When I buy music on vinyl, I usually go for movie soundtracks; I have always been a cinephile, since my grandfather was very passionate about cinema and used to own a massive collection of movies, both on VHS and DVD. His music tastes verged more towards classical composers (Beethoven, Mozart, etc.), but I will talk more about this in a post dedicated to classic music.
Today I wish to make a top-five list about my favorite movie soundtracks on vinyl. It’s been hard to decide which ones to pick because my soundtrack collection has become pretty big over the years, so I think I will write more than one article about it. This is going to be Part I, and I may also write a post on CDs, too.
The soundtrack is one of the essential components of what makes a good movie; moreover, there are certain songs that you hear and they immediately make you think about the movie in which you first discovered them.
The records I’m going to list (in no particular order) are beautiful editions of popular movie soundtracks that I fell in love with and consequentially decided to own in the vinyl format.
1) The Godfather OST: the soundtrack to one of the most famous and beloved movie trilogies produced by Paramount Pictures. The music of the film was composed by Nino Rota and the vinyl record label is Universal Music. This movie score has become one of the most iconic and recognizable of all time; Love Theme from the Godfather is its most famous track and I love to put this record on during a hot summer afternoon, as it creates a perfect atmosphere. I love the Godfather trilogy (it might seem weird because I’m a woman, but I have always been a fan of gangster movies and 007) and I will probably review it on the blog in the not-too-distant future. I bought the vinyl off Amazon; it seemed discontinued at first but then it came back in stock and I was lucky to find a copy. It is a must-have if you collect movie soundtracks!
2) La La Land OST: I can’t even remember how I found this Limited Edition Blue Disc on the Italian version of Amazon, since they were selling two different editions at the time. The movie came out in 2017 and it was among my favorite of the year. Its director Damien Chazelle is immensely talented and I’ve enjoyed everything he’s done so far; La La Land is about Hollywood, love, dreams and…music! It is one of the most successful musicals ever (I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a Broadway hit someday) and the songs are so beautiful that I can’t choose a favorite. It is one of the records I play the most throughout the year (even before I owned the soundtrack on vinyl, I used to play the songs performed by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling on Spotify all the time). Justin Hurwitz is the composer of amazing music pieces like Mia & Sebastian’s Theme and the soundtrack was released by Interscope Records. The black-disc version is still available to buy if you are interested and have seen the movie.
3) The Great Gatsby Deluxe Edition: ok, I’ll start with saying that I had some difficulties in finding this on vinyl (I finally managed to find it on Amazon about four years ago and today the site only stocks a couple import copies at a very high price) but I was super enthusiastic when I unboxed it. It is a two-disc edition contained in a golden case and when you open it you see the famous movie image of the eyes on a golden background. This is the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 movie The Great Gatsby, and while I love the 1974 version with Robert Redford, which my grandpa gifted to me on DVD when I was in high school, I think Luhrmann’s film is aesthetically perfect, the sets are incredible and the actors are very talented (especially Leonardo DiCaprio, I think he gave an Oscar-worthy performance in this one). The vinyl record label is once again Interscope Records and it was manufactured and distributed by Universal Music. The two discs comprise a total of 21 tracks and the album was executive-produced by Jay Z, as Luhrmann gives the movie modern vibes especially through its soundtrack, in a way that reminds me of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (I still need to get the CD soundtrack, by the way). My favorite tracks are will.i.am.’s “Bang Bang” and “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie, Q-Tip & Goonrock; Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” deserves a special mention for the way it was used in some of the movie scenes.
4) American Hustle OST: the soundtrack to David O. Russell’s film is one of the records I splurged on. This edition has two colored vinyls, one red and one blue, and it has been discontinued; I bought it in 2016 when it was still in stock. The movie soundtrack gives off 70s vibes, as American Hustle is set during that decade. It is one of my favorite movies thanks to its humorous scenes, amazing costumes and brilliant acting (Christian Bale is great in his role). The record has some jazz and blues tracks too, like Duke Ellington’s “Jeep’s Blues” and I found the whole soundtrack to be very uplifting; I mostly play it in the wintertime and it is also good to listen to on a rainy day, especially if you play Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”. “Live and Let Die” by the Wings was the background music for a scene that stars Jennifer Lawrence and it is super funny and perfectly executed.
You might still find this record on eBay but most of the songs are available on various streaming services.
5) Drive Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Special Anniversary Edition: this lavish double-disc edition was released for the fifth anniversary of the movie directed by Nicholas Winding Refn. I also bought this record in 2016 and it is a pink-vinyl edition with a sleek blue cover with the movie title written in pink. My father and I enjoyed watching Drive so much! He still hasn’t seen The Neon Demon by the same director, but I did and I also own that soundtrack on vinyl, even though I slightly prefer the music in Drive. I need to rewatch the film since it’s been ages, but I remember the quality and the way the songs adapt to every scene. The soundtrack has great, almost psychedelic songs like “Nightcall” by Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx, “Tick of the Clock” by Chromatics and “Under Your Spell” by Desire.
This edition is sold out everywhere but the soundtrack has since been reissued on vinyl. I don’t know if it is still pink-colored but I have heard it’s semi-transparent so they put an artistic spin on the new edition as well.
This was Part 1 of my favorite movie soundtracks on vinyl; stay tuned for a second part in the future!
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