Although the audio tape is pretty much dead, people still love making mix tapes, even if they now come in CD form. It's funny how this ritual of appreciation has transcended age and time. We used to scour radio stations for the perfect mix of songs, and now we whip up aural delights from thousands of mp3s. Mixes were useful to tell that certain boy or girl that you liked them in school, and today we often send mixes to say hello, or to gently shake a person and show them all the good music that they are missing.
There's also no short supply of movies that have absolutely fantastic soundtracks that work like a visual mix tape, sending the viewer through an optical pathway of music, sometimes even bringing new meaning and depth to the tunes that are played. While I would love to gush about Beethoven's music set to drama in Immortal Beloved, or even the brilliance that is Simon and Garfunkle in The Graduate, this space is reserved for the films with varied soundtracks full of a myriad of sounds and artists, which somehow all morph together into a cohesive and enjoyable whole. Sometimes they are just great collections of music, and sometimes they completely make you rethink something you might have heard many times before. If only I could list 14, or even 21! But I can't, so here are 7 films to inspire you into a mix-making frenzy:
This almost seems like cheating, being such an obvious and no-brainer sort of choice, but you really can't talk about the power of mix tapes and movies without talking about the film that is all about creating musical mixes that portray slices of life. John Cusack stars as Rob Gordon, the music store owner who is at a crossroads in his life -- his serious girlfriend is leaving him, and through music, he delves into his less-than-desirable relationships with women. The beauty of this movie's soundtrack is how many different slices of music it tastes -- from the melodic Dry the Rain from The Beta Band to Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady. The old is mixed with the new, introducing us to what we might not have heard, while reminding us of songs we might have forgotten.