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Is Purple Rain the Greatest Movie Soundtrack Of All Time?

Purple_rainSometimes I just can’t help but think that the British are more discerning and avid film buffs than Americans. Well, at least to go by the state of film writing in the two countries.

Two recent lists are a good example. The editors of Vanity Fair have compiled a list of the fifty greatest movie soundtracks. The entire list will be printed in a new magazine, Movies Rock, which will be sent to subscribers to other magazines published by Vanity Fair owners Conde Nast. It will also be the subject of a CBS special to air in December. Reuters reports that the top film on the list is Purple Rain, followed by A Hard Day’s Night, The Harder They Come, Pulp Fiction, The Graduate, Superfly, Trainspotting, Saturday Night Fever, American Graffiti, and The Big Chill.

I don’t know what the list of the top ten best selling soundtrack albums is, but I suspect it’s pretty similar. It’s a pretty bland list. Too many of those albums are the equivalent of turning on an oldies format radio station. The much more interesting list is the British magazine Time Out’s list of the fifty greatest music films ever. Here’s why….

Obviously the criteria are somewhat different—the Brit list
concentrates on films about musicians, as opposed to collections of
tunes. But given the opportunity for overlap, the differences in the
list are surprising, even if you ignore the cheekiness of putting a
film that can’t legally be seen, Todd Haynes’ Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story at the top.

(Just to pique your interst, the rest of the Time Out Top Ten includes Don’t Look Back, Gimme Shelter, 24 Hour Party People, Mike Leigh’s Gilbert and Sullivan biopic Topsy-Turvy, Monterey Pop, Be Here to Love Me, Thirty Two Short Films about Glenn Gould, the Rolling Stones’s suppressed C**ksucker Blues, and Clint Eastwood’s Bird

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