Growing up through the 90s we were treated to some pure gold in the way of movie soundtracks. Here are just a few standouts that make these films totally memorable.
Please let us know your favourite if it’s not here!
Batman Forever (1995)
Fun fact, only five of the songs on this soundtrack are actually IN the movie, but this collection is an absolute corker. Probably the standout hit from it belongs to U2, "Hold Me Thrill Me, Kiss Me". U2 won a Grammy for it, and it enjoyed number one success in seven countries including Australia, the US, and their homeland of Ireland. It's got the mega-hit "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal as well as killer tracks by PJ Harvey and Massive Attack. Michael Hutchence contributed an Iggy Pop Cover with "The Passenger", but for me, the absolute stand out track belongs to The Offspring and their cover of The Damned's "Smash It Up".
Empire Records (1995)
Firstly, what a cracking movie! An all-time favourite of mine for two reasons. The excellent cast and the killer soundtrack which (here in Australia) included "The Honeymoon Is Over" by The Cruel Sea. "A Girl Like You" by Edwin Collins was a solid addition, but the real gold comes by way of Lustre with the ‘this screams of the 90s’ tune "Nice Overalls". You’ll also be treated to a virtually unknown track from Cracker, and a true classic from the Cranberries, "Liar".
Read more: Classic Teen Movie Songs From The 80s
I’ll straight up announce it, this is THE BEST movies soundtrack from the 90s. Hands down. How can anything compete with the purity of grunge from that era? A fantastic film to boot, this soundtrack (for those living under a rock) features the who’s who. Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins, Mudhoney, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the Screaming Trees all make an appearance, seriously, if you don’t own this soundtrack, and you grew up through the late 80s early 90s, you need to take a good hard look at yourself.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
Ok, l the songs are from the 80s, but this was done in 1998, so it counts. I remember rushing out after the movie to buy this soundtrack because it was so kick-arse, and because it included Adam Sandler performing "Somebody Kill Me". Refreshing your memory, some of the belters on this soundtrack include "Pass The Dutchie" by Musical Youth (why was a kid so young singing about passing a joint?), "China Girl" by David Bowie, "Just Can’t Get Enough" by Depeche Mode and "Love My Way" by Psychedelic Furs. It is CHOCK O BLOCK with great 80s chart toppers, and is a must-have in any collection. It’s also a killer road trip CD.
Judgement Night (1993)
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine in the states and I were chatting in Facebook messenger. We both have a love of music and quite diverse tastes, but we both got a bit firm when we started talking about the Judgement Night soundtrack. Collaborations between hip-hop artists and rock/metal bands can be hit and miss, but this delivered the goods in spades. Living Colour and RUN DMC, Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill, Slayer and Ice T, Mudhoney and Sir Mix-A-Lot- FFS! It was a belter, and it’s one that I see pop up often on my Facebook timeline from friends getting nostalgic. My standout track though would have to be Helmet and House Of Pain on a track called "Just Another Victim".
Reality Bites (1994)
This has turned into a bit of a cult classic with Winona Ryder and Ethen Hawke being hot commodities at the time, and a stellar role from Janeane Garofalo, the soundtrack played beautifully along the Generation X vibe of the film. Quintessential 90s rocker Lenny Kravitz features, along with The Knack, Lisa Loeb, Dinosaur Jr, Violent Femmes, and Crowded House. Loads of highlights to choose from on this soundtrack, but for me, it’s all about Arrested Development's "Give A Man A Fish".
Wayne’s World (1992)
No 90’s Soundtrack collection is complete without this bad boy in the mix! Just a stellar line up from start to finish. Cinderella, Chili Peppers, Sabbath, Soundgarden, Eric Clapton, Alice Cooper - it’s just a RED HOT PARTY TIME, exactly like the movie. Let us not forget that even though Queen didn’t really need any help with gaining fans, or really need any help in promoting their most famous song, but by including "Bohemian Rhapsody" into such a memorable scene in the movie, it certainly introduced Queen to a younger audience, and that, my friends, can only be a good thing.
Here’s one that sometimes sneaks under the radar when it comes to soundtracks of the 90s, but it is killer and akin to the Judgement Night soundtrack in that it mixes hard rock and heavy metal artists with electronic artists. Crystal Method and Filter team up, Marilyn Manson and Sneaker Pimps, Korn and The Dust Brothers, Henry Rollins and Goldie, and even out very own Silverchair with Vitro. This is definitely a left of centre soundtrack, but if you watched the movie, the mashups were a highlight and added so much to the feel. One of the more ‘out there’ remixes was Metallica and DJ Spooky on "For Whom The Bell Tolls".
Read more: Take The Movie Soundtracks Quiz
For more classic 90s tunes, check out our I Like: The 90s playlist on Spotify:
Listen to I Like: 90s Rock on Apple Music: