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A soundtrack album is any
album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium such as digital distribution. Albums of recorded sound were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78 rpm records co ...
that incorporates music directly recorded from the
soundtrack A soundtrack is recorded music accompanying and synchronised to the images of a motion picture, drama, book, television program, radio program, or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack ...
of a particular
feature film A feature film or feature-length film is a narrative film (motion picture or "movie") with a running time long enough to be considered the principal or sole presentation in a commercial entertainment program. The term ''feature film'' originall ...
or
television show A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set which can be broadcast via over-the-air, satellite, or cable, excluding breaking news, advertisements, or trailers that are typically placed be ...
. The first such album to be commercially released was
Walt Disney Walter Elias Disney (; December 5, 1901December 15, 1966) was an American animator, film producer and entrepreneur. A pioneer of the Modern animation in the United States, American animation industry, he introduced several developments in th ...
's '' Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs'', the soundtrack to the film of the same name, in 1938. The first soundtrack album of a film's orchestral score was that for
Alexander Korda Sir Alexander Korda (; born Sándor László Kellner; hu, Korda Sándor; 16 September 1893 – 23 January 1956)Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book'', composed by Miklós Rózsa.


Overview

When a feature film is released, or during and after a television series airs, an
album An album is a collection of audio recordings issued on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium such as digital distribution. Albums of recorded sound were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78 rpm records co ...
in the form of a soundtrack is frequently released alongside it. A soundtrack typically contains instrumentation or alternatively a
film score A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film. The score comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to e ...
. But it can also feature songs that were sung or performed by characters in a scene (or a cover version of a song in the media, rerecorded by a popular artist), songs that were used as intentional or unintentional
background music Background music (British English: piped music) is a mode of musical performance in which the music is not intended to be a primary focus of potential listeners, but its content, character, and volume level are deliberately chosen to affect behav ...
in important scenes, songs that were heard in the closing credits, or songs for no apparent reason related to the media other than for promotion, that were included in a soundtrack. Soundtracks are usually released on major record labels (just as if they were released by a musical artist), and the songs and the soundtrack itself can also be on music charts, and win musical awards. By convention, a ''soundtrack'' record can contain any kind of music including music "inspired by" but not actually appearing in the movie; the ''score'' contains only music by the original film's composers. Contemporaneously, a soundtrack can go against normality, (most typically used in popular culture franchises) and contains recently released or exclusive never before released original
pop music Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form during the mid-1950s in the United States and the United Kingdom. The terms ''popular music'' and ''pop music'' are often used interchangeably, although the former describ ...
selections, (some of which become high-charting records on their own, which due to being released on another franchises title, peaked because of that) and is simply used for promotional purposes for well known artists, or new or unknown artists. These soundtracks contain music not at all heard in the film/television series, and any artistic or lyrical connection is purely coincidental. However depending on the genre of the media the soundtrack of popular songs would have a set pattern; a lighthearted romance might feature
easy listening Easy listening (including mood music) is a popular music genre and radio format that was most popular during the 1950s to 1970s. It is related to middle-of-the-road (MOR) music and encompasses instrumental recordings of standards, hit songs, n ...
love songs, whilst a more dark thriller would compose of
hard rock Hard rock or heavy rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music typified by aggressive vocals and distorted electric guitars. Hard rock began in the mid-1960s with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. Some of the earliest har ...
or
urban music Urban contemporary music, also known as urban music, hip hop, urban pop, or just simply urban, is a music radio format. The term was coined by New York radio DJ Frankie Crocker in the early to mid-1970s as a synonym for Black music. Urban contem ...
. In 1908,
Camille Saint-Saëns Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (; 9 October 183516 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano Concerto ...
composed the first music specifically for use in a motion picture (L'assasinat du duc de Guise), and releasing recordings of songs used in films became prevalent in the 1930s. Henry Mancini, who won an
Emmy Award The Emmy Awards, or Emmys, are an extensive range of awards for artistic and technical merit for the American and international television industry. A number of annual Emmy Award ceremonies are held throughout the calendar year, each with the ...
and two
Grammy The Grammy Awards (stylized as GRAMMY), or simply known as the Grammys, are awards presented by the Recording Academy of the United States to recognize "outstanding" achievements in the music industry. They are regarded by many as the most pre ...
s for his soundtrack to '' Peter Gunn'', was the first composer to have a widespread hit with a song from a soundtrack. Before the 1970s, soundtracks (with a few exceptions), accompanied towards musicals, and was an album that featured vocal and instrumental, (and instrumental versions of vocal songs) musical selections performed by cast members. Or cover versions of songs sung by another artist. After the 1970s, soundtracks started to include more diversity, and music consumers would anticipate a motion picture or television soundtrack. Majority of top charting songs were those featured or released on a film or television soundtrack album. Nowadays, the term "soundtrack" sort of subsided. It now mostly commonly refers to instrumental background music used in that media. Popular songs featured in a film or television series are instead highlighted and referenced in the credits, not a part of a "soundtrack". In advertisements or store listings, soundtrack albums are sometimes confused with original cast albums. These are albums made with the original stage cast of a
musical Musical is the adjective of music. Musical may also refer to: * Musical theatre, a performance art that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance * Musical film Musical film is a film genre in which songs by the characters are interwov ...
, and are recorded by the cast either in live performance or in a studio, not transferred from a movie soundtrack. In some cases, recorded dialogue may be incorporated into the soundtrack album. This comes in two kinds: audio clips from the movie itself (used on the albums for '' Pulp Fiction'' and ''
Apollo 13 Apollo 13 (April 1117, 1970) was the seventh crewed mission in the Apollo space program and the third meant to land on the Moon. The craft was launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 11, 1970, but the lunar landing was aborted aft ...
'', for example) or
radio drama Radio drama (or audio drama, audio play, radio play, radio theatre, or audio theatre) is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine ...
s that involve the characters from the movie involved in other events (example: '' King of Pirates'', from ''
FLCL is an original video animation (OVA) anime series created and directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki, written by Yōji Enokido, and produced by the FLCL Production Committee, which consisted of Gainax, Production I.G, and King Records. '' ...
''). The unusual first soundtrack album of the 1939 film '' The Wizard of Oz'', issued in 1956 in conjunction with the film's first telecast, was virtually a condensed version of the film, with enough dialogue on the album for the listener to be able to easily follow the plot, as was the first soundtrack album of the 1968 ''
Romeo and Juliet ''Romeo and Juliet'' is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about the romance between two Italian youths from feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with ''Ham ...
'', and the soundtrack albums of ''
The Taming of the Shrew ''The Taming of the Shrew'' is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592. The play begins with a framing device, often referred to as the induction, in which a mischievous nobleman tricks a drunken ...
'' (1967 version), '' Cromwell'', and '' Little Big Man''. In the case of '' Patton'', the bulk of the album featured the film's musical score, while the opening and final tracks featured George C. Scott's opening and closing speeches from the movie. The highly unusual soundtrack album of the 1972 mystery film ''
Sleuth Sleuth may refer to: *Detective *Sleuth, collective noun In linguistics, a collective noun is a word referring to a collection of things taken as a whole. Most collective nouns in everyday speech are not specific to one kind of thing. For examp ...
'' was designed as a sort of teaser, with
Laurence Olivier Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier (; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, was one of a trio of male actors who dominated the British stage ...
and
Michael Caine Sir Michael Caine (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite; 14 March 1933) is an English actor. Known for his distinctive Cockney accent, he has appeared in more than 160 films in a career spanning seven decades, and is considered a British film ico ...
's voices heard for the first three minutes, after which the dialogue was abruptly cut off and the musical score of the film took over, forcing listeners to "see the film if they wished to know what the mystery was all about." In a few rare instances, the ''complete'' soundtrack for a film — dialogue, music, sound effects, etc. — has been released. One notable example was a 3-LP set of the 1977 Rankin-Bass film ''
The Hobbit ''The Hobbit, or There and Back Again'' is a children's fantasy novel by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published in 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the ''N ...
''. Because this particular film was produced for television, it lent itself well to the LP format: built-in
commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of voluntary exchange of products and ...
insert points were used to end each LP side, thus avoiding any additional editing. Another example was the above-mentioned Zeffirelli ''Romeo and Juliet'' – the movie proved so popular that two years after the film's original release, an album set of the complete soundtrack was released. Still another example was the Laurence Olivier '' Richard III'', the soundtrack of which was released as a 3-LP album by RCA Victor in 1955.


