The Top 40 Movie Soundtracks of All Time

Top 40 Movie Soundtracks

Movie soundtracks used to be the only way you could relive the experience of watching a motion picture at home, on demand. They evolved over the years from a collection of musical numbers into original concept albums, eclectic mix tapes and noble attempts to capture the sound of an entire generation. Everyone has their favorite movie soundtracks, many of them better than the movie they actually came from, and the film critics at CraveOnline have finally decided to put their heads together, nominate and vote for their picks for the top 40 best movie soundtracks of all time.

Why “Top 40?” Because it’s about the music, duh.

Film critics William Bibbiani, Witney Seibold, Fred Topel and Brian Formo were each invited to contribute their 40 picks for the best movie soundtracks ever recorded, ranked from #40 to #1. Soundtracks consisting entirely of an original orchestral score or music previously released as a soundtrack album from a stage musical were considered out of bounds, but soundtracks including some orchestral tracks, a collection of pre-existing orchestral tracks, and musicals that originated on screen were considered fair game. Contributors were invited to consider a soundtrack’s popularity when submitting their nominations, but were encouraged to focus the on the overall quality of the soundtrack, regardless of the album’s impact on the charts.

Their votes were then tallied (their picks for #40 each got one point, their picks for #1 got 40 points, and so on), resulting in the following, final list. Each of these movie soundtracks comes with analysis from one of the critics who championed its inclusion.

Did we pick your favorites? Did we leave out a timeless classic? Do you simply want to argue the rankings? Let us know by tweeting the contributors at @WilliamBibbiani, @WitneySeibold, @FredTopel and @BrianEmilFormo


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.