Chart Watch

Chart Watch Extra: Soundtracks That Rock

Chart Watch

The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack jumps to #1 this week, even though the movie, which stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, won't hit theaters until Nov. 20. The album, which features such acts as Death Cab for Cutie, Muse and the Killers, is the 20throck-oriented soundtrack to top The Billboard 200.

The first Twilight soundtrack topped the chart last fall. As I pointed out in Chart Watch on Wednesday, this marks the first time that the soundtracks to a theatrically-released movie and its sequel have both reached #1.

To commemorate these achievements, I have prepared a list of the 20 rock soundtracks that have topped The Billboard 200. Elvis Presley and The Beatles each reached #1 with four soundtracks. Prince & the Revolution, Los Lobos and U2 have also had chart-topping soundtracks.

To deepen the list, I defined "rock" in a broad sense. Some of these soundtracks could be classified as pop (Wayne's World), R&B (Purple Rain) or alternative (City Of Angels, Juno) but all they have elements of rock.

Here are all the rock soundtracks that have reached #1, in reverse chronological order.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Death Cab for Cutie's "Meet Me On The Equinox" is the first hit from the album, which jumps to #1 this week. Muse is the only act from the first Twilight soundtrack that also appears on this sequel. The album also includes songs by such top acts as the Killers and Thom Yorke of Radiohead.

Twilight. Paramore had two songs on the album, which debuted at #1 in November 2008. One of them, "Decode," became a top 40 hit. The album also included songs by Linkin Park, Perry Farrell and Muse, as well as Robert Pattinson, the movie's star, and Carter Burwell, who composed the score.

Juno. Michael Cera and Ellen Page, the stars of this quirky movie, had a Hot 100 hit with "Anyone Else But You." The soundtrack, which topped the chart in February 2008, also included oldies by the Kinks and Mott the Hoople as well as Sonic Youth's dark cover of the Carpenters' "Superstar."

Armageddon. Aerosmith's power ballad "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" was the big hit from the soundtrack, which topped the chart for two weeks in 1998. The #1 smash received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song and a Grammy bid for Song of the Year. The soundtrack also included oldies by Aerosmith, Z.Z. Top and Bob Seger.

City Of Angels. The soundtrack logged three weeks at #1 in 1998. It spawned two big airplay hits, Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris" (a Grammy finalist for Record and Song of the Year) and Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited." The movie also turned Sarah McLachlan's 1997 recording "Angel" into a smash.

Private Parts. Howard Stern's boast that he is the "King of All Media" gained credence when this soundtrack debuted at #1 in March 1997. The album featured such rock classics as AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" and Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water." Stern teamed with The Dust Brothers on "Tortured Man." This is the only chart-topping rock soundtrack to carry a Parental Advisory sticker.

The Crow. The soundtrack to Brandon Lee's final film topped the chart in June 1994, 15 months after the actor died in an accidental shooting on the set. It featured cuts by such top rockers as Pantera, Stone Temple Pilots, the Cure, Nine Inch Nails and the Violent Femmes.

Wayne's World. The popular Saturday Night Live sketch became a hit movie in 1992. The soundtrack logged two weeks at #1. It featured Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which rose to #2 on the Hot 100, even higher than it had climbed when it first charted in 1976. The album also featured oldies by Jimi Hendrix and Gary Wright.

Rattle And Hum, U2. The band pulled four chart hits from this album, the soundtrack to a film documentary of its 1987 U.S. tour. "Desire" and "Angel Of Harlem" both made the top 20. "When Love Comes To Town" (with B.B. King) and "All I Want Is You" also charted. The album topped the chart for six weeks in 1988.

La Bamba, Los Lobos. Nearly 30 years after he died in a plane crash, Ritchie Valens was remembered in this bio-pic. The soundtrack logged two weeks at #1 in 1987. Los Lobos' remake of "La Bamba" hit #1 and received Grammy nominations for Record and Song of the Year. The band's remake of "Come On, Let's Go" also made the top 30.

Purple Rain, Purple and the Revolution. Prince, who starred in the movie, won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score. The album logged 24 consecutive weeks at #1 in 1984-85 and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The album spawned five top 30 hits. "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy" both reached #1.

Woodstock. The three-disk set logged four weeks at #1 in 1970. It was recorded live at the legendary rock festival in upstate New York in August 1969. Highlights included Jimi Hendrix's "Star-Spangled Banner" and Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends."

Let It Be, The Beatles. The Beatles, who starred in this documentary movie, won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score. The album logged four weeks at #1 in 1970 and contained three #1 hits, "Get Back," "Let It Be" (a Grammy nominee for Record and Song of the Year) and "The Long And Winding Road."

Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles. The made-for-TV movie aired on the BBC in 1967. It finally made its U.S. theatrical debut in July 1976. The soundtrack logged eight weeks at #1 in 1968 and received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. The soundtrack included "I Am The Walrus" plus five 1967 hits that weren't featured in the movie.

Help!, The Beatles. The soundtrack was #1 for nine weeks in 1965 and gave the Beatles their first Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. It spawned a pair of #1 hits, "Ticket To Ride" and "Help!." The album also included five instrumentals by Ken Thorne.

Roustabout, Elvis Presley. Presley's last #1 soundtrack topped the chart in January 1965. It featured a cover of the Coasters' 1961 hit "Little Egypt." Two subsequent Presley soundtracks made the top 10: Girl Happy and Harum Scarum.

A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles. The soundtrack to the Fab Four's first movie was #1 for 14 consecutive weeks in 1964. It spawned three double-sided hits. "A Hard Day's Night" topped the Hot 100 for two weeks and received a Grammy nomination for Song of the Year. The album also included four instrumentals by George Martin.

Blue Hawaii, Elvis Presley. The soundtrack logged 20 consecutive weeks at #1 in 1961-62, the second longest run of any 1960s album (only the West Side Story soundtrack had more weeks on top). It featured two hits: "Can't Help Falling In Love," which reached #2, and "Rock-A-Hula Baby."

G.I. Blues, Elvis Presley. No singles were released from this soundtrack at the time of its release in 1960. That was a lucky break for newcomer Joe Dowell, who recorded a cover version of "Wooden Heart" and landed a #1 hit. (Presley's version was finally released in 1964.) The soundtrack logged 10 weeks at #1 in 1960-61. (Presley was now so famous that he didn't need his last name on his album covers.)

Loving You, Elvis Presley. There was no soundtrack to Presley's first movie, Love Me Tender. The soundtrack to his second movie logged 10 consecutive weeks at #1 in 1957. It featured two hits: "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear," which logged seven weeks at #1, and the title song, which made the top 20.

The Fine Print: While I defined "rock" pretty broadly, I drew the line at The Graduate, Saturday Night Fever, Footloose, Top Gun, and Batman, which I classify as pop; Shaft, Superfly and That's The Way Of The World, which I call R&B; and 8 Mile, which I slot as rap.

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