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 Rudyard Kipling's 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]



When a feature film is released, or during and after a television series airs, an album in the form of a soundtrack is frequently released alongside it.

A soundtrack typically contains instrumentation or alternatively a film score. But it can also feature songs that were sung or performed by characters in a scene (or a cover version of a song in the media, rerecorded by a popular artist), songs that were used as intentional or unintentional background music in important scenes, songs that were heard in the closing credits, or songs for no apparent reason related to the media other than for promotion, that were included in a soundtrack.

Soundtracks are usually released on major record labels (just as if they were released by a musical artist), and the songs and the soundtrack itself can also be on music charts, and win musical awards.

By convention, a soundtrack record can contain all kinds of music including music "inspired by" but not actually appearing in the movie; the score contains only music by the original film's composers. [4]

Contemporaneously, a soundtrack can go against normality, (most typically used in popular culture franchises) and contains recently released or exclusive never before released original pop music selections, (some of which become high charting records on their own, which due to being released on another franchises title, peaked because of that) and is simply used for promotional purposes for well known artists, or new or unknown artists. These soundtracks contain music not at all heard in the film/television series, and any artistic or lyrical connection is purely coincidental.

However depending on the genre of the media the soundtrack of popular songs would have a set pattern; a lighthearted romance might feature easy listening love songs, whilst a more dark thriller would compose of hard rock or urban music.

In 1908, Camille Saint-Saëns composed the first music specifically for use in a motion picture (L'assasinat du duc de Guise), and releasing recordings of songs used in films became prevalent in the 1930s. Henry Mancini, who won an Emmy Award and two Grammys for his soundtrack to Peter Gunn , was the first composer to have a widespread hit with a song from a soundtrack.

Before the 1970s, soundtracks (with a few exceptions), accompanied towards musicals, and was an album that featured vocal and instrumental, (and instrumental versions of vocal songs) musical selections performed by cast members. Or cover versions of songs sung by another artist.

After the 1970s, soundtracks started to include more diversity, and music consumers would anticipate a motion picture or television soundtrack. Majority of top charting songs were those featured or released on a film or television soundtrack album.

Nowadays, the term "soundtrack" sort of subsided. It now mostly commonly refers to instrumental background music used in that media. Popular songs featured in a film or television series are instead highlighted and referenced in the credits, not a part of a "soundtrack".

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 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. [5]

Extra tracks

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. [6] Two other well-known examples are the soundtrack albums to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel [7] and The King and I [8] both of which include two or more songs not heard in the finished film.

Popularity in cultures

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

11992 The Bodyguard Whitney Houston & Various45,000,000 [9]
21977 Saturday Night Fever Bee Gees & Various40,000,000 [10] [11]
31987 Dirty Dancing Various32,000,000 [12]
41997 Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture James Horner & Various30,000,000 [13]
51978 Grease: The Original Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Various28,000,000 [14]
61995 Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Jatin–Lalit 25,000,000 [15] [16]
71990 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 Various20,000,000 [19]
101995 Bombay A. R. Rahman 15,000,000 [20]
1994 The Lion King Hans Zimmer & Various15,000,000 [21]

Album streams

YearSoundtrackArtist(s)Streams (billions)Sources
2015 Furious 7 ("See You Again") Wiz Khalifa, Charlie Puth 4 [22]
2017 The Greatest Showman Hugh Jackman, Keala Settle, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Various4 [23]
2013 Frozen ("Let It Go") Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell 3.1 [24] [25]
2016 Moana Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina, Opetaia Foa'i, Auli'i Cravalho, Alessia Cara 2.5 [26]
Suicide Squad Skrillex, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Various2.5 [27]
2015 Fifty Shades of Grey Ellie Goulding, The Weeknd 2.4 [28] [29]
2018 A Star Is Born Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper 2 [30]
2016 Trolls ("Can't Stop the Feeling!") Justin Timberlake 1.7 [31] [32]
2017 Tiger Zinda Hai Vishal–Shekhar, Irshad Kamil, Atif Aslam, Vishal Dadlani, Neha Bhasin, Various1.6 [33]
2018 Bohemian Rhapsody ("Bohemian Rhapsody") Queen 1.6 [34]

See also

Related Research Articles

A soundtrack, can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program, or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film, video, or television presentation; or the physical area of a film that contains the synchronized recorded sound.