Extra tracks

Sometimes tracks not in the movie are included in the album, especially on a CD release of the soundtrack as opposed to an LP. Some of these may be "outtakes" (songs or instrumental music recorded for use in the movie but "cut" in the final edit as released), or they may have been used in
trailers Trailer may refer to: a Transportation * Trailer (vehicle), an unpowered vehicle pulled by a powered vehicle ** Bicycle trailer, a wheeled frame for hitching to a bicycle to tow cargo or passengers ** Full-trailer ** Semi-trailer ** Horse trai ...
but not in the movie itself. Examples include the '' South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut'' soundtrack. Two other well-known examples are the soundtrack albums to
Rodgers and Hammerstein Rodgers and Hammerstein was a theater-writing team of composer Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) and lyricist-dramatist Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960), who together created a series of innovative and influential American musicals. Their popula ...
's ''
Carousel A carousel or carrousel (mainly North American English), merry-go-round ( international), roundabout (British English), or hurdy-gurdy (an old term in Australian English, in SA) is a type of amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular p ...
'' and '' The King and I'' both of which include two or more songs not heard in the finished film.


Popularity in cultures

Soundtrack albums account for the bulk of the
Indian music industry The Indian Music Industry (IMI) is a trust that represents the recording industry distributors in India. It was founded on February 28, 1936, as Indian Phonographic Industry (IPI). It is the 2nd oldest music industry organization in the world th ...
. Music from the Indian film industry, particularly the music of Bollywood, usually sells more than Indian pop records.


Lists


Best-selling soundtrack albums


Best-streaming soundtrack albums


See also

*
Soundtrack A soundtrack is recorded music accompanying and synchronised to the images of a motion picture, drama, book, television program, radio program, or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack ...
* Cast recording – for musical theater *
Show tune A show tune is a song originally written as part of the score of a work of musical theatre or musical film, especially if the piece in question has become a standard, more or less detached in most people's minds from the original context. Th ...
*
Film score A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film. The score comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to e ...


References

{{Media series Album types