Soundtrack album

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A soundtrack album is any album that incorporates music directly recorded from the soundtrack of a particular feature film or television show.[1] The first such album to be commercially released was Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the soundtrack to the film of the same name, in 1938.[2] The first soundtrack album of a film's orchestral score was that for Alexander Korda's 1942 film Jungle Book, composed by Miklós Rózsa.[3] However, this album added the voice of Sabu, the film's star, narrating the story in character as Mowgli.[3]


In advertisements or store listings, soundtrack albums are sometimes confused with original cast albums. These are albums made with the original stage cast of a Broadway musical, and are recorded by the cast either in live performance or in a studio, not transferred from a movie soundtrack.

In some cases, recorded dialogue may be incorporated into the soundtrack album. This comes in two kinds: audio clips from the movie itself (used on the albums for Pulp Fiction and Apollo 13, for example) or radio dramas that involve the characters from the movie involved in other events (example: King of Pirates, from FLCL). The unusual first soundtrack album of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, issued in 1956 in conjunction with the film's first telecast, was virtually a condensed version of the film, with enough dialogue on the album for the listener to be able to easily follow the plot, as was the first soundtrack album of the 1968 Romeo and Juliet, and the soundtrack albums of The Taming of the Shrew (1967 version), Cromwell, and Little Big Man. In the case of Patton, the bulk of the album featured the film's musical score, while the opening and final tracks featured George C. Scott's opening and closing speeches from the movie. The highly unusual soundtrack album of the 1972 mystery film Sleuth was designed as a sort of teaser, with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine's voices heard for the first three minutes, after which the dialogue was abruptly cut off and the musical score of the film took over, forcing listeners to "see the film if they wished to know what the mystery was all about."[citation needed]

In a few rare instances, the complete soundtrack for a film — dialogue, music, sound effects, etc. — has been released. One notable example was a 3-LP set of the 1977 Rankin-Bass film The Hobbit. Because this particular film was produced for television, it lent itself well to the LP format: built-in commercial insert points were used to end each LP side, thus avoiding any additional editing. Another example was the above-mentioned Zeffirelli Romeo and Juliet - the movie proved so popular that two years after the film's original release, an album set of the complete soundtrack was released. Still another example was the Laurence Olivier Richard III, the soundtrack of which was released as a 3-LP album by RCA Victor in 1955.[4]

Extra tracks[edit]

Sometimes tracks not in the movie are included in the album, especially on a CD release of the soundtrack as opposed to an LP. Some of these may be "outtakes" (songs or instrumental music recorded for use in the movie but "cut" in the final edit as released), or they may have been used in trailers but not in the movie itself. Examples include the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut soundtrack.[5] Two other well-known examples are the soundtrack albums to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel[6] and The King and I[7] both of which include two or more songs not heard in the finished film.

Popularity in cultures[edit]

Soundtrack albums account for the bulk of the Indian music industry. Music from the Indian film industry, particularly the music of Bollywood, usually sell more than Indian pop records.


Best-selling soundtrack albums[edit]

Rank Year Album Artist(s) Sales Source(s)
1 1992 The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album Whitney Houston & Various 42,000,000 [8][9]
2 1977 Saturday Night Fever Bee Gees & Various 40,000,000 [10][11]
3 1987 Dirty Dancing Various 32,000,000 [12]
4 1997 Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture Various 30,000,000 [13]
5 1978 Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Various 28,000,000 [14]
6 1995 Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Jatin–Lalit 25,000,000 [15][16]
7 1990 Aashiqui Nadeem–Shravan 20,000,000 [17]
1984 Purple Rain Prince & The Revolution 20,000,000 [18]
1983 Flashdance: Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Various 20,000,000 [19]
10 1995 Bombay A. R. Rahman 15,000,000 [20]
1994 The Lion King Hans Zimmer & Various 15,000,000 [21]

Most streamed soundtracks[edit]

