As a kid who loved movies and music — not to mention conjuring suave cinematic fantasies of action, adventure and Christie Brinkley in a two-piece — Sean Daly grew up with as many movie soundtracks in his collection as regular records. With Prince's Purple Rain turning 25 this week, we asked him to put together a list of his top 5 favorite soundtracks — but because Sean never listens to us, he gave 10 instead. Here are his picks, along with his commentary on each.
•1The Graduate (1967) Dave Grusin's ripe cocktail swing puckishly frames the youthful freedoms of Simon and Garfunkel's ethereal pop. April Come She Will still gets me every time.
•2Superfly (1972) From the title track to Freddie's Dead, Curtis Mayfield's street serenade is sexy, cool and utterly terrifying.
•3 The Electric Horseman (1979) Willie Nelson owns Side 1 of this underrated gem, from his crackly take on the Allmans' Midnight Rider to the bittersweetly spare Hands on the Wheel.
•4 Grease (1978) If we're talking Travolta dance flicks, I'll take the bawdy '50s fun of Greased Lightning over Saturday Night Fever's '70s-sparkly Stayin' Alive.
•5 Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973) Bob Dylan's foray into soundtracking includes Knockin' on Heaven's Door plus a soft, jingle-janglin' saloon score.
•6 Slumdog Millionaire (2008) Composer A. R. Rahman's Bollywood-meets-techno score, plus devilish help from Sri Lankan hip-hopper M.I.A., helped make this beat-mad soundtrack a crossover smash. Jai Ho!
•7 Pulp Fiction (1994) You could go with any Quentin Tarantino soundtrack and you'd be in hip, happenin' shape. But me, I still dig the surfy, switchblade licks of Dick Dale's Misirlou kicking off the bloody party.
•8 National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) As well as having hits by the Ramones and the Pointer Sisters, this road-tripper is bookended by two great Lindsey Buckingham cuts: Holiday Road and Dancing Across the U.S.A.
•9 Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) For all the verbal zip of John Hughes movies, the director also had killer taste in music. This soundtrack stars '80s one-hitters Flesh for Lulu (I Go Crazy) and Lick the Tins (a cover of Can't Help Falling in Love).
•10 Toy Story (1995) There are myriad reasons why Pixar has a winning streak unmatched in modern cartoonage. One of those is the reliance on big-hearted satirist Randy Newman to provide the music. Here he matches adult cynicism (Strange Things) with chummy tyke sing-alongs (You've Got a Friend in Me).
Flick-and-popcorn music for the rest of us
If Sean Daly's taste in movie music — Lick the Tins? The Ramones?!? — aren't synching with your idea of a great soundtrack, you can always check out what other movie fans prefer.
Here are the top-selling movie soundtracks of all time. Oh, sure, Purple Rain is in there — happy anniversary, Prince! Now please make another good album soon! — but we think a couple of the other bestsellers will surprise you.
Top 5 bestselling movie soundtracks
The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston)
Saturday Night Fever (Bee Gees)
Purple Rain (Prince and the Revolution)
Forrest Gump (Various artists) .
Dirty Dancing (Various artists)
Source: Recording Industry Association of America; Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report.
Top 5 weekend movies
G-Force, $32.2 million
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, $30 million
The Ugly Truth, $27 million
Orphan, $12.8 million
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, $8.2 million
Top 5 prime-time TV shows
Major League Baseball All-Star Game (Fox)
America's Got Talent - Tuesday (NBC)
America's Got Talent - Wednesday (NBC)
Major League Baseball All-Star Pregame (Fox)
Source: Nielsen Media Research; week ending July 19
Top 5 search terms on Yahoo!
Taco Bell chihuahua
International Space Station
Top 5 Albums on iTunes
Here We Go Again, Demi Lovato
Battlefield, Jordin Sparks
Leave This Town, Daughtry
Ocean Eyes, Owl City
The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies), Black Eyed Peas