TOP FIVES: Film and Television Soundtracks


The thing that makes a good film or television show is not how attractive the actors are (even though it helps sometimes), or how great the storyline is considering some of my favourite movies don’t even really follow one specific storyline. The one thing that makes a film or television show great is it’s acting quality and of course, it’s soundtrack.

I’ve been assigned the task of narrowing it all down to five soundtracks that are just spectacular and actually suit the mood of the film they are played in because I’m sorry, but even though ‘Midnight City’ by M83 is a great track, it doesn’t need to be played when a zombie is having a shower in Warm Bodies. It’s odd.


I’m sure people can appreciate this, I will say now that these five soundtracks are in no particular order because I know that everyone will have their different opinions, but The Boat that Rocked has the most nostalgic and entertaining soundtrack I’ve seen in a long time.

Set in the late sixties, the soundtrack is bound to have some amazing artists included in its soundtrack, especially because it’s a film about a pirate radio station. With artists like THE WHO, JIMI HENDRIX, and of course THE KINKS featured, The Boat That Rocked pays tribute to one of the most fantastic eras in music and most definitely had to be mentioned here.


Now this may be a bit of a cheesy choice, but the movie is about a bunch of kids running around New York searching for a band whilst you know, finding love and all that guff. But I’m here showing you the greatest soundtrack a modern movie has had in a while, in all it’s indie-rock magnificence for want of a better word. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist showcases some of New York’s best artists such as VAMPIRE WEEKEND, BISHOP ALLEN, WE ARE SCIENTISTS, BAND OF HORSES and THE NATIONAL, with the best international artists like SHOUT OUT LOUDS.

Everybody loves hearing THE NATIONAL in those somber moments and VAMPIRE WEEKEND in the more cheerful moments and that’s what Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist does, it creates moods with some fantastic music and you couldn’t ask for anything better than that.


One of the best high school movies you’ll see, Dazed and Confused is set in 1976 and so all of the soundtrack is obviously going to bring out the best of seventies music. Now this could have gone either way, it could have gone to your cheesy poppy seventies music, you know lots of boogie nights and disco, but luckily we instead have AEROSMITH opening the film, ALICE COOPER celebrating the end of the school year, and KISS starting off probably one of the best looking parties I’ve seen in a while.

Dazed and Confused is one of those rare films that kind of gets underrated by some, but loved by many others. I think music people would enjoy this movie more than anyone because of how it defines the era. There may not be any LED ZEPPELIN, but there is some pretty rad bits of BLACK SABBATH and you can’t really ask for anything more than that.


Spanning over seven seasons (some more successful than others), Skins has made its mark on almost every teenager you know. From the horrendous death of Freddie to the sly attitude of Tony, pretty much everyone knows about these kids from Bristol who cause havoc wherever they go. The soundtrack is a standout in this show, with CRYSTAL CASTLES doing a live performance in the first series, to the closing scene of PJ HARVEY’s ‘Wild World’ bringing all of the characters stories together.

LA ROUX, BLOC PARTY, YEAH YEAH YEAHS, THE HIVES, LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, THE KILLS, SIGUR ROS, GRIZZLY BEAR, all make appearances in the show and you can see how plenty of artists from different genres all made Skins the show that it is, a group of kids who have great taste in music, partying.


Now this one is probably the most obvious as I’m sure you would have all figured. A movie about a music journalist going on tour with an up-and-coming band would most definitely have a great soundtrack that not only included some of the best acts of the time, but also the tracks of the fictional band themselves.

SIMON & GARFUNKEL, THE WHO, IGGY POP, BLACK SABBATH – this soundtrack couldn’t get any better, until you hear Stillwater’s ‘Fever Dog’ the fictional band creating one of the best tracks on the soundtrack. Almost Famous is a cult classic as most musos would agree, it’s got everything we know and love from the era plus Jason Lee with a beard, and I reckon that’s pretty special too.

Now there have to be some honorable mentions like the somber soundtrack of Scrubs, and the eighties nu-wave of Donnie Darko. You would all love the nineties nostalgia of High Fidelity, but honestly there are so many films and television shows with great soundtracks. I could only pick five.

Words By Lauren Payne





Brisbane based photographer and writer who will judge you first and foremost on your music taste. Likes mint slice and a damn good cup of coffee.