1. 'Nowhere Fast' by Fire Inc. from STREETS OF FIRE
Streets of Fire is simply the best film that no one has actually seen. It's almost mythic, existing only as a whisper between film geeks (and a pretty shoddy DVD). In actuality, Walter Hill's 1984 "rock n roll fable" is a crazy actioner that's lost amongst time, but has a pretty devoted fanbase mostly developed from home video and TV. Partly responsible for the love-in this movie gets is its great soundtrack, notably the Wagnerian rock epic 'Nowhere Fast'. One of two tunes written by Meat Loaf supremo Jim Steinman and performed by impromptu band Fire Inc., it's a knockout start to the film and an awesome song from a film everyone should see.
2. 'Just A Kid' by Wilco from THE SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS MOVIE
Everyone was shocked when they saw the line-up for the soundtrack to the silver screen debut of Nickelodeon's cult, um, sponge. Expecting kid's songs, instead we got tracks from Ween, The Flaming Lips, one of The Dust Brothers, The Shins and Motorhead. The best of the bunch came from alt-country-rocker-types Wilco. 'Just A Kid' is a breezy and melodic tune with a fantastic chorus ("Everybody, everybody...") and cute backing from singer Jeff Tweedy's son's band.
3. 'Shura no Hana (The Flower of Carnage)' by Kaji Meiko from LADY SNOWBLOOD
Many of you may know this from the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol.1, but the track was actually composed for the 1973 Japanese film Lady Snowblood (Blizzard From The Netherworld), which coincidentally QT based some of his film on. Lady Snowblood is a ridiculously violent and bloody film which follows the title character's revenge spree. The song is actually sung by Lady Snowblood herself as played by Kaji, at the end of the film, and it's a beautiful moment captured with a stunning song. Quentin who?
4. 'Memo From Turner' by Mick Jagger from PERFORMANCE
Nicholas Roeq's 1968 movie Performance is an odd, odd film, but one of the memorable scenes of the flick is the moment when Mick Jagger (of the Rolling Stones) sings 'Memo From Turner' to a room of London gangsters. It's an aggressive and sleazy song, but also pokes fun at the gangsters, suggesting a lot of repression amongst them. The infamous Ry Cooder plays slide guitar on the track, which was also featured in Scorsese's masterpiece Goodfellas. Jagger also recorded the song with the rest of the Stones later on, but that version unfortunately isn't half as good.
5. 'Le Festin' by Camille from RATATOUILLE
Like just about everything else, Pixar seem to have great music down to a fine science, and the best of it is Camille's song 'Le Festin' from rat-cooking epic Ratatouille. Written by Michael Giacchino, it's a beautiful song (suitably sung in French) that perfectly encaptures the evocative images of France from the film. There are two versions of the song in the film, although the best version - which forms part of the finale - is only available on a very rare promo soundtrack given to cast and crew members from the film.
6. 'I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me' by Katie Irving from CARRIE
The second of a pair of songs written especially for the film by composer Pino Donaggio and lyricist Merritt Malloy, 'I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me' is at both times beautiful and achingly sad. A perfect theme for heroine Carrie White, it plays during her prom dance with Tommy and evokes her naievety while serving as a final moment of happiness before the shit hits the proverbial fan, or the blood hits the dress. Sung by Katie Irving, sister of Amy (who played Sue in the film), the song was paired with another ballad that played before it, 'Born To Have It All'.
7. 'Holiday Road' by Lindsey Buckingham from NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION
From grim horror to the Griswolds, Fleetwood Mac guitarist/singer Lindsay Buckingham's 'Holiday Road' is a snappy tune perfect for scoring the zany adventures of Chevy Chase and his mental family. Serving as the theme for the film, it immediately brings back feelings of 80s Americana and was subsequently used for European and Vegas Vacation. Like many soundtracks, this was only released on LP so is unavailable on CD and MP3.
8. 'The End Is The Beginning Of The End' by The Smashing Pumpins from BATMAN & ROBIN
Universally known as one of the few good things to come out of Joel Schumacher's 1997 lamefest Batman & Robin, 'The End Is The Beginning Of The End' was written by Smashing Pumpkins guru Billy Corgan as a tribute to the 1940s "darker" Batman. Not 100% sure about that, but it's a great song with a bit more of an aggressive sound and an interesting electronic element. If you can, track down the B-side 'The Beginning Is The End Of The Beginning', a stripped down version of the track that was featured in the trailer for Watchmen.
9. 'Stonehenge' by Spinal Tap from THIS IS SPINAL TAP
To be honest I could've picked just about anything from this movie, and was very close to including 'Sex Farm' or 'Big Bottom', but 'Stonehenge' from Rob Reiner's 1984 classic gets the vote. It's actually a pretty good song musically with a lovely middle section and an inspired fiddle break, but the lyrics ("tis a magic place where the moon doth rise with a dragon's face") make the song about fifteen levels funnier, not least the Iron Maiden-esque spoken-word sections (compare it with Maiden's thirteen-minute epic 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' which coincidentally came out the same year).
10. 'East Bound And Down' by Jerry Reed from SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT
And it's all capped off by this classic slice of redneck Americana from the 1977 Hal Needham film. Sung by Jerry Reed (who played truck driver Snowman in the film), 'East Bound and Down' (and variant 'West Bound and Down') is essentially a song acting as a narrative aid and it works gangbusters, immediately conjuring up images of Burt Reynolds screaming down the highway in a Trans Am. What, you really expected this list to suddenly become high-brow?
And to cap it off and show how much we love you all, you can find a Spotify playlist of all the tracks here.