hmv.com presents… The Best Soundtracks of All Time: Empire Records
With some great in-store offers starting this week on films and on film soundtracks as part our 'Decades' series, every day we'll be picking the best soundtrack, one for every year, starting with 1950 right through to the present day. Today we're up to 1995 and we're recommending the soundtrack to Empire Records...
Allan Moyle's classic 90s coming-of-age comedy Empire Records.
So what’s the film about?
The fictional record store Empire Records is the coolest music shop in town, but tragedy is about to strike – it’s going to be bought out by the faceless corporate chain. The young staff of the store rallies together to try and stop the takeover, but the manager Joe himself is much more concerned with the upcoming ‘Rex Manning Day’ – an in-store signing with a deeply uncool pop singer.
The film follows a day in the life of the store as cast of young actors (including early appearances from Liv Tyler and Renee Zellweger) attempt to save the store, get Rex Manning Day off without a hitch, and get up to all manor of other hi-jinks.
Is this a score or a soundtrack?
It’s a soundtrack of songs from the film.
So who’s on it? Anyone I might know?
Unsurprisingly for a film set in a record store, it features some great tunes. The soundtrack is mostly made of great early 90s indie acts, including The Cranberries, The Lemonhead’s Evan Dando and The Martini’s (who’s members include former Pixies Joey Santiago and Dave Lovering)
So which songs are on it? Did any of them become hits?
The most famous song on the soundtrack was Edwyn Collins’ ‘A Girl Like You’, which, while being a big hit over here, was more of a cult record in the US hence it’s inclusion. You might also recognise ‘Liar’ by The Cranberries. But in the spirit of the film, it’s much more about cool indie tunes than mainstream hits.
What’s the best moment?
The finale, with Coyote Shivers playing live on the store’s roof, and Renee Zellweger joining in on vocals.
Has it stood the test of time?
It is incredibly 90s, lets just say that. But if you’re of a certain age and grew up on this stuff, then it’s a highly enjoyable blast of nostalgia.