Natural Born Killers16. 'Natural Born Killers' (1994)

Highlights: 'Burn' by Nine Inch Nails, 'Born Bad' by Juliette Lewis, 'Waiting for the Miracle' by Leonard Cohen, 'Sweet Jane' by Cowboy Junkies

Why It's a Hit: Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor produced this soundtrack while on tour with his band. It's brilliantly edited -- perhaps capturing the frenetic energy of the story even better than Oliver Stone did on screen -- weaving together bits of dialogue and sound effects with whole or partial versions of each song from the movie.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

15. 'Easy Rider' (1969)

Highlights: 'Born to Be Wild' by Steppenwolf, 'Wasn't Born to Follow' by the Byrds, 'If 6 Was 9' by Jimi Hendrix

Why It's a Hit: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson declared themselves the voice of a new generation when they biked their way across a countryside on the verge of big change. The counterculture movement had found its signature movie -- and its theme song. Riding on the wave of 'Born to Be Wild''s massive popularity, the album climbed to no. 6 on the Billboard charts.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

14. 'Rushmore' (1998)

Highlights: 'Making Time' by the Creation, 'Ooh La La' by the Faces, 'Nothing in This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl' by the Kinks

Why It's a Hit: Wes Anderson always seems to do a good job of digging up mod classics that radio forgot, and this soundtrack is no exception. The standout may be the track by the Creation, the band first credited for playing a guitar with a violin bow (later popularized by Jimmy Page). Keep that in mind for when Alex Trebek calls.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

13. 'Coal Miner's Daughter' (1980)

Highlights: 'Coal Miner's Daughter' by Sissy Spacek, 'Crazy' by Beverly d'Angelo, 'Blue Moon of Kentucky' by Levon Helm

Why It's a Hit: The moving biopic of country star Loretta Lynn was made even more effective by the daring (at the time) choice of having the actors actually sing the songs, not lip-synch to recordings. Spacek won an Oscar for playing Lynn, while d'Angelo bravely took on the role of legendary Opry chanteuse Patsy Cline. In another life, maybe Spacek would've pursued singing -- her daughter Schuyler Fisk has.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

12. 'Dazed and Confused' (1993)

Highlights:
'School's Out' by Alice Cooper, 'Love Hurts' by Nazareth, 'Cherry Bomb' by the Runaways

Why It's a Hit: Director Richard Linklater's paean to teens embarking on their freedom from the daily grind (i.e., school) is a bicentennial blast from the past, and the songs he chose to accompany their adventures perfectly capture the highs of last day ('School's Out') to the lows -- the pangs of teen heartbreak ('Love Hurts').

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

11. 'This Is Spinal Tap' (1984)

Highlights: 'Hell Hole,' 'Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight,' 'Big Bottom' by Spinal Tap

Why It's a Hit: Spinal Tap hits the sweet spot in every number -- the songs are spot-on parodies of all sorts of rock, ranging from the hilariously over-the-top bombastic ('Rock 'n' Roll Creation') to '60s pop parlor music ('Cups and Cakes') to psychedelic rock ('[Listen to the] Flower People') to pompously mystical musings ('Stonehenge'). But we dare you to not rock out to this collection that goes all the way to 11.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

10. 'Singles' (1992)

Highlights: 'Breath' by Pearl Jam, 'Dyslexic Heart' by Paul Westerberg

Why It's a Hit: For a movie about 20-somethings living in Seattle in the early '90s, it only makes sense that the soundtrack is packed with highlights of Seattle's grunge output, including Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Chris Cornell and Mudhoney. With pop-ier tunes from Paul Westerberg (formerly of the Replacements) mixed in, the soundtrack went platinum.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

9. 'Trainspotting' (1996)

Highlights: 'Born Slippy' by Underworld, 'Lust for Life' by Iggy Pop

Why It's a Hit: Danny Boyle first flexed his great ear for movie music with this euphoric blend of post-punk electronica (topped by the anthemic 'Born Slippy') and the happy mediums in between. The movie may not have gotten a sequel (yet), but the soundtrack did.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD


PREVIOUS NEXT