A soundtrack album implies the totality of audio projects used during the screening of a movie or TV show. These albums can include songs that have already been released to the public, remixes of those, new adaptations, or even entirely original works also known as film scores. And today, we’re focusing on the top 7 best-selling soundtrack albums in human history. Presuming of course, that human civilization didn’t have music recorded on cave walls and that we’re just not smart enough to read their QR codes. 😀
7. Purple Rain (1984)
With over 20 million copies sold, the Rock musical drama film Purple Rain recounts the life of Kid, a victim of his own anger, who’s a musician from Minneapolis with a band named Revolution. The artist is actively escaping his drama-filled home life through songwriting and performing. However, he’s followed by conflict even in the aspiring music field with Morris, a competitor, trying to steal Kid’s shine and girlfriend.
Purple Rain became Prince’s first album to reach number one on the Billboard 200. The album spent 24 consecutive weeks atop on the Billboard 200 and was present on the chart for a total of 122 weeks. That’s roughly 2 years and 5 months. Insane!
6. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
Translated as the Big-Hearted Will Take The Bride, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is a 1995 Indian Hindi language musical romance film. The plot revolves around Raj and Simran, two young non-resident Indians, who fall in love during a European vacation. Raj tries to win over Simran’s family so the couple can marry, but Simran’s father has already promised his daughter’s hand to his friend’s son. The film was shot for a year in India, London, and Switzerland.
While America may not have seen the movie, this musical drama was all over the TV in Europe in the late ’90s, especially in the former Soviet countries. Respectively, the soundtrack became the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack of the year, with 12 million official units sold by HMV and an unofficial version of the soundtrack sold by Gulshan Kumar under his T-Series label. Combined sales of both the official HMV version and the unofficial T-Series version amounted to 20 million copies. The total number of estimated sales including pirated copies ranges from 25 million to over 100 million.
5. Grease (1978)
An era which many of us never lived through and never will. The movie is set in the ’50s hen male teenagers were gel-styling their hair, wore black leather jackets, while female teenagers put on grown woman makeup, fluffed up their hair, and looked like divorced Soviet ladies. And all of them smoked cigarettes. Mind-blowing! Grease is a musical movie that depicts exactly that: the life of high school students and their preoccupations with what mattered to them at those times.
Grease’s soundtrack album was, of course, custom curated and performed for the movie alone. It spawned the hit You’re The One I Want by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. It sold over 28,000,000 copies worldwide and was all the rage back in the day for whoever lived those days.
4. Titanic (1997)
Set in 1912, Titanic is the cinematic portrayal of the real-life tragedy involving the maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic. Simplistically put, Titanic the movie is about the romance between a first-class woman and a third-class man who have to face the possibility of dying as a result of an iceberg hitting the ship at nighttime and wrecking it in half.
The Titanic’s music album is officially the highest-selling primarily orchestral soundtrack ever and it sold over 30 million copies worldwide. The megahit associated with this masterpiece is Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On.
3. Dirty Dancing (1987)
Certified 11 times Platinum by the RIAA, Dirty Dancing’s soundtrack album sold over 32 million copies out of which at least 3.25 million were physical copies sold on Germany’s territory. The movie itself shows Baby, who ends up spending the summer in Catskills with her parents. Generally bored with her life, Baby’s fortune turns around when she is selected to be the partner of the resort’s dancing instructor. She falls in love with the man and a bunch of drama begins. Think Romeo and Juliet but upscale and dancing instead of dying.
The top famous hit song prompted to global recognition by the movie was Time Of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.
2. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The movie that made John Travolta become John Travolta. The film tells the story of Tony Manero who still lives with his parents and doesn’t have too many ambitions. While working as a paint store clerk in New York during the week, he dances the nights away during the weekend. He then starts falling in love with his dance to-be partner for a big upcoming dance contest.
It is estimated the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever sold over 40 million copies worldwide while in the US it was certified 16 times Platinum for at least 16 million shipped physical copies of the album. Undoubtedly, the top-known record on this album is Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees.
1. The Bodyguard (1992)
This romantic movie does not get remembered without its soundtrack and the one and only, Whitney Houston. The film recounts a retired US Secret Service agent turned bodyguard who is employed to protect a celebrity from an anonymous stalking fan. Truly revolutionary for its time, both in its script and song selection, The Bodyguard’s album reached incredible heights selling over a million copies a week for over a month in 1992. It sold a total of 45 million copies thus being officially considered the best-selling soundtrack album of all time topped with the title of best-selling album by a female artist in music history AND best selling album of the ’90s decade. The monster hit spawned by the movie is, of course, I Will Always Love You.
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