The Best Summer Movie Soundtracks Of The '90s

clueless-album.jpg
This movie is old enough to drive.
Summer is officially here, even though it's been ball-dripping sweaty since at least early May. This is also about the time that we are already steeped in big-budget Hollywood summer would-be blockbusters, the kind of movies that have fast-food promotions and shitty toys that break before Labor Day. You know, fun movies you don't need to think about until they come on one lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon. Like Matthew Broderick's Godzilla.

One of the best things about growing up in the '90s was the movie-soundtrack industry, which fed us all sorts of second-rate songs left off major albums, unlikely collaborations, and left-field covers. We bought most of the soundtracks of the movies we saw, even from the other seasons of the year, because no girls liked us, which meant extra cash.

These days, the summer movie soundtrack isn't what it used to be, at least in terms of audacity. Sure, the Transformers series does a good job of lobbing crap at ya, and the Spider-Man soundtracks weren't all awful (we guess), but it's not the same. Or maybe being a music-starved teenager in the '90s was better than we thought.

This video didn't need to be nearly seven minutes long...

We picked 25 songs from our favorite soundtracks from the best, and stupidest, summer movies of the '90s. We tried to use the best from May until late August, but we relented on September 1993's Judgment Night and its soundtrack featuring rappers teaming up with grunge and metal heroes of the period.

Helmet and House Of Pain? Ice-T with Slayer? Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill? Sure. Fuck the rules. Our apologies to devotees of the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and The Nutty Professor soundtracks, as they are not available on Rdio. And screw you, buddy, if you didn't like Last Action Hero.

A few of these songs were available but the full albums were not, so here are some notes:

Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Soul To Squeeze" (Coneheads, 1993)

Guns 'N Roses, "You Could Be Mine" (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991)

Madonna, "This Used To Be My Playground" (A League Of Their Own, 1992)

Cowboy Junkies, "Sweet Jane" (Natural Born Killers, 1994)

Tonic, "You Wanted More" (American Pie, 1999)

Smashing Pumpkins, "The End Is The Beginning Is The End" (Batman & Robin, 1997)

U2, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" (Batman Forever, 1995)

Coolio, "Gangsta's Paradise" (Dangerous Minds, 1995)

The Mavericks, "Blue Moon" (Apollo 13, 1995)

Foo Fighters, "Walking After You" The X-Files, 1998


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15 comments
csoakley
csoakley

Though it did come out in the summer I wouldn't consider 1990's 'Pump Up the Volume'  to be a blockbuster. The soundtrack, however, was epic.

Nathan
Nathan

I had a flashback to 'This Used to Be My Playground' yesterday.  I'm freaked out that I see it here today.  I think I'm a prophet.

Duder NME
Duder NME

Lovin' Last Action Hero.  Above the Rim, South Park, and Spawn have fantastic songtracks.

Chalres Xavier
Chalres Xavier

ok, so you picked all the popular ones, not necessarily the best- pretty average

SpeakerPatrick
SpeakerPatrick

This list is Eerily accurate in every way. It's as though you plucked moments of my life and put them into a list. 

ESP, yo
ESP, yo

I'm surprised there are no songs from The Cable Guy soundtrack.  Filter, Cypress Hill, Silverchair, The Toadies, Porno for Pyros, and that great song from Primitive Radio Gods...so good!

Robin's Maid Marion, Carolynn
Robin's Maid Marion, Carolynn

Excuse ME! No mention of the coolest song of all? Everything I Do, I Do It For You? Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, the coolest movie of that entire year? Who makes these stupid lists anyway? So...add that.

Jacketrequired
Jacketrequired

"This is used to be my playground" is the best song Madonna ever wrote. Glad to see it on the list.

KFM
KFM

No Kiss From a Rose? What about the Jurassic Park theme!? The Mortal Kombat theme!?

Dolan
Dolan

To be fair Dogs and Pulp screened at Cannes which I guess could be counted as part of movie summer, but I think the author was limited by what was available on the rdio player service.

Definitely a nostalgia overload for that Smashing Pumpkins song, I don't remember hearing it but that name sticks out like a soar thumb.  All these flashbacks of that huge soundtrack marketing blitz of that awful movie.  Then when I went to hear it, didn't realize that was the one the used for the Watchmen trailer.  Fit so well there. 

sappy404
sappy404

pissdoff, Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction came out in October of their respective years. I won't suggest you go back to school, but at least go back and read the article title.

pissdoff
pissdoff

"The Big Empty's" on there twice, but "Misirlou" from Pulp Fiction, "Coconut" or "Stuck in the Middle" from Reservoir Dogs didn't make the cut?  The list is invalidated, go back to school.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

PRG are on the list. The soundtrack is not on Rdio yet though.  

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

I liked the U2 song better, and the others, especially JP, seemed more like a composer showcase, and not a true pop music soundtrack, like the list aimed to spotlight. 

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