The TRL Pop Quiz works like this: our editors are posed a music-related question and have only 15 minutes and just 100 words to research, choose and explain their answers. This week's question: which soundtrack is as good or better than the movie or TV show it accompanies?
Is there any pairing of movie and soundtrack where the gap in quality is as significant as Purple Rain? With the album, we have arguably Prince’s greatest work. With the film, we have a vehicle that, at best, is so bad it’s good, but is sunk by its troubling scenes. Do you remember when Morris Day’s friend Jerome throws a woman into a dumpster? Or when Prince “initiates” Apollonia by persuading her to swim topless in Lake Minnetonka? Purple Rain, the album, is better simply because it doesn’t saddle us with any of these uncomfortable questions -- plus it’s a masterpiece. - Gus Turner
Suicide Squad received didn't receive the most glowing reviews from critics, though it still won at the box office (good job to their marketing team). However, the soundtrack is filled with both classic and more contemporary songs from artists like Queen, Etta James, Kehlani and Panic! At The Disco. In fact, almost every song on the soundtrack is from a major or even legendary artist, making its soundtrack much more impactful than the film. - Landyn Pan
I played the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack on repeat for most of 2009 and all of 2010. It gave me the nearly perfect song “Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap, fed into the Regina Spektor obsession I was nursing at the time and has a great cover of The Smiths’ “Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want” by She and Him. I saw the movie a couple times after my initial viewing, but not nearly as often as I listened to the soundtrack. Honorable mention goes to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist for introducing me to Vampire Weekend. - Leah Williams
With this opportunity, I’ll proclaim to the world that Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s 1998 gem The Wedding Singer has one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. While the film is wonderful in its own right, the soundtrack brings it to a new level and stands on its own as a masterpiece. From “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” by Culture Club to “Hold Me Now” by Thompson Twins to “White Wedding” by Billy Idol, any time I hear a song from the soundtrack I automatically think of the film. Even Adam Sandler’s original songs have become classics! - Kristen Maldonado
I don’t remember a single thing that happened in Bad Boys II—or Bad Boys I while we’re here—but the 2003 Bad Boys II soundtrack was such a smash on every level, filled with the hip-hop and R&B heavyweights of the time. The album’s most popular single, Nelly’s “Shake Your Tailfeather,” overshadows its true best moments: the funky Diddy-Pharrell-Loon-Lenny Kravitz collab “Show Me Your Soul,” Jay-Z’s iconic “La-La-La,” and pre-pubescent Beyonce (“Keep Giving Your Love to Me”) and Justin Timberlake (“Love Don’t Love Me”) stretching their wings just after their solo albums had arrived. - Terron Moore
I have to admit something: I’ve obsessed over the soundtrack for Bright, a Netflix original movie that came out in December 2017, despite never having watched the film. The soundtrack was incredibly ambitious as it served as a huge marketing effort for the film, featuring the year’s biggest artists like Camila Cabello, Logic, Future and Portugal. The Man. “Home” and “Darkside” stand out as my favorite tracks, both released prior to the album’s full release by Atlantic Records. Even a fire soundtrack, however, couldn’t get this non-movie lover to watch a film with a 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. - Matt Gehring