Cheap ($24.99 and Under)
It should go without saying that the first entry to the music section of the guide is a new Halloween score composed by John Carpenter. The master teamed up with his kid, Cody, and Daniel Davies to bring some old school synth to his iconic horror character. Great score, kickass movie, no-brainer.
Since we're on a weird/awesome soundtrack run, we have to include Johann Johannsson's crazy Mandy score. This is the final score he completed before his untimely death. And it's good. So good it'll make you want to chainsaw fight while tripping balls, just like Mr. Cage.
$12.79 on CD
Michael Giacchino exploded onto the feature scoring scene with the very first Incredibles and he brought the same jazzy awesome dedication to the sequel. The Amazon CD purchase comes with the MP3 download so if you want to gift the physical CD to someone and keep the MP3s for yourself I won't tell no one.
I know it's not cool to like the new Jurassic Park movies, but love it or hate it you can't deny that Giacchino slayed the score for Fallen Kingdom. It's energetic, moody, thematic and super fun. Just great movie music, period.
I've got some problems with Solo, but the score ain't one of them. John Powell had a big job here, adding onto the Star Wars legacy established by the greatest film composer of all time, but he did it with a perfect ear to capture the swashbuckling adventure side of the character, adding new themes and knowing just when to dip into the established ones. The CD comes with a free MP3 album download.
Alan Silvestri's score for Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is also great. Much like John Powell's Solo score, Silvestri had some big John Williams-sized shoes to fill when Spielberg's regular collaborator wasn't available for this one. What's neat about Silvestri doing it is that so much of the movie nods to Back to the Future, which is Silvestri's most famous score, so it allowed the composer to play with his previous work and play he does. Good stuff here.
Black Panther changed the superhero game forever and this soundtrack is a must own for any Marvel fan. Kendrick Lamar's music is in as well as tracks from artists like The Weeknd, Schoolboy Q, SZA, James Blake and more, all inspired by the movie. The CD comes with the MP3 download.
Silvestri also provided the score for the biggest movie of the year, continuing his work with Marvel's The Avengers. The score is peppered with throw backs and references, really driving home that this is the culmination of the MCU up to this point. Some top shelf work once again from Alan Silvestri.
We take a quick detour out of the score soundtrack and move into OST territory. Tyler Bates' great score is included, of course, just not in full. This is mostly the needle drops from Deadpool 2. It's... an eclectic mix. You have A-Ha, Cher, Dolly Parton, DJ Shadow, Skrillex and Celine Dion, to list but a few of the artists represented here.
It's a pretty good bet that at least one of the songs on this soundtrack is going to win Bradley Cooper and/or Lady Gaga an Oscar. I'm putting my money on Shallow since that's the point in the movie where I went “Holy shit!” I had the same reaction to that moment in the movie that I did when I saw Les Miserables and Anne Hathaway belted out I Dreamed A Dream. “Well, she just won herself the Oscar.” Damn good stuff here and once again Amazon gives you the MP3 album for free if you buy the CD, which is currently priced CHEAPER than the MP3-only option.
Mostly just an excuse to have another Queen album, but who on God's green Earth has too much Queen music in their lives? No one, that's who. Lots of Queen's greatest hits, some of them live versions. MP3 download included with purchase of the CD.
Mission: Impossible Fallout is one of the highlights of Summer 2018, no question, and a big part of that is the score by Lorne Balfe. Pro-tip: this is some good writing music.
PRE-ORDER, December 7th. I'm going out on a limb here and guessing that the soundtrack to Mary Poppins Returns will be worth owning. Considering Marc Shaiman composed the music and Scott Wittman co-wrote the musical numbers with him I think I'll be okay. Also, it's Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda performing everything, so bonus. Very much looking forward to this one.
The latest in a long line of fantastic releases of remastered classic Disney soundtracks. Beauty and the Beast Legacy Collection is 2 discs packed full of some of the catchiest Disney movie music ever (and that's saying something!) Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour-bonjour-bonjour!
I know it's the wrong season, but it's never a bad time for It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Vince Guaraldi's classic score is guaranteed to get you in a Fall mood, even if there's three feet of snow outside! For the first time ever on CD, no less!
Far more holiday appropriate material here. Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas is a tradition at this point, thanks to Jim Henson's genius and Paul Williams' ridiculously catchy music. The CD is in high demand. There's a chance you'll get it in time for Christmas, but you also have the option of just getting the MP3 album if you want the music in your ear-holes right now.
Tenacious D is still at it. They provided their vocal and musical talents to this crudely animated piece of weirdness. If you're wondering if they still have it, here are some of the titles on this soundtrack: Daddy Ding Dong, Chainsaw Bazooka Machine Gun, Turd Whistle and Fuck Yo-Yo Ma. ::Nods Approvingly:: Another CD that comes with a free MP3 album download if you buy it (and it's cheaper that way, too!).
