• My best movie soundtracks of all times - part two: 1978 - 2002

     Dear readers of my blog,

    Here comes the second and last part of my twenty favourite movie soundtracks. The following ten diversified scores were made between 1978 and 2002. Maybe I will prepare a third part in a few years when I will have discovered more recent scores. I'm always open for your suggestions, so don't be shy and leave a message below this article. By the way, I wish you a happy, healthy and successful New Year 2016. 

    Grease (1978)

    This American romantic comedy movie is based on Warren Casey's and Jim Jacob's musical of the same name which was released seven years earlier. From a personal point of view, I can identify more with this film's addicting rock and pop soundtrack sung by a legendary cast of popular actresses and actors than with the disco music played in similar movies like "Saturday Night Fever". Musical movies were quite popular between the mid-seventies and the mid-eighties and can be seen as important cultural heritages of these two decades.

     Pink Floyd - The Wall (1982)

    "The Wall" is not only the name of one of British progressive rock band Pink Floyd's most popular albums but also the title of a surreal live-action or animated psychological horror musical film based on said release. Even if one doesn't usually appreciate this kind of music, the fusion of arts in this film is absolutely groundbreaking. The visual effects, the story and the epic soundtrack complement each other perfectly and this movie is filled with metaphorical and symbolic imagery that requests multiple views.

     Amadeus (1984)

    This epic international period drama is based upon Peter Shaffer's stage play of the same name which was released five years earlier. The movie mixes historically accurate facts with elements of fiction and tells the epic story of the rivalry between Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Italian composer Antonio Salieri. The movie features critically acclaimed reinterpretations of classical pieces by the two historical main characters and other famous composers.   

     Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

    The Beverly Hills Cop franchise was one of the first and most popular action comedy series that has inspired many other movies of the same kind until today. The catchy soundtrack perfectly captures both the energizing acting, effects and story of the movie and popular American rock and pop music of the eighties. The chart-breaking instrumental title song by Harold Faltermeyer got covered numerous times and the entire soundtrack won a Grammy Award.

     A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

    This franchise includes three original movies, an animated film and a remake and is known as one of the most popular examples for Hongkong cinema of the eighties and nineties. The creative franchise mixes fantasy and horror elements with a touching love story between a doomed female maiden  and ghost and a timid male debt collector and outsider. Some humorous bits, historically inspired settings and elegant martial arts choreographies add to the success of the franchise. The charismatic soundtracks mix historical Chinese instruments with enchanting contemporary Cantonese pop music.  

     Once Upon a Time in China (1991)

    This Hongkong franchise includes six movies made in only seven years and is loosely based on the life of Chinese folk hero Wong Fei-hung who fought the negative effects of Western imperialism during the late Qing dynasty. The soundtracks of the six movies are more epic and mostly based on traditional folk music if compared to the "A Chinese Ghost Story" franchise.

     1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

    Ridley Scott's adventure drama tells the fictionalized story of the discovery of the New World. Renowned Greek composer Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, better known as Vangelis, composed the entire soundtrack, including the charismatic title track which is often decsribed as one of the best contemporary pieces of classical music. The song is often used in popular culture until today, for example by former Portuguese Prime-Minister Antonio Guterres, German boxer and former world champion Henry Maske and different cricket and rugby teams.

     Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)

    This movie is a prequel to the famous surreal mystery series "Twin Peaks" by Mark Frost and David Lynch which is often cited as best television series of all times. The enigmatic soundtrack which mixes ambient, jazz and pop music added a lot to the atmosphere of the series and was also used for this experimental feature film. The main score was created by American-Italian composer Angelo Badalamenti while certain songs were performed by jazz vocalist Jimmy Scott and pop singer Julee Cruise.

     Titanic (1997)

    The soundtrack of one of the most popular movies of all times was composed by James Horner who was clearly inspired by Celtic music in the key of Enya. The award-winning instrumental soundtrack was crowned by its only vocal arrangement entitled "My Heart Will Go On", with lyrics written by Will Jennings and vocals performed by Céline Dion. The song became a chart hit around the entire world and contributed to this movie's groundbreaking success.

     8 Mile (2002)

    This American drama is partially inspired by rapper Eminem's early life in Detroit, Michigan. The emotionally charged Soundtrack features exclusive material by some of the very best rappers back in the days like 50 Cent, Eminem, Jay-Z, Nas, Obie Trice and Xzibit among others. The opening track "Lose Yourself" by Eminem won the Academy Award for Best Original Song among others and became an international success. This authentic movie and its diversified soundtrack helped establishing contemporary American rap culture among mainstream audiences.

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