In this week’s Entertainment Weekly, Raymond Fiore notes that the poor sales of soundtrack CDs for The Dukes of Hazzard and Stealth show how far we’ve come from the soundtrack album’s glory days; the last such CD that was truly popular in its own right was 2000’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? In fact, he’s complied a chart of the top-selling soundtracks of all time:

The Bodyguard (1992): 17 million sold
Saturday Night Fever
(1977): 15 million
Purple Rain
(1984): 13 million
(1997): 11 million
Dirty Dancing
(1987): 11 million
The Lion King
(1994): 10 million
Top Gun
(1986): 9 million
(1984): 9 million
(1978): 8 million
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
(2000): 7 million

Fiore offers several reasons for the slump, but I think the best one is that few movies actually use good songs that fit the film. Fortunately, the success of the Garden State CD has convinced some industry folk that this is the right approach.

Which films have soundtracks so good you have to own them?