Bear McCreary's score for God of War is epic... kinda needs to be to match the game, right? Well, now you can carry it around with you. Warning, it will fill you with the urge to chop things with an ax and call every child you see “Boy!” That's just how it is. CD comes with the MP3 album.
Now this is cool. This LP gathers together a greatest hits of the arcade games of my childhood. Digdug, Splatterhouse, Pac-Man and, of course, Galaga are all represented in this straight up cool looking release, exclusive to ThinkGeek.
The Friday the 13th game was pretty brilliant at evoking the feeling of the classic slashers I grew up with. The kills were over the top and brutal, the summer camp setting was note perfect and the score by original film composer Harry Manfredini was the exact right tone-setter. La La Land Records has put out Mandfredini's score for the Friday the 13th video game in this nifty 2-CD set. As a bonus, if you order from them right now you'll get your copy signed by Manfredini at no extra charge!
If you think video game music is for babies... well, you're wrong, but it's okay. I get it, you want the actual movie scores. There's an option for you as well. La La Land also put out this twofer set where you get the scores for Friday the 13th Parts 4 and 5. That's a whole lotta ki-ki-ki ma-ma-mas for you.
It's the 20th anniversary of Saving Private Ryan, if you can believe that. To celebrate La La Land put out a limited edition release of John Williams' powerful score. This reissue comes with film-used tracks that haven't been on previous album releases and the whole kit and kaboodle has been approved by both John Williams and Steven Spielberg, so you have no excuse now. You have to buy it. Sorry, them's the rules.
Harper is Paul Newman in his prime. It's a great William Goldman Private Eye crime script set against the backdrop of the jazzy '60s. It might not be as famous as some of Newman's other early work, but it's certainly one of his best. Very cool movie, very cool soundtrack by Johnny Mandel.
While Baby might not be the best movie ever made, it does sport an actually good score by Jerry Goldsmith, one of the most overlooked and underappreciated genius composers of all time. Intrada has remastered the score and put out a limited release CD for your listening enjoyment.
Now this isn't the complete score for Fletch, but a reissue of the original LP soundtrack for the first time on CD. That means you get the Stephanie Mills theme song, Bit By Bit, songs by Dan Hartman, Kim Wilde and, yes, pieces of Harold Faltermeyer's instrumental score.
The Sandlot is 25 years old? Yer killin' me, Smalls! I'm so very, very old, but now I can commiserate my quickly approaching demise with David Newman's fun score. From the good folks at La La Land Records, this CD release is a limited edition of 1500 units.
Finally, at long last, comes the Ferris Bueller's Day Off soundtrack. This La La Land release comes with Ira Newborn's catchy instrumental score as well as key songs from the movie. Not everything (you're not getting The Beatles, of course), but you get Danke Schoen and Yello's Oh Yeah, which are the ones you need. Also included are alternate takes from the score and source cues. Oooooooooh yeaaaaaaahhhhh.
Mondo has been killing it with their vinyl soundtrack releases for years and they're about to add another notch to their already notched-up belt with this amazing-looking release of Danny Elfman's iconic 1989 score for Tim Burton's Batman. This is the Deluxe Edition, which is a 2-LP set pressed on yellow and black and green and purple 180 Gram vinyl. It is Mondo, so of course this is a limited edition of 2,000 units.
John Carpenter and Alan Howarth have so many iconic film scores behind them and their work on Big Trouble In Little China is one of my favorites. That's saying something considering how much great stuff they've put out. Mondo has the Big Trouble soundtrack out on on vinyl in this gorgeous 2-LP set with cover art from Phantom City Creative. Will you buy it? The only correct answer is “Yes, sir. The check is in the mail.”
How great is this? A collaboration between Mondo and Rusted Wave comes this re-issue of the Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure soundtrack. This is a needle drop compilation with tracks from Vital Signs, Tora Tora and Power Tool. The coolest thing about this release is how they've made it look like the actual Wyld Stallions release that saves the world. Maybe this is how it happens?!?
PRE-ORDER, December 2018. Mondo also has the original Mission: Impossible score out on vinyl this Christmas season. Danny Elfman kicked everything off with this bombastic, pulse-racing espionage action flick soundtrack. Double LP, 18 tracks and it probably won't blow up when you're finished listening to it. Probably.
What you have here is composer Joe LoDuca taking another crack at his Evil Dead score. They call it a reimagining, but rest assured you'll recognize the themes you fell in love with as one Ashley J. Williams had his night and pretty much the rest of his life ruined by asshole demons from hell. Double LP and a Necronomicon-themed booklet containing the liner notes!
Celebrating Halloween's 40thanniversary is this Death Waltz re-release of John Carpenter's Halloween score, taken directly from the original mono film reels. Cool art by Mike Saputo and one of the best scores of all time.
PRE-ORDER, January 2019. Not as well-regarded, but still a powerful Halloween score from John Carpenter, this time partnered with Alan Howarth. Halloween III: Season of the Witch has enjoyed a little resurgence in popularity in recent years and now we get this nifty soundtrack release that not only comes with the great score, but also some cool insert prints for each of the Silver Shamrock masks. No guarantee they won't turn into bugs while you play the LP, though.
