From Saturday Night Fever to Purple Rain to The Godfather, movie soundtracks used to be a major factor on the albums chart. Then, all of the sudden, they weren’t. This user-made Amazon list of the top 20 bestselling soundtracks of all time includes only two albums released this century, and those — O Brother, Where Art Thou? and 8 Mile — came out in 2000 and 2002 respectively. 8 Mile barely cracks the list, coming in at #20. Nor do we see anything from this millennium on Billboard’s list of the 10 best charting soundtracks, which also includes ’50s and ’60s hits like West Side Story, South Pacific, and Blue Hawaii. Even Rolling Stone’s list of the 25 greatest movie soundtracks — a list based on subjective notions of iconic stature rather than sales figures or chart rankings — doesn’t extend beyond 2003′s Lost In Translation.
For more than a decade, American pop culture went through a dearth of major hit soundtracks. There were a handful of high-charting titles, but the likes of 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ movie and the glorified greatest hits compilation Michael Jackson: This Is It simply didn’t leave an imprint on...
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