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Lists: When really good soundtracks happen to really bad movies

M2X00100_9.jpgMastodon: The only awesome thing about "Jonah Hex." (2009 photo by Kyle Gutafson/FTWP)

By Allison Stewart

The news that Georgia metal warriors Mastodon will issue a soundtrack to the already much-maligned film "Jonah Hex" next week got Click Track thinking about other really bad movies with really good soundtracks.

We've ranked our favorite best/worsts as follows...

1."Purple Rain"

In which a melty-eyed, ascot-wearing Prince plays history's least convincing badass. The soundtrack sure was good, though. Why didn't we appreciate Morris Day more when he was in his prime?

2. "Xanadu"

Olivia Newton-John plays a mythical nymph who rollerskates, and who magically time-traveled to the San Fernando Valley in the '80s for some reason. It's the kind of movie where no one who was in it will ever work again. But the soundtrack, split between ON-J doing mostly big band numbers and a then -- credible ELO doing random awesome things, was kind of genius; electro-disco before its time.

(Sigur Rós, the Monkees and Ari Gold, after the jump. And leave your favorite awesome-soundtrack-to-a-horrible-movie in the comments.)

3. Anything Wes Anderson did after "Rushmore"

As Anderson's movies increasingly seem like self-conscious experiments in upper class emotional taxidermy, his soundtracks (already among the best in the business) have gotten even better. The winning formula: Lots of well-chosen rarities from tasteful legacy acts (Dylan, Bowie), judicious employment of Mark Mothersbaugh, and the most inspired uses of "Needle in the Hay" and "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" ever.

4. "Vanilla Sky"

The movie was bad. Horrifically, eye-bleedingly, please-God-make-it-stop bad. But the soundtrack was vintage Cameron Crowe-evocative, well-chosen, perfect: Sigur Rós,Radiohead, the Monkees. Even Paul McCartney singing a song with the movie's title in it (something that's usually not okay) couldn't dampen our enthusiasm.

5. "Judgment Night"

More forgettable than actually bad (it's worth watching if only to see a then-balding, pre-"Entourage" Jeremy Piven), this film's '93 soundtrack featured a then-groundbreaking series of rap-rock collaborations, including one between Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill (who also contribute a track with Sonic Youth) and Mudhoney/Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

(Dis-)Honorable Mentions: "Conan the Barbarian," "The Crow," "Bad Boys II," "High Fidelity," "Empire Records," "Juno"

By Allison Stewart  |  June 23, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Lists  | Tags: Bob Dylan, Cypress Hill, David Bowie, Electric Light Orchestra, Mark Mothersbaugh, Mastodon, Morris Day, Mudhoney, Olivia Newton-John, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Prince, Sigur Ros, Sonic Youth, the Monkees  
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Comments

Johnny Mnemonic: other than Dr. Garfield being crucified with scalpels by Dolph He-Man, the soundtrack was packed with techno and hard music, heavy hitters.

Posted by: sockpuppet68 | June 24, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

the Spawn soundtrack kicked butt, and how about She's The One, great t. Petty album... forgettable movie

Posted by: destewar | June 24, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

I vote 'Streets Of Fire'. Best for me, when watched as rock video clicks from the movie.

Posted by: V___- | June 27, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

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