Published on May 22, 2023
As we return to the colorful, nuanced grunge era of the '90s, we'll explore an integral aspect of the decade's cinematic appeal:film soundtracks. These 90s movie soundtracks not only captured the essence of the movies they were associated with, but also resonated with the pop culture of the era, making them unforgettable pieces of history. Let's delve into nine examples that embody the magic and power of '90s movie scores.
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33. «Philadelphia» (1993.)
First up on our list of the best soundtracks of the 90s is "Philadelphia." The soundtrack of "Philadelphia," which includes Bruce Springsteen's Oscar-winning "Streets of Philadelphia," perfectly sums up the film's moving story. The collection of songs, which also features Neil Young and Peter Gabriel, creates a powerful emotional resonance that matches the film's deep themes.
32. "Saving Private Ryan" (1998)
John Williams' score for 'Saving Private Ryan' is a masterpiece of poignant and moving music. The soundtrack beautifully underscores the film's war story, enhancing the emotional depth of Spielberg's iconic WWII drama.
31. "Prince of Egypt" (1998)
"The Prince of Egypt" has an inspiring and moving soundtrack that complements the epic story of Moses. With lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and music by Hans Zimmer, standout songs like "When You Believe" performed by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey became instant classics.
30. «Armageddon» (1998.)
Armageddon's soundtrack, best known for Aerosmith's powerful ballad "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," is a collection of rock songs perfectly suited to the film's intense, emotional story. The soundtrack reflects the film's mix of action, drama and romance, making it an unforgettable part of the late '90s cinematic landscape.
29. «Reservoir Dogs» (1992.)
The 'Reservoir Dogs' soundtrack combines classic 70s rock and pop music, making it a truly memorable setting for Quentin Tarantino's first film. Songs like Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" became synonymous with the film's tense scenes.
28. "Brave heart" (1995)
The 'Braveheart' soundtrack, composed by James Horner, is a moving, dramatic orchestral score that beautifully complements the film's epic story. Incredibly beautiful melodies give a strong emotional core to this historical drama.
27. 'Schindlerova list' (1993.)
John Williams' score for Schindler's List, featuring violinist Itzhak Perlman, is an evocative and moving part of this powerful film. The music underscores the emotion and depth of Spielberg's cinematic masterpiece.
26. "The Big Lebowski" (1998)
The Coen brothers' "The Big Lebowski" has an eclectic soundtrack with genres ranging from rock and pop to experimental and classical music. The song that stands out is the comically surreal "Just Dropped In" by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition.
25. «Aladdin» (1992.)
Disney's "Aladdin" boasts a vivid, enchanting soundtrack by Alan Menken, with memorable songs like "A Whole New World" and "Friend Like Me." The infectious melodies and mesmerizing lyrics of the soundtrack are key to the magic of the film.
24. "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994)
Thomas Newman's score for 'The Shawshank Redemption' is an incredibly beautiful collection of compositions that underline the emotional arc of the story. The soundtrack is as much a character in the film as the prison itself, creating a powerful, unforgettable experience.
23. "Fighter Club" (1999)
The Dust Brothers' electronic score for "Fight Club" echoes the rough, anarchic tone of the film. The techno-industrial soundtrack, with its pulsating rhythms and distorted sounds, reinforces the film's stark, subversive themes.
22. "American Beauty" (1999)
Thomas Newman's score for "American Beauty" captures the melancholy tones of the suburban life depicted in the film. The music, with its unique use of percussion and wind instruments, is as unconventional and exciting as the film itself.
21. «Peti element» (1997.)
Eric Cera's diverse score for 'The Fifth Element' combines opera, electronic music and pop, reflecting the film's eccentric sci-fi setting. The series "Diva Dance" stands out for its impressive vocal performance and unforgettable visuals.
20. "Beauty and the Beast" (1991)
Another Disney classic, "Beauty and the Beast" has a score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman that is romantic, witty and heartfelt all at the same time. From the charming 'Be Our Guest' to the tender ballad of the title track, the soundtrack is central to the film's timeless appeal.
19. "Dazed and Confused" (1993)
The soundtrack of "Dazed and Confused" is a total rock throwback to the 70s, even though the movie is a product of the 90s. Featuring songs by Aerosmith, Alice Cooper and Lynyrd Skynyrd, it's a touching moment that perfectly captures the nostalgic, free-spirited spirit of the film.
18. "The Crow" (1994)
The soundtrack of 'The Crow' is a dark and moody mix of alternative rock and industrial music that complements the gothic atmosphere of the film. Bands like The Cure and Nine Inch Nails contribute to this full, atmospheric soundtrack.
17. "Good guys" (1990)
The Goodfellas soundtrack spans several decades of American music, mirroring the film's chronological narrative. Featuring artists from Tony Bennett to the Rolling Stones, this soundtrack adds another layer of authenticity to Scorsese's iconic crime drama.
16. "Men in Black" (1997)
The soundtrack of 'Men in Black' seamlessly blends hip-hop and R&B, highlighted by Will Smith's catchy title track. This soundtrack perfectly reflects the film's fun, quirky alien invasion theme.
15. "Pretty Woman" (1990)
The soundtrack of the film 'Pretty Woman' is a mix of pop, rock and soul that complements the romantic comedy of the film. Roxette's 'It Must Have Been Love' and Roy Orbison's 'Oh, Pretty Woman' are enduring symbols of the film's appeal.
14. «Reality Bites» (1994.)
"Reality Bites" offers a soundtrack steeped in the alternative rock scene of the 90s. The footage, which features bands such as U2 and The Knack, captures the Gen-X spirit that the film embodies so well.
13. «Matrix» (1999.)