<i>A Goofy Movie</i> 1995 animated film directed by Kevin Lima

A Goofy Movie is a 1995 American animated musical comedy film produced by Disney MovieToons and Walt Disney Television Animation and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. The animated directorial debut of Kevin Lima, the film is based on The Disney Afternoon television series Goof Troop created by Robert Taylor and Michael Peraza Jr., and serves as a standalone follow-up to the show. It features the voices of Jason Marsden, Bill Farmer, Jim Cummings, Kellie Martin, Pauly Shore, Jenna von Oÿ, and Wallace Shawn. The film was also dedicated to Pat Buttram, who died during the film's production. Taking place a few years after the events of Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie follows Goofy and his son, Max, who is now in high school, and revolves around the father-son relationship between the two as Goofy takes Max on a fishing trip out of fear that Max is drifting away from him, unintentionally interfering with Max's social life, particularly his relationship with Roxanne, his high school crush.

MGM Records American record label

MGM Records was a record label founded by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio in 1946 for the purpose of releasing soundtrack recordings of their musical films. It transitioned into a pop music label which continued into the 1970s. The company also released soundtrack albums of the music for some of their non-musical films as well, and on rare occasions, cast albums of off-Broadway musicals such as The Fantasticks and the 1954 revival of The Threepenny Opera. In one instance, it released the highly successful soundtrack album of a film made by another studio, Columbia Pictures's Born Free (1966).

Lisa Gerrard Australian musician, singer and composer

Lisa Gerrard is an Australian musician, singer and composer who rose to prominence as part of the music group Dead Can Dance with music partner Brendan Perry. In addition to singing, she is an instrumentalist for much of her work, most prolifically using the yangqin.

A cast recording is a recording of a stage musical that is intended to document the songs as they were performed in the show and experienced by the audience. An original cast recording or OCR, as the name implies, features the voices of the show's original cast. A cast recording featuring the first cast to perform a musical in a particular venue is known, for example, as an "original Broadway cast recording" (OBCR) or an "original London cast recording".

Disney Music Group (DMG) is the music recording arm of The Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company. It is located at the studio's headquarters in Burbank, California. The division's subsidiaries consist of two owned record labels—Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records—along with Disney Music Publishing, the publishing entity that administers the company's music, as well as Disney Concerts.

Sabrina Bryan American singer, actress, author, songwriter, fashion designer, choreographer, dancer, and television personality

Reba Sabrina Hinojosa, better known by her stage name Sabrina Bryan, is an American singer, actress, author, songwriter, fashion designer, choreographer, dancer, and television personality best known as a member of the girl group The Cheetah Girls, and for starring in the Disney Channel Original Movie of the same name and its sequels, The Cheetah Girls 2 and The Cheetah Girls: One World. Before she appeared on television, Bryan was a dancer, and trained at Hart Academy of Dance, located in La Habra, California.

Corbin Bleu American actor

Corbin Bleu Reivers, known professionally as Corbin Bleu, is an American actor, model, dancer, film producer and singer-songwriter. He performed in the High School Musical film series (2006–2008). Songs from the films also charted worldwide, with the song "I Don't Dance" peaking inside the Top 70 of the Billboard Hot 100. During this time, he also starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie Jump In! (2007). His first lead role was in the film Catch That Kid (2004). He has since appeared in the Discovery Kids drama series Flight 29 Down (2005–2007), as well as the film To Write Love on Her Arms (2015). He competed in the 17th season of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with professional dancer Karina Smirnoff.

Lucas Grabeel American actor and musician

Lucas Stephen Grabeel is an American actor, producer, and singer-songwriter. He is best known for his role as Ryan Evans in the High School Musical film series (2006–2008). Grabeel has also appeared in films such as Halloweentown High (2004) and its 2006 sequel, Alice Upside Down (2007), The Adventures of Food Boy, and Milk. He appeared as a young Lex Luthor and Conner Kent in the television series Smallville (2006–2011).

Drew Seeley Canadian actor, singer-songwriter, and dancer

Andrew Michael Edgar Seeley is a Canadian–American actor, singer and dancer. He has recorded many songs for the Walt Disney Company. He danced as a child in Ontario until he was about preteen age and then moved to Florida. Seeley is married to actress/comedian Amy Paffrath. The couple has one child, who was born in 2019.

