Movie Soundtracks: The Best Kept Secret

What do “Fifty Shades of Grey”, “The Hunger Games”, and “Suicide Squad” all have in common? The answer: they all had soundtrack compilations that topped the charts when the films were released, and often outperformed the films themselves, in terms of ranking. Today we’re taking a brief look at some of the best-ranked movie soundtracks, that did impressively well in spite of the success or failure of their films. We’re not counting musicals for this particular list, as it would be entirely dominated by Disney. 

Movie soundtracks and compilation albums are typically comprised of songs from various artists who were either featured in the film or wrote a song inspired by the film. What makes these albums so unique is how they promote new or returning artists through such a popular medium like film. Many casual movie-goers may not have known who The Decemberists or Arcade Fire were, if it wasn’t for “The Hunger Games” album. In addition, the “Fifty Shades of Grey” album seemingly launched The Weeknd into mainstream. The retro music of “Guardians of the Galaxy” revived an interest in ‘70s hits, and two years later it still remains on the Billboard Top Soundtracks chart.

The album of “Suicide Squad” is currently sitting pretty at number one on the same Billboard Top Soundtracks chart, with many songs inspired by the film itself. Big name artists such as Skrillex and Rick Ross, twenty one pilots, Imagine Dragons, and Lil Wayne each made haunting and energetic tunes that compliment the tone of the films and its dark characters. Even Panic! At The Disco lent a hand with a fresh rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody”. In spite of the lukewarm success of “Suicide Squad,” the soundtrack is going strong among fans and critics alike. 

It just goes to show that music and film can go hand-in-hand. One feeds the other in a circle of inspiration. Lesser known artists can enjoy the massive exposure that a movie album can receive, and big name artists can try their hand at different genres or collaborations. If you’re curious about other movie soundtracks that  made a killing in the charts, check out this Buzzfeed news article.