'The Matrix' features an intense mix of techno and rock, reflecting the futuristic theme of the film. With contributions from the likes of Rob Zombie and Prodigy, this soundtrack perfectly captures the film's cyberpunk aesthetic.
12. "Clueless" (1995)
The 'Clueless' soundtrack perfectly embodies the pop-rock sounds of the mid-90s, offering a light but infectious accompaniment to the classic teen comedy. Songs by artists such as The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Radiohead create a recognizable 90s vibe.
11. "Bodyguard" (1992)
Whitney Houston's powerful and soulful voice dominates the soundtrack of 'The Bodyguard', making it one of the best-selling films of all time. The iconic "I Will Always Love You" stands out as the ultimate pop ballad of the 90s.
10. «Forrest Gump» (1994.)
The 'Forrest Gump' soundtrack is a comprehensive collection that reflects the film's journey through several decades. Featuring timeless songs by Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and The Doors, it's a nostalgic musical tour of important moments in American history.
9. "Jurassic Park" (1993)
Last but certainly not least is John Williams' grand orchestral score for Steven Spielberg's 'Jurassic Park'. The soundtrack, especially the film's majestic theme, immediately conjures up images of dinosaurs once again roaming the earth. This iconic score left an indelible impact on the cinematic landscape of the 90s, adding a level of awe and grandeur to this unforgettable film.
8. "Boys Don't Cry" (1999)
'Boys Don't Cry' has a diverse and evocative soundtrack that echoes the raw emotions of the film. A mix of alternative rock, folk and country, including songs from The Cure and Lynyrd Skynyrd, creates a fantastic soundscape. The angst and introspection of the 90s is perfectly embodied in this soundtrack, matching the emotional depth of the film.
7. "Friday" (1995)
The soundtrack to 'Friday' is a lively mix of West Coast hip hop and R&B, reflecting a comical yet realistic depiction of life in South Central LA. With contributions from Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, this soundtrack embodies the hip-hop scene of the 90s, making it a cultural marker of the times.
6. "Romeo + Juliet" (1996)
Baz Luhrmann's modern take on Shakespeare's classic story brought with it a soundtrack that was bold, youthful and daring. A mix of alternative rock, pop and dance music, featuring acts such as Radiohead and The Cardigans, gives 'Romeo + Juliet' an intoxicatingly contemporary vibe. This soundtrack perfectly emphasizes the dramatic tension and young love of the film.
5. 'The Males' (1992.)
"Singles," Cameron Crowe's love letter to Seattle's grunge scene, has a soundtrack that's as grunge as it gets. With songs from Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins, it serves as an important documentation of the rock music of the era. It's an authentic recording of the 90s grunge movement, embedded in movies and songs.
4. "The Lion King" (1994)
Disney's "The Lion King" has a soundtrack that has delighted audiences for generations. A powerful mix of African rhythms, pop tunes and orchestral songs, accompanied by Hans Zimmer and Elton John, makes this soundtrack special. "Circle of Life" and "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" are timeless pieces that highlight the film's emotional journey.
3. «Trainspotting» (1996.)
The soundtrack of 'Trainspotting' captures the rebellious spirit of the British underground culture of the 90s with a mix of techno, Britpop and punk. Songs like Underworld's "Born Slippy .NUXX" and Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life" perfectly channel the raw energy of depicting 90s subculture.
2. "Titanic" (1997.)
James Horner's music for Titanic is synonymous with the film's epic romance and tragedy. Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" toured the world, condensing the film's emotional intensity. This powerful ballad became an icon of the 90s, which is why the Titanic soundtrack is an essential addition to this list.
1. «Pulp Fiction» (1994.)
Topping our list of the best soundtracks of the 90s is "Pulp Fiction." Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction is not only known for its unconventional storytelling, but also for its eclectic soundtrack. With songs spanning rock 'n' roll, surf, soul and pop, the soundtrack is a meandering journey through time. Key tracks like Dick Dale's frenetic "Misirlou" and Kool & The Gang's "Jungle Boogie" showcase Tarantino's uncanny ability to use music as an engaging storytelling tool.
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1. Citizen Kane (1941)Which 1990 movie made the most money? ›
|4||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles||$135,265,915|
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- 7 Nicolas Cage.
- 6 Eddie Murphy.
- 5 Brad Pitt.
- 4 Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- 3 Adam Sandler.
- 2 Tom Hanks.
- 1 Jim Carrey.
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1. “The Bodyguard” (1992): This film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner holds the title of greatest selling soundtrack album of all time, with 17 millions copies sold in the US and over 42 million copies sold worldwide.
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Quentin Tarantino, screenwriter/director. Donald Trump. Matt Tupper of POM Wonderful.What is the greatest movies almost never made? ›
- 1) Martin Scorsese's 'Gershwin' ...
- 2) Spike Lee's 'Save Us, Joe Louis' ...
- 3) Kathryn Bigelow's 'Company of Angels' ...
- 4) Sergio Leone's 'Leningrad: The 900 Days' ...
- 5) Alfred Hitchcock's 'Kaleidoscope' ...
- 6) Guillermo del Toro and Charlie Kaufman's 'Slaughterhouse-Five'
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One of the things that made '90s shows so great was their ability to tackle social issues in a single episode. Writers and directors dedicated whole episodes to targeting social problems and aired them without the worry about it being taken down. A show that did this often was the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”Why was the 90s so iconic? ›
The 1990s was a decade where pop culture took flight, we all made some Friends, dance moves were born and fast-food got even bigger. Although they ended more than 20 years ago, some of these American icons remain just as relevant today.Why were old movies so much better? ›
According to previous studies, it is reported that older movies focused a lot more on character development and conversation. The moviemakers made these movies with the general assumption that people had the time to watch these longer films. Today, modern films are focused on actions that adapt to our everyday life.