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The 20 Soundtracks That Defined The 1990s
The first rule of defining the greatest soundtracks of the 90s...

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Reservoir Dogs (1993)

 


Reservoir Dogs
Composer: Various Artists
Sure, the suits looked cool and the dialogue was sparky and, hey, everyone loves a Mexican stand-off, but music was essential to Tarantino’s Hollywood calling card, a big part of what made him stand apart from the rock or synch-themed crime dramas that preceded him. Tarantino’s debut – and many of his subsequent efforts – was built around the coolest riffs of the most obscure ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s tunes he could find, just as his filming style often resurrects obscure stars, shooting angles and approaches. It’s surely one of the most-played soundtracks ever; one every self-respecting student displays prominently and many ‘90s DJs reportedly built their playlists around. It’s a hugely influential selection that changed how we approach soundtracks just as Tarantino’s visual and storytelling style changed filming.

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Your Comments

1 Point taken but point missed
Fair enough if you think the theme paid homage (ripped off, if you like) Goldfinger but my point about the rest of the soundtrack remains. And it transcended the film too - becoming an integral part of what made the N64 game of the film so memorable. More

Posted by iainjames on Sunday June 16, 2013, 17:13

2 RE:
GoldenEye was a blatant rip off of Goldfinger only not as good. There has not been a decent Bond theme since Duran Duran's 'A view to a kill' I'm afraid. Since then, Skyfall has probably been the best of the bunch. More

Posted by thorthemighty on Sunday June 16, 2013, 15:34

3
I would also moot GoldenEye - Eric Serra came up with one of the only recent Bond scores that strayed from the John Barry sympathies and it's all the better for it. Tina Turner's theme song (with the help of half of U2) remains one of the best as well. More

Posted by iainjames on Saturday June 15, 2013, 10:01

4
Oh and you can certainly argue that theTerminator 2 soundtrack is a retread - albeit a fleshed-out one - of Fiedel's original 80's score. More

Posted by iainjames on Saturday June 15, 2013, 09:56

5
Glad to see Shawshank favoured over (the still excellent) American Beauty. Grosse Point Blank is a great shout - especially the Mirror In The Bathroom cue - but (frustratingly) the film just isn't popular enough to be iconic. I think having both Reservoir Dogs AND Pulp Fiction is a bit unfair, though it would be hard to argue which should stay. And I can understand the inclusion of Titanic but The Bodyguard sold on the basis of 'I Will Always...' - you might as well include Four Weddings. And to overlook Goodfellas (certainly on the basis of the music in the film, if not on the physical soundtrack album) is frankly poor. More

Posted by iainjames on Saturday June 15, 2013, 09:51

6 Also...
...The English Patient and Dances with Wolves should have been on this list. Both amazing scores. More

Posted by sdilku on Wednesday June 5, 2013, 10:58

7 Disagree on The Piano...
...it was a great score, but John Williams' Schindler's List score deserved to beat it to the Oscar. More

Posted by sdilku on Wednesday June 5, 2013, 10:57

8
What, no Mohicans?? More

Posted by Ivor Rod on Thursday May 30, 2013, 11:28

9
What, no Mohicans?? More

Posted by Ivor Rod on Thursday May 30, 2013, 11:25

10
What, no Mohicans?? More

Posted by Ivor Rod on Thursday May 30, 2013, 11:19

11
How could you not include PT Anderson's MAGNOLIA and (to a lesser degree) BOOGIE NIGHTS? The music of Aimee Mann inspired him to write Magnolia and Boogie Nights was all about the music. More

Posted by Drama_Rhiannon on Friday May 24, 2013, 18:33

12
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is a favourite of mine. I would also have made room for Run Lola Run. More

Posted by JackieBrownFan on Monday May 20, 2013, 19:56

13 RE: Re
L: NeoBrowser Missing: The Matrix Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace The Last of the Mohicans. This list is fucking insulting! he Phantom Menace soundtrack helped define the 90's? Really? No. More

Posted by UTB on Sunday May 19, 2013, 14:09

14 Heat?
No Heat. More

Posted by osh man on Sunday May 19, 2013, 13:38

15 Re
Missing: The Matrix Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace The Last of the Mohicans. This list is fucking insulting! More

Posted by NeoBrowser on Sunday May 19, 2013, 04:14

16 90's soundtracks
The Thin Red Line is personally one of my favourites from the 90's More

Posted by Hans_Klopek on Wednesday May 15, 2013, 13:29

17
Glad to see Out Of Sight in there. I'm not one to attack the choices made (not all actually brilliant but still memorable for many reasons, which is why I'm surprised that Bryan Adams isn't in there, even if it does eclipse what is actually a terrific score for Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves), although having Danny Elfman only show up for his work on '89s Batman soundtrack is pretty tough considering Edward Scissorhands (my fave!) and The Nightmare Before Christmas are both amazing. And though you mentioned Schindler's List, not having it on the list is sort of unforgivable. More

Posted by evildave69 on Tuesday May 14, 2013, 02:46

18 Where is The Matrix?
If you're not simply doing scores then surely The Matrix should be included, you couldn't watch tele for years after without hearing Rob D's "Clubbed to Death" on some programme or another. More

Posted by Ballschin on Monday May 13, 2013, 21:18

19 WOT NO MATRIX?
Yeah happened to the Matrix? Also I think "The Rock" should have been in Crimson Tide's place. lol Titanic and the Bodyguard, just goes to show what terrible taste in music people have, oh they were awlful. Also the cringe inducing Four Weddings blah blah and Bryan Adams insufferable tune from Robin Hood...urgh!, surely there were more on those soundtracks simply the horrid no1 singles. Oh yeah I know the Phantom Menace was ho-um to put mildely, but Duel of the Fates was terrific. Fifth Element and Event Horizon also anyone?????? More

Posted by klepto4 on Monday May 13, 2013, 17:49

20 Some key omitions!
The Crow, Judgement Night, Grosse Point Blank, Human Traffic! T2 and Crimson Tide are great films, but defining soundtracks? No! Natural Born Killers is a crap film but the soundtrack is amazing! As much as I hate to admit it, Pretty Woman should also get an honorable mention More

Posted by guysalisbury on Monday May 13, 2013, 14:29

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