The 10 Highest-Selling Movie Soundtracks of All Time That Transport Listeners Back to Theatres
Audiences didn't stop grooving to these songs even after leaving movie theatres
From unforgettable melodies that set the mood to chart-topping hits that defined eras, movie soundtracks have the power to transport us back to the magic of the silver screen. Today, we'll dive into the world of cinema and music as we explore the 10 best-selling movie soundtracks that not only mesmerised our senses but also left a mark on pop culture.
10. The Lion King (1994)
Copies sold: 15 million
Disney's best-selling movie soundtrack remains none other than "The Lion King." This animated masterpiece, drawing inspiration from both the Bible and Shakespeare, is an emotional and thrilling journey from start to finish. Its soundtrack composed by the legendary Hans Zimmer and featuring songs by Elton John and Tim Rice, included favorites like 'Hakuna Matata' and 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight.'
9. Bombay (1995)
Copies Sold: 15 million
The soundtrack of the Tamil Cinema classic "Bombay" ranks as the ninth best-selling soundtrack of all time. This romantic drama, set in the early 90s, revolves around an inter-religious family grappling with the growing tensions between the Hindu and Muslim communities in Bombay (now Mumbai). The Bombay soundtrack was helmed by the versatile talent AR Rahman, and lyrics were written by Vairamuthu and Vaali for Tamil, while the Hindi and Telugu versions, were penned by Mehboob and Veturi Sundararama Murthy respectively.
8. Flashdance (1983)
Copies Sold: 20 million
"Flashdance" is a memorable dance film, and its soundtrack is equally unforgettable. The film wasn't initially projected to achieve the level of success it eventually did, resulting in limited quantities of records being produced, and they were sold out within days. The soundtrack exudes the energetic spirit of 80s youth, particularly in tracks such as Michael Sembello's 'Maniac,' Shandi's 'He's A Dream,' and the standout hit, Irene Cara's 'Flashdance...What a Feeling.' If you're feeling nostalgic, you can relive your youth by watching the memorable final dance scene from the movie.
7. Purple Rain (1984)
Copies Sold: 20 million
The film "Purple Rain" by Prince shares the spotlight with its exceptional soundtrack, which also serves as his sixth studio album. The music not only complements but propels the storyline of this rock musical to such an extent that it earned the prestigious Academy Award for Best Original Score. In addition to the iconic power ballad 'Purple Rain,' the soundtrack boasts of remarkable hits in Prince's discography, including 'When Doves Cry,' 'Let's Go Crazy,' and 'I Would Die 4 U.'
6. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Copies Sold: 20 million
When accounting for official figures, the soundtrack of "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge," a Hindi-language romance film directed by Aditya Chopra, has sold an impressive 20 million copies. This number, while still notable, is smaller than the estimated 100 million units when accounting for unofficial pirated copies. The film's storyline follows the love story of two Indian Londoners during a trip across Europe, and the music on the soundtrack distinctly reflects Indian culture.
5. Grease (1978)
Copies Sold: 28 million
Are you a fan of ballads? Try listening to 'Hopelessly Devoted to You.' If you're in a playful mood, consider putting 'Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee' on repeat. And if you want to sing a duet with your significant other, just ask Alexa, Siri, or Google to play, 'You're the One That I Want.' What you may not be aware of is that many of the songs on the Grease album actually come from the original 1971 rock 'n' roll musical written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. This includes tracks like 'Greased Lightning,' 'We Go Together,' and our personal favorite, 'Beauty School Dropout.'
4. Titanic (1997)
Copies Sold: 30 million
James Cameron's 90s blockbuster "Titanic" was anything but a sinking ship; it's still a massive hit today. The film ranks third in the highest-grossing films of all time, raking in approximately $2.195 billion. Its soundtrack is equally impressive, holding the fourth spot among the best-selling soundtracks ever. While James Horner's orchestral compositions are exceptional, much credit for the soundtrack's 30 million sales goes to Celine Dion's award-winning 'My Heart Will Go On,' which not only won an Academy Award for Best Original Song but also claimed four Grammy Awards in 1999.
3. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Copies Sold: 32 million
The best-selling movie soundtrack in the UK, "Dirty Dancing," wasn't just a hit with the Brits; it captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. This iconic soundtrack is a treasure trove of hits, featuring gems like 'Be My Baby' by The Ronettes, 'Do You Love Me' by The Contours, and 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow' by The Shirelles. However, the standout track from the film was none other than Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes' '(I've Had) The Time of My Life.' This track is the undisputed theme song of the movie and continues to evoke the magic of "Dirty Dancing" to this day.
2. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
Copies Sold: 40 million
"Saturday Night Fever" is the ultimate 70s disco film, boasting the second best-selling film soundtrack ever. Fun fact: The album dominated the charts for a record-breaking 24 weeks straight in 1978. The movie follows a young Italian-American (John Travolta) and his passion for dance, with a soundtrack jam-packed with disco anthems, many courtesy of the British band, the Bee Gees. Think classics like 'Stayin' Alive,' 'Night Fever,' and 'More than a Woman.'
1. The Bodyguard (1992)
Copies Sold: 45 million
The title of the best-selling movie soundtrack of all time undeniably goes to "The Bodyguard." With the film grossing an impressive $411 million, the soundtrack has sold 45 million copies owing to the star power of the late Whitney Houston. Produced by Houston and Clive Davis, this soundtrack is a treasure trove of the singer's unforgettable hits, including 'I Have Nothing,' 'Run to You,' and, of course, her iconic rendition of Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You.'
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