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Have you ever noticed that soundtrack songs sound better during the movie than when listening to soundtrack albums?


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I've found the opposite to be the case sometimes. I love the Man of Steel score but I don't think about the film when I listen to it (only seen it once and didn't care much for it). I listened to the Oblivion score for more than a year before I attempted to watch the film and gave up halfway through.

The score for Gattaca though is more powerful knowing the story behind it.

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I think you're on to something in the last paragraph. I think in most circumstances it's because the song is given a certain context in the movie based on characters, story, pace, and so on. Without one or a combination of those, the song might seem a bit less stimulating.

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My original intent was just to talk about Into the Wild, but I think I came up with three different scenarios and it has to do how the song is exposed to me.

Into the Wild falls into the category of songs written for a specific movie. As a soundtrack it is great and I don't skip it when it comes on the playlist. But when watching the actual movie it puts it all together. Maybe its because I got the album before I saw the movie, so to really enjoy it and then finally see it in the context Ed and Sean Penn meant for them to go made it all click. Setting Forth put a smile on my face, hearing the instramental/reprise of Hard Sun over the theater speakers at the end was powerful.

The next case is a movie can make a song better, but the song wasn't intended for the movie. The first time I heard Nico's cover of These Days or Elliott Smith's Needle in the Hay was when listening to the Royal Tennabaums soundtrack. So I enjoyed them and then when I saw the movie and saw them fit the scene I said "ah ha!" or what have you, that is great. I've gone onto enjoy the songs far more on their own then the movie (which I don't care for that much).

Then you have a case for songs that are simply featured in movies, but are better on their own. Dazed and Confused is a great example for me. Some of the songs I can't even remember if they are in the movie, but the Sound track and all songs on it are better off blasting on their own.

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I love the music that was played in The Crow movie with Brandon Lee.

I bought the soundtrack and was hoping the instrumental music would be on it too, but it wasn't. I thought that music was so beautiful and matched the whole feel of the movie.

I also love the songs they did play in the movie, but the soundtrack cd should have included the instrumental tracks too.

I remember buying the album for Star Wars and it had all the instrumental songs on it too. It was really good.

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