Larry Martino

Larry Martino

Larry Martino

Whatever happened to all of the great movie soundtracks coming out of Hollywood? The movie soundtrack used to be a great way for studios to help promote their films, but there really aren’t too many recent albums that have become best-sellers like they did during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

That may be because people consume music and albums much differently nowadays than we did during those decades. People are streaming music from many different apps and website platforms. So, sales of albums and original movie soundtracks will probably never see the huge sales figures like they did during the 80s and 90s.

This year’s Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 12th in the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The event will be broadcast on ABC-TV, Channel 13 KTNV here in Southern Nevada. I perused the list of nominees for Best Original Song on and found tunes from the films Top Gun: Maverick, Tell It Like A Woman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, RRR, and Everything Everywhere All At Once. I then checked out the Top 20 selling albums of 2022 on and found the soundtrack for Encanto, the Disney animated feature film at #15, and the Purple Rain Soundtrack at #19. Neither of those albums have a song nominated for Best Original Score or Best Original Song. So why isn’t Hollywood releasing anymore great original movie soundtracks?

I am sure that there are still great movie hits being released, like the ones that have been nominated for this year’s Best Original Song Academy Award. But, not too many memorable soundtracks packed with hits like they were back in the day. You better believe I owned vinyl, 8-track, or cassette copies of great original movie soundtracks from that era including Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Footloose, Top Gun, Flashdance, and of course, Purple Rain. 

The 1990’s gave us more best-sellers on CD such as: The Bodyguard, The Lion King, and Titanic. I could not find any original movie soundtracks from the 21st century on the list of best-selling albums of all-time on 

So, instead of criticizing the film industry or the music industry for their current strategies, let’s just review some of the great original movie soundtracks of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Here are the Top 5 according to


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Larry Martino is the long-time Afternoon Drive personality on 96.3 KKLZ. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of Larry Martino and not necessarily those of Beasley Media Group, LLC.

  • 5) Titanic

    This was the only song with lyrics on the album Titanic: Music from the Motion Picture, yet it is still the fifth best-selling movie soundtrack in history. Pretty powerful stuff.

  • 4) Grease

    One of the great sing-along movie soundtracks of all time. There are four or five music videos from this movie musical which I could place here. Always fun to reminisce with Olivia and John at their best.

  • 3) Dirty Dancing

    Lots of great new songs, and some great oldies on this movie soundtrack. Actor Patrick Swayze was on a real good roll in the late 80s and early 90s. He even had a hit song on this album. RIP Patrick.

  • 2) Saturday Night Fever

    Per, this was the best-selling album of 1978, the best-selling album of all time until Michael Jackson’s Thriller came along, and the best-selling movie soundtrack in history until our #1 album below.

  • 1) The Bodyguard

    The winner and still champion in the original movie soundtrack field! The entire first side of the vinyl album or cassette version contained hits by Whitney Houston, who starred in the film. Various artists contributed to the rest of the soundtrack, which was selling a million copies a week for several consecutive weeks per It is still the best-selling album in history by a female recording artist.

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