The Ritual was a great streaming surprise... wait, streaming surprise sounds bad. Let me rephrase that. The Ritual was a great movie that debuted on Netflix that had fantastic performances, one hell of a creature design and a spooky score by Ben Lovett. Now you can get it on vinyl, thanks to Mondo!
Another pleasant surprise is the unapologetically B-grade sci-fi flick Upgrade. Low budget, smartly made and a huge amount of goofy fun. Oh, and with a great '80s throwback soundtrack from composer Jed Palmer. Another winning title from Mondo.
PRE-ORDER, Shipping Any Day Now. Yes, I love all the movie soundtracks that Mondo has been putting out. I also love that they keep dipping their toes into video game scores as well. There's a lot of great material coming out of that realm. Case in point: The Last of Us: Vol. 1. That game is incredibly cinematic to begin with and they're pulling out all the stops for this Double LP re-issue (the original release is long sold out). Vol. 2 is on the way early next year, by the way.
John Paesano's score for Spider-Man: The Game is souring, adventurous and just straight up fun to listen to. Mondo put this out with sweet Craig Drake art and two colored LPs (red and blue, naturally).
Mondo also has the soundtrack to Portal. This is a triumph. I'm making a note here: Huge Success. Seriously, though, this is cool as hell. The LP even has GLaDOS' watchful eye at the center. Great detail, awesome property, sweet score. This one's a winner.
Yep, that's a double LP pressing of the score for the last Doom game. That's 22 tracks of demons, chainsaws and ultraviolence in audio form. The above image links to the vinyl, but it's also available on CD (with a free MP3 download) for $25.60. For you hipster gamers that wants the pure experience, though, the vinyl runs you...
Now, I'm not exactly sure why the Super Mario Odyssey Soundtrack is so expensive. It is an import, so that's probably explains things. It's a CD, the reviews are strong and we already know the music is super great. Your call if shelling out for the import is worth it.
John Williams was on a hell of a run in the late '70s. From Jaws (I could argue Surgarland Express, but Jaws for sure) and Superman and Star Wars and, of course, Close Encounters of the Third Kind where the score is actually a plot point of the movie! Close Encounters turns 40 this year and La La Land didn't want to pass up the opportunity to re-release a special edition of one of the most iconic scores of all time. 2 discs, remastered under the watchful eyes of John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Williams' original intent with a soundtrack release was to get the music into a single 75 minute arrangement and that's what you get on Disc 1. Disc 2 has alternate takes and cues never before released. A must have for any Williams/Spielberg nut.
Keeping the Williams/Spielberg train rolling is this 2LP vinyl release of the ET score. It's not brand new, but if you didn't pick up your copy last year now's the time to fix that mistake. The final 15 minutes of ET is perhaps the most perfectly scored stretch of film of all time. This would definitely look nice under the Christmas Tree.
Superman 2 and 3 were composed by Ken Thorne who took John Williams' iconic themes and ran with them, especially in Superman 2. This 3-Disc set brings together dozens of cues from both films. Limited to 3000 units.
*batteries not included is a childhood favorite of mine and now you can get James Horner's score in this nifty 2-CD set from Intrada. Did you know Brad Bird co-wrote this script? Somehow that completely slipped by me, but now you know.
Man oh man, do I love Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings scores. Each one is so unique, bringing different styles and themes to the table, but what's great about Return of the King in particular is that by the very nature of wrapping up all the different stories you get pieces of all the great themes introduced in the previous two film returning. No kidding, this music still makes me tear up. The previous two films got these giant vinyl collections and now the limited edition complete score for Return of the King is for sale. 6 LPs, 12 sides of some of the best movie music ever recorded, in some really impressive packaging.
PRE-ORDER, December 14th, 2018. If you're a Rick & Morty fan you know how badass it would be to own a vinyl box set of music from the first three seasons. You get Ryan Elder's score, but also some of the crazier songs, like The Flu Hatin' Rap, Goodbye Moonmen, and, of course, Get Schwifty. Looks like it's four LPs with a bonus 7”.
This Japanese import is a must own for any Zelda fan. Get a load of this. It's 211 tracks from Breath of the Wild in some truly beautiful packaging. Five discs and some pretty booklets you probably can't read, but who cares? It's all about that music and you get a whole hell of a lot of that with this impressive collection.
The White Album is one of the best rock albums ever created. Ever. It was the Beatles at the height of their powers, just before the break up. If there was ever any album that could support a 50thanniversary 6 disc special edition release it's this one. You get each track you know and love, remastered and remixed for 5.1 surround stereo, as well (and this is the best part) 27 early acoustic demos and 50 session takes, almost all of which have never been heard before. That kind of peek into the creative process for this historic album makes this one of the best items in the Music section and maybe one of the best in the whole guide.