A good movie soundtrack can ruin a film. Or lift it to new heights. As I wait to hear what kind of music will accompany the televised episodes of my books, here are my top ten favourite movie soundtracks.
1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Ennio Morricone is a god. I could just as easily have chosen Once Upon a Time in the West, The Mission or Two Mules for Sister Sarah. The haunting and unforgettable waoowaoowah of this film's main theme was inspired by a coyote.
2. American Beauty
It's a crime that Tom Newman did not win an Oscar for his amazing soundtrack to this film. Just try to imagine the film without it! I particularly love his use of guinea pigs, soda pop and other unusual instruments.
3. Green Card
Hans Zimmer can do the score of my TV series or film any time! I love the Enya-like vocals, the African drums and Mozart's haunting Clarinet Concerto in A major.
4. Dil Se...
Spike Lee chose the Bollywood hit Chaiyya Chaiyya for the opening credits of Inside Man. Inspired! The rest of the CD is just as good.
5. The Namesake
I sometimes think Indian music is closer to ancient Roman music than the usual stuff filmmakers trot out as 'Roman'. This is one of those soundtracks that lifts a great film to greater heights.
A year before Gladiator came out, I imagined Nubia's 'dog song' from The Thieves of Ostia as a haunting female voice like the one on this soundtrack. But my Roman girl's voice would have been more Ofra Haza and less Celtic.
'When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's amore!' Long live Dean Martin!
8. American Graffiti
An oldie but oh! What a goodie!
I love jazz and I love California. This is a fun soundtrack from a black comedy about wine tasting.
10. O Brother Where Art Thou?
I listen to this whenever I need a spiritual boost.