Ranker’s 5 Most Phenomenal Movie Soundtracks of All-Time

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump / Sunset Boulevard/GettyImages

Have you ever wondered what movies would look and feel like if they did not have a soundtrack? Try to watch a film on mute, and you'd know how bland it would be without the incredible background score adding the necessary flavor. 

The musical soundtracks enrich the experience of the audience a thousandfold; it sets the tone and the mood of a scene, a character, a relationship, and the overall timbre of the movie. Let's celebrate a few of these most amazing soundtracks, the top five according to Ranker.

Forrest Gump, 1994: The Exceptional Oscar-Nominated Score

One of Tom Hanks' best performances to date in Forrest Gump makes it a terrific movie. The film offers an immersive experience where less is said, but more is heard by the audience, and it achieves the effect because of its outstanding soundtrack helmed by Alan Silvestri. 

Every song elevates the scenes it plays on with utmost sincerity, and the viewers cannot but feel included in Gump's unique journey. For instance, his cross-country run as an autistic living through American history is accentuated by Willie Nelson's road-trip-themed song 'On the Road Again.' Who can forget the romantic scene of Gump dancing with his beloved Jenny while Lynyrd Skynard's 'Sweet Home Alabama' plays? 

Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014: An Orchestral Masterpiece

If you've heard Blue Suede's 'Hooked on a Feeling,' you know why Guardians of the Galaxy features at the top of this list. To no one's surprise, the album topped the music charts becoming the first soundtrack album in history with entirely pre-released songs. The orchestral soundtrack is the movie's emotional center, making it a raging success. 

All the songs except for Norman Greenbaum's 'Spirit in the Sky' were used in the trailer featured in the movie. We especially love how the film incorporated Marvin Gaye's iconic number 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' into the narrative as part of Star-Lord's mix tape.

Walk the Line, 2005: A Perfect Homage to Country Music Icon Johnny Cash

The 2005 movie Walk the Line is the biopic of the legendary singer Johnny Cash, and expectedly, all the songs in the movie are those sung by the Country music legend. All props to the talented actor Joaquin Phoenix for lending his voice to the iconic songs in the film's original soundtrack. 

Reese Witherspoon, who played June Carter in the movie, won an Academy Award for her outstanding performance and beautiful singing of the song 'Wildwood Flower.' The movie's soundtrack is a memorable homage to the music icon that includes another of his iconic numbers, 'Rings of Fire' written by his wife.

Footloose, 1984: A Soundtrack of Foot-Tapping Music

A movie that celebrated dance and music, Footloose matched its steps with a fantastic soundtrack that hit the Billboard charts at no. 1 and remained there for nearly three months. As wildly successful as the film was for all the right reasons, the titular song 'Footloose' by Kenny Loggins remains the most memorable of the album; the song even won an Oscar nomination. 

Kevin Bacon's performance as a rebellious teen is unforgettable, and so are the songs on the soundtrack. The album with nine tracks was initially released in 1984, and a reimagining of it by Doveman was released 25 years later in 2009.

Saturday Night Fever, 1977: Disco Dancing at its Best

Every list of memorable soundtracks must mention Saturday Night Fever. It is the movie that catapulted John Travolta to stardom while he introduced us to his iconic dance moves. Since the movie centered around his character's love for disco dancing, the soundtrack is also based on that genre. 

The BeeGees performed the film's most spectacular song 'Stayin' Alive,' and most other songs, including 'How Deep is Your Love.' It's a blessing for our senses that the soundtrack included The Trammps' 'Disco Inferno.'  


These soundtracks are so memorable that they are synonymous with these movies' phenomenal success. In fact, these five films remain fresh in people's minds thanks to their incredible music. After all, what’s a memory without the background score to go with it?