With a significant rise in foreign language and anime films, the 2000s saw some significant changes to cinema and some of the best movie soundtracks we’ve ever heard.
Sci-fi and fantasy films were at an all time high with Harry Potter, The Lord Of The Rings, Pirates of The Carribbean and Star Wars in full swing along with comic book movies starting to gain significant popularity.
Thus we are honouring the 2000s by remembering the best movie soundtracks of the decade.
We have gathered the weirdest, wildest and greatest movie soundtracks of the 2000s to remind us that it wasn’t all bad.
10. A Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy – Johny Talbot
When composer Jonhy Talbot was tasked with providing music for a modern adaptation of Douglas Adams’ much-loved series of hilarious sci-fi novels, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, there was a million directions he could take.
The wild and whacky soundtrack is an interstellar journey through the wormhole and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
9. Lost In Translation – Various
Containing five songs from Kevin Shields, the Lost In Translation soundtrack was a sure thing. The shoegaze and alt-pop elements cemented Bill Murray as an indie god making even the lamest movie look cool.
The soundtrack also includes Jesus & The Mary Chain and is widely accredited for a rise in the popularity of shoegaze.
8. Gladiator – Hans Zimmer
Arguably Hans Zimmer‘s magnum opus, Gladiator won a Golden Globe for Best Original Score and still makes us cry to this day. The inclusion of females wailing for battle cries soon became a fantasy staple and is widely revered as one of the greatest film scores of all time.
7. There Will Be Blood – Jonny Greenwood
Radiohead mastermind Jonny Greenwood‘s Hollywood film score debut is a brilliantly desolate, orchestral triumph. Ever since channeling Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki for the arrangement on OK Computer’s Climbing Up The Walls, Greenwood was on the contemporary classical map.
Now Greenwood has his own classical record label called Octatonic and it all kicked off with There Will Be Blood. Greenwood’s string arrangements take centre stage, sounding vanguard and opulent in the world of Hollywood scores.
6. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon – Tan Dun
Tan Lee’s mystical martial arts gem wowed audiences all over the globe. The effortless fight choreography blended Kung Fu with Chines mythology all tied up neatly with an epic score from Tan Dun.
Dun is known for his breathtakingly original modern musical works such as Concert for Water Percussion and Orchestra, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon joined the ranks, winning Dun an Academy Award for the best movie soundtrack.
5. 8 Mile! – Various (Eminem)
Eminem won an Oscar for Lose Yourself and it’s easily one of the most famous rap songs of the early 2000s. Company that with one of the greatest rap films of all time and you have a deadly compilation on your hands.
With rap greats like Nas, 2Pac, Mobb Deep and 50 Cent making appearances it’s no wonder this masterclass in rap history sold 2.4 million copies.
4. The Royal Tenebaums – Various
One of Wes Anderson’s unquestionable masterpieces the magnificent 2001 soundtrack includes Nico, The Velvet Underground, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and The Ramones.
Every frame in The Royal Tenebaums yearns for a bygone ere and is drenched in a honey haze of nostalgia. Thus the quality and poignancy of Anderson’s choice is all the more significant and to this day nothing is more heart-wrenching than hearing Needle In The Hay by Elliott Smith.
3. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring – Howard Shore
Hands down one of the most memorable, moving and powerful symphonic scores of all time, Howard Shore created a masterpiece in The Lord Of The Rings. Tapping into the doe-eyed innocence and ancient archetypal struggles of Tolkein’s fantasy world, Shore matched in grandness the vision of Peter Jackson perfectly.
Originally shore wrote over 10 hours of music for Peter Jackson. The first and third films won Oscars with Shore taking his large symphony and choir on the road for an incredibly popular, six movement rendition.
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1 – Various (RZA)
From the chilling Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) by Nancy Sinatra to Quincy Jones and Bernard Hermann, the soundtrack to Kill Bill is a masterpiece. Produced and orchestrated by RZA from Wu Tang Clan, there is an encyclopaedic arrangement of music here.
Ancient slasher scores, rockabilly dreams, Wu-Tang allegiances, Japanese punk-pop and ’70s disco walked together hand in hand hitting #45 on the Billboard 200 album chart and #1 on the soundtracks chart.
1. Into The Wild – Eddie Vedder
Sean Penn handpicked Vedder for Into The Wild and couldn’t have chosen a better patron. Written by Eddie Vedder in a few days and recorded in a week, the resulting collection is one of the best movie soundtracks to date and a touching companion to the film.
Following the story of Christopher McCandless as he rebels from society to travel the Alaskan wilderness, Vedder tenderly touches on anti-populist themes with the poetic and emotional force of a master songwriter.
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