bigger audience as would be the case when your songs are included in a soundtrack. Isn’t it time to reach for something beyond touring and Billboard hits? That’s what a movie soundtrack can do for you.