This month, Cameron Crowe's 'We Bought a Zoo' hits theaters. Normally that would make for an anti-climactic No. 1 entry on a Best Soundtracks of 2011 list. After all, every single Crowe film -- yeah, even 'Elizabethtown' -- is set to an unbelievably rocking set of songs, which more or less double as a mixtape made from Crowe's personal music collection. (That's what you get from a director who used to write for Rolling Stone.) Alas, this year, Crowe's 'Zoo' is not No. 1 (it's actually No. 7). So who ended up nabbing the top spot? Find out below in Moviefone's Best Soundtracks of 2011.
[Note: This countdown does not take musical cues or how good the actual movie is into account, (which explains why 'Sucker Punch' is at No. 9). Also, while is not the list of Best Scores, there are a few semi-exceptions, like 'Dragon Tattoo' and 'Drive']
Gallery | Best Soundtracks of 2011
Honorable Mention: 'Gnomeo and Juliet'
Honestly, this album should have made the top 11. However, it's hard to consider the 'Gnomeo and Juliet' record a soundtrack when it essentially doubles as Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume 1. It would be too easy. So, let's just say this thing gets the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award for SoundtracksTrack Listing1. Hello Hello (Elton John)2. Crocodile Rock (Nelly Furtado)3. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting (Elton John)4. Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Elton John)5. Love Builds A Garden (Elton John)6. Your Song (Elton John)7. Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time) (Elton John)8. Tiny Dancer (Elton John)9. Bennie And The Jets (Elton John)10. Gnomeo And Juliet (James Newton Howard)11. Dandelions (James Newton Howard)12. Bennie And The Bunnies (James Newton Howard)13. Terrafirminator (James Newton Howard)14. The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room (The Mellomen)
Yes, an album with a Britney Spears song is on the list. No matter what your opinion is of Brit-Brit, it's hard to deny the sheer amount of talent on the 'Bridesmaids' soundtrack: Fiona Apple, Blondie, Wanda Jackson, Ryan Adams, Smokey Robinson, Kate Nash and -- of course -- Wilson Phillips all make appearances. This album is the perfect background music for watching a bunch of ladies hilariously (and sloppily) celebrate someone's wedding.
1. Hold On (Wilson Philips)
2. Rip Her to Shreds (Blondie)
3. Blister In The Sun (Nouvelle Vague)
4. Paper Bag (Fiona Apple)
5. Do Wah Doo (Kate Nash)
6. I've Just Begun (Having My Fun) (Britney Spears)
7. My Love Is Your Love (Smokey Robinson)
8. It's Raining (Inara George)
9. Violet (Hole)
10. Answering Bell (Ryan Adams)
11. Boogaloo Annie (Michael Andrews)
12. Shakin' All Over (Wanda Jackson)
10. 'The Dilemma'
This Ron Howard-directed film was only a modest box office success (seriously, Vince Vaughn? Another buddy comedy?), but that doesn't mean the soundtrack for 'The Dilemma' was a snoozer. Featuring a boatload of ass-kicking rock songs from bands both old (KISS, The Band) and new (The Black Keys, Wolfmother), 'The Dilemma' soundtrack was a lot more interesting that its movie.Track Listing1. Chelsea Dagger (The Fratellis)2. Detroit Rock City (KISS)3. Just Saying (The Hold Steady)4. She's Long Gone (The Black Keys)5. Cosmic Egg (Wolfmother)6. Bomb (Band of Skulls)7. Ready, Aim, Fire (Unknown)8. Neon Invasion (Neon Plastix)9. One Week of Danger (The Virgins)10. Don't Do It (The Band)11. Everything Trying (Damien Jurado)12. Sticks And Stones (Ray Charles)
9. 'Sucker Punch'
Probably the only top 10 list 'Sucker Punch' will be making this year (excluding 'Worst Films'), the soundtrack for the Zack Snyder-directed movie was, to put it mildly, bizarre -- in a good way, that is: Actress Emily Browning covering the Eurythmics' 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)' and the Pixies' 'Where Is My Mind,' Alison Mosshart singing the Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows,' a song by Bjork remixed by Bjork. Yes, it was odd, but, somehow, it worked.Track Listing1. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (Emily Browning)2. Army of Me (Bjork featuring Skunk Anansie)3. White Rabbit (Emiliana Torrini)4. I Want It All / We Will Rock You (Queen)5. Search and Destroy (Skunk Anansie)6. Tomorrow Never Knows (Alison Mosshart and Carla Azar)7. Where Is My Mind (Yoav and Emily Browning)8. Asleep (Emily Browning)9. Love Is the Drug (Carla Gugino and Oscar Isaac)
