1. Jurassic Park
Jurassic park was an absolute 90s classic. Spielberg’s dinosaur themed epic made history with its special effects. The score was written by film composer John Williams and became the soundtrack to a wave of 90s kids’ favourite movie.
2. Star Wars Episode I
A Phantom Menace – John Williams’ second in the list, A Phantom Menace is not widely regarded as a classic, certainly not when compared to the rest of the Star Wars series, but the movie is undeniably well scored, and an orchestral masterpiece drives Anakin Skywalker on his adventures from start to finish. You’d expect nothing less than anthemic for a Star Wars movie, and John Williams certainly delivers here.
Trainspotting was a movie that encapsulated a generation. Danny Boyle’s masterpiece has developed a cult following and will surely go down in history as one of the greatest pieces of cinema of its time. This movie is not in here for original music scored for the movie, but for a classic selection of nineties tunes. Blur, Underworld, Elastica and Leftfield are just some of the British 90s heroes that make this soundtrack an alternative masterpiece.
4. Pulp Fiction
Another film in here purely for the magnificent choice of music. Tunes such as ‘Son of a Preacher Man”, “Flowers on the Wall”, “Jungle Boogie” and more set the scene for the 90s most seminal of gangster movies, featuring huge names such as Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson, but it is the inspired inclusion of Dick Dales “Misirlou” in both the movie and the trailers released beforehand that became truly iconic in the history of film. Tarantino’s music inclusion is always spot on, hence our next choice.
5. Reservoir Dogs
The second of Quentin Tarantino’s gangster movies to find its way onto the list. Reservoir Dogs was released before Pulp Fiction, and features music from the 60s through to the 80s, including “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede, a selection of music performed by Steven Wright and of course the amazing Stealers Wheel song “Stuck in the Middle With You”, another incredible selection of music to set a sinister tone to the movie. Quentin’s music choice is always original and seems to work perfectly, as demonstrated with the unusual choice of Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” over the end credits.
6. Forrest Gump
This was really one of the movies that put film composer Alan Silvestri on the map. He has gone on to be one of the most prolific composers for Hollywood over the past 20 years, and Forrest Gump truly displays why, with 21 pieces of original music composed to accompany this piece of Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis heroism.
7. The Shawshank Redemption
Widely acclaimed as one of the best movies of all time (just check out IMDB), this absolutely superb film has a score to match by Thomas Newman. Newman is one of the most prolific scorer of movies the last thirty years has seen, and this is one of his best works, which was recognised with his nomination for an academy award for best original score. It is not quite his best in my book though, that title goes to…
8. American Beauty
Just wow. Iconic, anthemic, beautiful… Just some of the words you could use to describe Newman’s score for an astonishing virtuoso performance from Kevin Spacey. Best remembered for the song also titled “American Beauty”, accompanying the infamous ‘plastic bag scene’, this soundtrack has even been remixed and put into dance tracks.
9. The Lion King
The only movie in the list made mainly for children, The Lion King’s theme tune features the work of a certain Elton John with the help of Tim Rice, and some orchestral work from Hans Zimmer. The soundtrack is one of the most memorable you’ll come across, featuring songs such as ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘Can you Feel The Love Tonight’ as well as ‘Circle of Life’, a dramatic and clever accompaniment to a movie every kid should see.
10. Fight Club
The first rule of fight club is “You don’t talk about fight club” the second rule of fightclub is “The Soundtrack must be awesome!” or something like that anyway. A suave and clever soundtrack by the Dust Brothers to accompany David Fincher’s suave and clever movie. One of the first huge electronic soundtracks that fits it’s job description perfectly.
This list is brought to you by Ben, a Film Score and Soundtrack enthusiast who runs Soundtrack Man, the ultimate resource on http://www.soundtrackman.com/.