"Go the Distance" is a song from Disney's 1997 animated feature film, Hercules. It was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist David Zippel, and originally recorded by American actor Roger Bart in his film role as the singing voice of Hercules. American singer-songwriter Michael Bolton recorded a pop version of the song for the film's end credits. In the Spanish version, the song is performed by Hercules voice actor Ricky Martin, both in the movie and in the credits; this version is included on Martin's album Vuelve. Both the song and its reprise featured in a stage production of Hercules, performed upon the Disney Wonder during 2007/2008.

"I Wan'na Be like You" is a song from Walt Disney's 1967 film The Jungle Book. The song was written by songwriters Robert and Richard Sherman, and was performed by singer and musician Louis Prima as King Louie, with Phil Harris as Baloo the bear.

Musical selections in <i>The Wizard of Oz</i> Wikimedia list article

The songs from the 1939 musical fantasy film The Wizard of Oz have taken their place among the most famous and instantly recognizable American songs of all time, and the film's principal song, "Over the Rainbow", is perhaps the most famous song ever written for a film. Music and lyrics were by Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, who won an Academy Award for Best Song for "Over the Rainbow."

China Anne McClain American actress and singer

China Anne McClain is an American actress and singer. McClain's career began in 2005 when she was seven years old, portraying Alexis in the film The Gospel (2005) and then China James in Daddy's Little Girls (2007) along with Idris Elba and her two sisters. McClain became nationally known for starring in Tyler Perry's House of Payne (2007–present) as Jazmine Payne, and became internationally known and is best known for starring as Chyna Parks in the Disney Channel television series A.N.T. Farm (2011–2014), and for starring as Uma in Descendants 2 (2017) and Descendants 3 (2019).

Ross Lynch American singer, songwriter, and actor

Ross Shor Lynch is an American singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He was the lead vocalist of the pop rock band R5 and is one half of the band the Driver Era, with his brother, Rocky Lynch. As an actor, he is known for his debut role as Austin Moon on the Disney Channel original series Austin & Ally, and for his role as Brady in the Teen Beach Movie series.

McClain (band) American pop girl group

McClain is an American girl group that was formed in 2005 under the name the 3mcclaingirls. The group consists of sisters China Anne McClain, Sierra McClain, and Lauryn McClain. They signed with Hollywood Records in 2011 under the McClain Sisters and released their first song "Rise" for the Disneynature film Chimpanzee (2012). In March 2012, the group was the opening act for Big Time Rush on their Better with U Tour in Houston. Later that year, they released their debut single "Go" in 2012.

<i>Mary Poppins</i> (soundtrack) 1964 soundtrack album by Various artists

Mary Poppins: Original Cast Soundtrack is the soundtrack album of the 1964 film Mary Poppins, with music and lyrics written by songwriters Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, and adapted and conducted by Irwin Kostal.

<i>Muppets Most Wanted</i> (soundtrack) 2014 soundtrack album

Muppets Most Wanted: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is a soundtrack album released by Walt Disney Records on March 18, 2014 for the musical comedy film Muppets Most Wanted. The soundtrack features six original songs, two re-recordings of popular Muppet songs, three cover versions of existing songs, an orchestral suite by Christophe Beck, five demos by Bret McKenzie, and eight dialogue tracks.

<i>Mary Poppins Returns</i> (soundtrack) 2018 soundtrack album by Various artists

Mary Poppins Returns: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack album for the film of the same name. The music and score for the film was composed by Marc Shaiman, with song lyrics written by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. The soundtrack album was released by Walt Disney Records on December 7, 2018.

<i>Frozen II</i> (soundtrack) 2019 soundtrack album by Various artists

Frozen II is the soundtrack album to the Disney animated film of the same name. The soundtrack was released on November 15, 2019, while the film was released on November 22. It features seven new songs again composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez along with the return of "Reindeer(s) Are Better Than People" from the original film, in addition to end credits covers of three of the film's new songs by Panic! at the Disco, Kacey Musgraves and Weezer, respectively. The deluxe edition features a second disc of score tracks by composer Christophe Beck as well as cut songs and instrumentals to the seven songs in the film. The soundtrack reached number one on the US Billboard 200 in December 2019. It was the first soundtrack of an animated film to hit number one since the soundtrack to Frozen. The single "Into the Unknown" was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Song, losing all of them to (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again from Rocketman.


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