Take a dive into ‘Cruel intentions’ iconic soundtrack as it celebrates its 25th anniversary

It’s been a quarter-century since the pop culture phenomenon ‘Cruel Intentions’ unleashed its brand of perverse cruelty on screen

In 1999, “Cruel Intentions” took teen drama to a darker place. Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Kathryn Merteuil and Ryan Phillippe as Sebastian Valmont, this loose adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’s 1782 novel “Dangerous Liaisons” became a cult classic. It captivated audiences with its edgy take on coming-of-age themes.

But the film’s enduring legacy goes beyond its scheming protagonists – it’s the soundtrack that truly elevates the experience.

cruel intentions full soundtrack

A Match Made in Soundtrack Heaven

The “Cruel Intentions” soundtrack is a masterclass in capturing a specific moment in music history. Released in 1999, it perfectly encapsulates the angst and swagger of late-90s alternative rock.

Tracks like Placebo’s “Every You Every Me” and The Verve’s iconic “Bitter Sweet Symphony” set the tone for the film’s manipulative games, while Blur’s “Coffee & TV” and Skunk Anansie’s “Secretly” provide a dose of Britpop cool.

The soundtrack isn’t afraid to branch out either, with Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” adding an electronic edge, alongside Craig Armstrong’s “This Love,” (featuring Elizabeth Fraser) and Counting Crows staggering beautiful ‘Colorblind’ offering up hauntingly beautiful ballads.

Why They Work Together

The magic of “Cruel Intentions” lies in the way the soundtrack seamlessly blends with the film’s narrative. The manipulative games of Kathryn and Sebastian unfold against a backdrop of moody melodies and rebellious anthems.

cruel intentions full soundtrack

The music isn’t just background noise – it becomes a character itself, reflecting the inner turmoil and desires of the characters. For instance, the playful “Comin’ Up From Behind” by Marcy Playground underscores Sebastian’s initial seduction of Annette (Reese Witherspoon), while Aimee Mann’s melancholic “You Could Make a Killing” hints at the emotional consequences of their games.

A Lasting Legacy

“Cruel Intentions” might be a product of its time, but the themes of love, betrayal, and social status remain timeless. The soundtrack, too, transcends its era. The carefully curated mix of alternative rock, electronica, and pop continues to resonate with listeners today, a testament to its quality and the enduring appeal of the film itself.

So, the next time you revisit the manipulative world of “Cruel Intentions,” take a moment to appreciate the soundtrack’s brilliance. It’s a collection of songs that perfectly complements the film’s dark atmosphere and complex characters, solidifying “Cruel Intentions” as a cult classic with a killer soundtrack.

Cruel Intentions (Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

  1. Every You Every Me (Single Mix) – Placebo
  2. Praise You (Radio Edit) – Fatboy Slim
  3. Coffee & TV – Blur
  4. Bedroom Dancing (First Recording) – Day One
  5. Colorblind – Counting Crows
  6. Ordinary Life – Kristen Barry
  7. Comin’ Up From Behind (Soundtrack Version) – Marcy Playground
  8. Secretly (Explicit) – Skunk Anansie
  9. This Love – Craig Armstrong (featuring Elizabeth Fraser)
  10. You Could Make A Killing – Aimee Mann
  11. Addictive – Faithless
  12. Trip On Love – Abra Moore
  13. You Blew Me Off – Bare Jr.

Note: Although featured in the film, “Lovefool” by The Cardigans is not included on the official soundtrack.