8. 'The Art of Getting By'
You probably have not heard of this movie. It received awful reviews and made nothing at the box office. But that doesn't matter for this list! The soundtrack for 'The Art of Getting By' had a collection of pleasant indie covers -- Mates of State doing Belle and Sebastian's 'Sleep the Clock Around,' and The Shins covering the Postal Service's 'We Will Become Silhouettes' -- and even threw in Leonard Cohen's 'Winter Lady,' just for the hell of it. It was a win-win all around (except for the movie -- that was actually the opposite of a win).Track Listing1. We Will Become Silhouettes (The Shins)2. We Drink on the Job (Earlimart)3. Sally's Theme (Alec Puro)4. Sleep Around the Clock (Mates of State)5. This Momentary (Delphic)6. Christmas Break (Alec Puro)7. Winter Lady (Leonard Cohen)8. The Skin of My Yellow Teeth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)9. Sally's Bedroom (Alec Puro)10. Spitting Fire (Boxer Rebellion)11. Here (Pavement)12. The Trail of the Century (French Kicks)
7. 'We Bought a Zoo'
Cameron Crowe decided to switch things up for his latest film, opting for one rock star with new songs instead of a variety of rock stars with old ones. Enlisting the help of Jonsi from the band Sigur Ros, the director ended up with 15 cohesive, haunting originals from the Icelandic frontman. For a Cameron Crowe movie, you'd expect nothing less than a stellar soundtrack, and that's exactly what viewers got.Track Listing*All songs written and performed by Jonsi1. Why Not?2. Ævin Endar3. Boy Lilikoi4. Sun5. Brambles6. Sinking Friendships7. We Bought A Zoo8. Hoppipolla9. Snærisendar10. Sink Ships11. Go Do Listen12. Whole Made Of Pieces13. Humming Listen14. First Day15. Gathering Stories
6. 'Like Crazy'
If the trailer for 'Like Crazy' didn't make you openly weep, this soundtrack will, which has plenty of lovelorn tracks from Paul Simon, M83, Stars and Asobi Seksu. Bonus points go to Dustin O'Harlloran, for his subtle compositions interspersed throughout the album.Track Listings1. Arrivals n2 (Dustin O’Halloran)2. Crazy Love, Vol. II (Paul Simon)3. We Float (Dustin O’Halloran)4. Departures n1 (Dustin O’Halloran)5. Century (The Mary Onettes)6. Fragile N.4 (Dustin O’Halloran)7. Impossible (Figurine)8. Surprise Hotel (Fool’s Gold)9. I Guess I’m Floating (M83)10. We Move Lightly (Dustin O’Halloran)11. Opus 37 (Dustin O’Halloran)12. Dead Hearts (Stars)13. Thursday (Asobi Seksu)14. Closing Scene (Radio Depot)
5. 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'
Most of this soundtrack would likely be considered a score, especially since the only official "song from the motion picture" on it is a cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Immigrant Song' by Karen O and Trent Reznor. However, it's hard to ignore Reznor's composition -- his second for Fincher, the first being 'The Social Network,' which he won an Oscar for -- whose dissonent tones and light piano strikes fit in perfectly with the movie's freezing Swedish countryside setting. As for 'Immigrant Song'? Reznor and Karen deserve a list of their own for (almost) reinventing a rock staple.Track Listing*All Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross except for 'Immigrant Song'1. Immigrant Song (Trent Reznor and Karen O)2. She Reminds Me Of You3. People Lie All The Time4. Pinned And Mounted5. Perihelion6. What If We Could?7. With The Flies8. Hidden In Snow9. A Thousand Details10. One Particular Moment11. I Can't Take It Anymore12. How Brittle The Bones13. Please Take Your Hand Away
4. 'The Muppets'
This year's 'Green Album' -- a record of Muppet cover songs by groups like Weezer and the All-American Rejects -- was terrific. But the official 'Muppets' soundtrack was what really stole the show. The album includes the insanely catchy opening tune, 'Life's a Happy Song,' as well as a rendition of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by the Muppets Barbershop Quartet. And don't forget everyone's favorite: 'Rainbow Connection,' a song that will make even the toughest person curl up into a ball and cry.Track Listing1. The Muppet Show Theme (The Muppets)2. "Muppet Studios, I Can't Believe It" (Walter)3. Life's A Happy Song (Jason Segel and Walter)4. "I Haven't Seen The Old Gang" (Jason Segel)5. Pictures In My Head (Gonzo)6. "We Drive" (Walter)7. Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard (Paul Simon)8. "That Spells Reno" (Amy Adams)9. Rainbow Connection (Moopets Version) (The Moopets)10. "Welcome Back" (Fozzie)11. We Built This City (Starship)12. "Party Of One" (Amy Adams)13. Me Party (Miss Piggy)14. "We Humbly Ask" (Kermit)15. Let's Talk About Me (Nathan Pacheco)16. "The Answer Is No" (Kermit)17. "Are You A Man Or A Muppet?" (Amy Adams)8. Man Or Muppet (Jason Segel)19. "Down At The Ole Barbershop" (Kermit)20. Smells Like Teen Spirit (The Muppets Barbershop Quartet)21. "Princesses Of Poultry" (Kermit)22. Forget You (Camilla and the Chickens)23. "It's Time For Our Song" (Miss Piggy)24. Rainbow Connection (The Muppets)25. "Get Out There And Help Those Guys" (Jason Segel)26. The Whistling Caruso (Andrew Bird)27. "How Charming, A Finale" (Uncle Deadly)28. Life's A Happy Song Finale (The Muppets)29. "Mary, Marry Me" (Amy Adams)30. Mah Na Mah Na (Mahna Mahna and The Two Snowths)
3. 'The Lincoln Lawyer'
Before it blew up on the 'Drive' soundtrack, the song 'Nightcall' by Kavinsky and Lovefoxxx was used in 'The Lincoln Lawyer,' starring Matthew McConaughey (the two films also shared a composer in Cliff Martinez; perhaps he suggested using 'Nightcall' to 'Drive' director Nicolas Winding Refn?). The eclectic soundtrack for this film also features a variety of soul, hip-hop, contemporary R&B and rock tracks, such as 'Ain't No Love In the Heart of the City' by Bobby 'Blue' Bland, 'Moment of Truth' by Gang Starr and '107 Degrees' by Citizen Cope.Track Listing1. Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City (Bobby 'Blue' Bland)2. Lincoln Lawyer (feat. Big Hollis) (Marcus "Seige" White)3. Music (feat. Marvin Gaye) (Erick Sermon)4. Don't Sweat The Technique (feat. Marvin Gaye) (Erik B. & Rakim)5. Nightcall (Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx)6. Bobblehead Girl (Danny Chaimson & The 11th Hour)7. Now (Ari Hest)8. 107 Degrees (Citizen Cope)9. The Wilderness (Colin Smith)10. Hot Lazy Porch Swing (Cinema Guitar Works)11. Suspect (Setty & The Miracle)12. I Remember (Deadmau5 & Kaskade)13. Moment Of Truth (Gang Starr)
2. 'Young Adult'
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's look at a middle-aged train wreck trying to date her now-married high school sweetheart featured the best soundtrack of alt-rock covers … well, ever. In addition to songs from Teenage Fanclub ('The Concept' factors heavily in 'Young Adult'), The Replacements, Lemonheads, Veruca Salt (remember them?) and 4 Non Blondes, composer Mateo Messinar recorded several loungey instrumental takes on classic '90s tracks such as Pearl Jam's 'Evenflow,' Beck's 'Where It's At' and Soundgarden's 'Black Hole Sun.'Track Listing1. When We Grow Up (Diana Ross)2. What’s Up (4 Non Blondes)3. Achin’ To Be (The Replacements)4. It’s A Shame About Ray (Lemonheads)5. Seether (Veruca Salt)6. The Concept (Teenage Fanclub)7. Pledge Your Allegiance (Suicidal Tendencies)8. Feel The Pain (Dinosaur Jr.)9. Low (Cracker)10. Why Buddy? (Rolfe Kent)11. Epic (Mateo Messina)12. Even Flow (Mateo Messina)13. Where It’s At (Mateo Messina)14. Big Me (Mateo Messina)15. Black Hole Sun (Mateo Messina)
There were complaints (and lawsuits) about the lack of action and explosive car chases in 'Drive,' but the one thing people seemed to agree on was the film's music. (And, hey, when's the last time you actually wanted to buy the soundtrack to a movie?) While 'A Real Hero' by College and the Chromatics' 'Tick of the Clock' were just a few of the highlights, it all came back to the song used during the film's opening scene: Kavinsky & Lovefoxx's 'Nightcall.' As the track blasted through the speakers, Ryan Gosling quietly drove around Los Angeles at night in his Chevelle. It was musical movie bliss, and the perfect example of how a good soundtrack can make or break your movie.Track Listing1. Nightcall (Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx)02. Under Your Spell (Desire)03. A Real Hero (College feat. Electric Youth)04. Oh My Love (Riz Ortolani feat. Katyna Ranieri)05. Tick of the Clock (Chromatics)06. Rubber Head07. I Drive08. He Had a Good Time09. They Broke His Pelvis10. Kick Your Teeth11. Where’s The Deluxe Version?12. See You in Four13. After The Chase14. Hammer15. Wrong Floor16. Skull Crushing17. My Name on a Car18. On The Beach19. Bride of Deluxe
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