20+ movie soundtrack essentials heard on the #XPN90sAtoZ - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

When Will Smith’s deeply funky “Men In Black” dropped during the #XPN90sAtoZ on Sunday night, Twitter user Marty Schneider had a great take: “Blockbusters need to have custom rap songs explaining their plots again.”

Super funny, but quite astute as well: in general, soundtracks should be a more of a thing again. Sure, there have been some great ones in recent years (Black Panther springs immediately to mind). But the 90s were truly a golden age, a time when movie studios and record labels alike were flush with money and able to properly fund a wide range of soundtracks, which acted as promotional vehicles for films while giving the audience an opportunity to discover a wide range of artists, many of whom were providing exclusive recordings.

Sure, the movies themselves weren’t always great. For every Clueless that has aged remarkably well in 2022, there’s a The Crow which is a couple hours of goth-camp excess that’s mostly worth watching for nostalgia and the late Brandon Lee’s final performance. But songs like “Miss Misery” and “J.A.R.” transcend the silver screen and carve a special place in our collective memories.

Below, check out a rundown of 20 soundtrack staples we’ve heard so far on the XPN 90s A to Z.

“Across the Universe” by Fiona Apple – Pleasantville soundtrack, 1998

“All The Young Dudes” by World Party – Clueless soundtrack, 1995

“Am I Wrong” by Love Spit Love – Angus soundtrack, 1995

“Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah – Dr. Dolittle soundtrack, 1998

“Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing” by Chris Isaak – Eyes Wide Shut soundtrack, 1998

“Changed The Locks” by Tom Petty – She’s The One soundtrack, 1996

“Circle Of Life” by Elton John – The Lion King soundtrack, 1994

“Climb That Hill” by Tom Petty – She’s The One soundtrack, 1996

“Dead Souls” by Nine Inch Nails – The Crow soundtrack, 1994

“Drown” by Smashing Pumpkins – Singles soundtrack, 1992

“Dyslexic Heart” by Paul Westerberg – Singles soundtrack, 1992

“Everybody Knows” by Concrete Blonde – Pump Up The Volume soundtrack, 1990

“Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” by Urge Overkill – Pulp Fiction soundtrack, 1994

“J.A.R.” by Green Day – Angus soundtrack, 1995

“Kick Out The Jams” by Bad Brains and Henry Rollins – Pump Up The Volume soundtrack, 1990

“Liar” by The Cranberries – Empire Records soundtrack, 1995

“Lovefool” by The Cardigans – Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, 1996

“Lyrics 2 The Rhythm” by Essence – New Jack City soundtrack, 1991

“Men In Black” by Will Smith – Men In Black soundtrack, 1997

“Miss Misery” by Elliott Smith – Good Will Hunting soundtrack, 1997

“Momentum” by Aimee Mann – Magnolia soundtrack, 1999

“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion – Titanic soundtrack, 1997

“Natural One” by Folk Implosion – Kids soundtrack, 1995

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