Rank Year Soundtrack Artist(s) Streams (billions) Source(s)
1 2015 Furious 7 ("See You Again") Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth 3 [22]
2 2016 Moana Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, Opetaia Foa'i, Auli'i Cravalho, Alessia Cara 2.5 [23]
Suicide Squad Skrillex, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Various 2.5 [24]
4 2015 Fifty Shades of Grey Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd 2.3 [25][26]
5 2016 Trolls ("Can't Stop the Feeling!") Justin Timberlake 1.6 [27][28]
6 2017 Fifty Shades Darker ("I Don't Wanna Live Forever") Zayn Malik, Taylor Swift 1.5 [27][29][30][31]
7 2017 Tiger Zinda Hai Vishal–Shekhar, Irshad Kamil, Atif Aslam, Vishal Dadlani, Neha Bhasin, Various 1.4 [32]
8 2017 Badrinath Ki Dulhania Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi, Akhil Sachdeva, Shabbir Ahmed, Various 1.3 [33]
9 2016 Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Pritam, Sohail Rana, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Fayyaz Hashmi, Various 1 [34][35]
2017 The Greatest Showman Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Various 1 [36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Music in films, tv, commercials & games". thinksyncmusic. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Disney category archives". D23. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book (1942)". TCM. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Soundtrack details - Richard III". Soundtrack Collector. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  6. ^ "Review by Jason Birchmeier". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  7. ^ "The King & I by Rodgers and Hammerstein". RnH. Retrieved 8 April 2014.
  8. ^ Ford, Rebecca (March 15, 2012). "Whitney Houston's 'The Bodyguard' to Re-Release in Theaters for One Night". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  9. ^ Prince, Rosa (April 11, 2012). "Princess Diana wanted to star in sequel to The Bodyguard, says Kevin Costner". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  10. ^ Byrne, Katie (May 20, 2012). "Bee Gees' Robin Gibb Dead At 62". MTV. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  11. ^ The Associated, Press (January 12, 2013). "Maurice Gibb, 53, of disco's Bee Gees: 'Saturday Night Fever' album defined era". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  12. ^ Lee, Chris (May 10, 2009). "'Dirty Dancing,' the mega-hit musical". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  13. ^ Ellwood, Gregory (November 16, 2009). "Leona Lewis follows in Celine Dion's 'Titanic' shadow for 'Avatar'". HitFix. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  14. ^ NZ Staff, MSN (January 22, 2012). "Grease stars making new music". MSN. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  15. ^ Chopra, Anupama (2002). Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge ("The Brave-Hearted Will Take the Bride"). British Film Institute, London. ISBN 978-0-85170-957-4. DDLJ has sold an estimated 25 million copies of its soundtrack.
  16. ^ Ganti, Tejaswini (2012). Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry. Duke University Press. p. 390. ISBN 9780822352136.
  17. ^ "India Today". India Today. Aroon Purie for Living Media India Limited. 19: 70. 1994.
  18. ^ Michaels, Sean (September 16, 2011). "Stevie Nicks: Prince asked me to write Purple Rain lyrics". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  19. ^ "Top 25 Movie Soundtracks". Time. February 21, 2011. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  20. ^ "The "Mozart of Madras" AR Rahman is Performing LIVE in Australia". SBS. 14 February 2017.
  21. ^ "'Lion King' Sequel Series Coming to Disney Junior". The Hollywood Reporter. 10 June 2014.
  22. ^ McIntyre, Hugh (6 August 2017). "Wiz Khalifa & Charlie Puth's 'See You Again' Has Now Hit Three Billion Views On YouTube". Forbes.
  23. ^ "Three Disney Music Group Soundtracks Ranked Top Selling Albums Of 2017". PR Newswire.
  24. ^ "'Suicide Squad' Songs Have Been Streamed Over 2.5 Billion Times". Heroic Hollywood. 2 April 2017.
  25. ^ Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do (Official Video) on YouTube
  26. ^ Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey) (From The "Fifty Shades Of Grey" Soundtrack) on YouTube
  27. ^ a b "Spotify Weekly Chart Totals - Global". Kworb. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  28. ^ CAN'T STOP THE FEELING! (From DreamWorks Animation's "Trolls") (Official Video) on YouTube
  29. ^ ZAYN, Taylor Swift - I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Zayn) on YouTube
  30. ^ ZAYN, Taylor Swift - I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Taylor Swift) on YouTube
  31. ^ ZAYN, Taylor Swift - I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (FiftyShadesVEVO) on YouTube
  32. ^ "Tiger Zinda Hai". YouTube. Yash Raj Films. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  33. ^ "Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya". YouTube. T-Series. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  34. ^ Karan Johar. "Karan Johar on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  35. ^ Mitter, Sohini (13 February 2017). "People just can't get enough of ADHM's music, sets record with a billion streams". Mashable.
  36. ^ Halperin, Shirley (9 March 2018). "Music From 'Black Panther,' 'Greatest Showman' Spurs Movie Soundtrack Renaissance". Variety.