Top 17 outstanding soundtracks from 1980s movies revealed

How many of these 17 top movie soundtracks from the 1980s can you guess?

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Music is always a key part of a great movie. Whether it’s creating emotion, suspense, enhancing a romantic moment or other drama the right music can make a huge difference. Sometimes that means a specially written score for the film. In other cases, it’s selecting the right mix of songs to drop the needle on and play a section from. 

The 1980s sure had a more than fair share of top movies and brilliant soundtracks for those. When it comes to ranking movies there are several ways you can go about it. Box office takings, critical reviews, and awards won all come into play. For the soundtracks, it's not that different and of course, music has its own sections in the Grammy and Academy Awards categories.

This listing is based on album sales. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) ranks those and awards Gold, Platinum and Diamond status to the top sellers in the US. This leads nicely to explaining why there are 17 soundtracks listed. They are all multiple platinum sellers.

Top selling movie soundtracks of the 1980s might surprise you

Below these 17 there are more great soundtracks. But they only had sales at gold or single platinum level. That would include the soundtracks for these million selling albums amongst others.

  • Heavy Metal - a 1981 animated Sci-fi film which features tracks from Devo, Stevie Nicks and Donald Fagen plus a few more that wear the metal badge better. 
  • Amadeus - Neville Marriner conducted and supervised the many Mozart pieces in this biography of the composer's later life. 
  • Somewhere In Time - a1980 romcom with just one of many scores written by John Barry in addition to his James Bond themes.