Various Artists – Empire Records: The Soundtrack: #786 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Various Artists - Empire Records - The Soundtrack

Why is Empire Records: The Soundtrack on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

A highly pleasurable mix of mid-‘90s tunes and one absolute stunner.

What does Empire Records: The Soundtrack mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

There are only two original songs on Empire Records: The Soundtrack, but one is absolutely incredible and the other one is really good. The rest of the album is a highly pleasurable mix of songs that is very mid-1990s in the best possible way.

The absolutely incredible song is “A Girl Like You,” by Edwyn Collins. And All Music’s description of the song – “menacing Motown-meets-Bowie pop” – is fantastic. It’s also catchy and lounge-y and somehow fun at the same time as it has the aforementioned menacing vibe.

The really good song is “Til I Hear It From You,” by Gin Blossoms. Both the song and the band hold up rather well over a quarter of a century later.

I dig the guitar tone and pretty vocals on The Martini’s “Free,” a band formed by Pixies alums Joey Santiago and David Lovering.

And speaking of guitars and vocals, I like the Breeders-y meets Cowboy Junkies vibe thrown by The Innocence Mission’s “Bright As Yellow.”

Pop culture stuff that has something to do with Empire Records: The Soundtrack

Full disclosure: I have never seen the movie Empire Records and knew literally nothing about it until I did a little bit of research so that I could bring you the following from IMDB:

Twenty-four hours in the lives of the young employees at Empire Records when they all grow up and become young adults thanks to each other and the manager. They all face the store joining a chain store with strict rules.

I was roughly in the demo, as we say in the biz, for this kind of movie back when it was released in 1995, so I’m guessing it didn’t get a ton of distribution in theaters or on cable TV back in the day.

Most notable to me is that Debi Mazar is listed as one of its stars. For all of you fellow Goodfellas fanatics out there, of which I’m card-carrying member to that particular club, you’ll immediately note that Mazar played Sandy, Henry Hill’s mistress and not all that tidy cocaine preparer/helper outer. Mazar is well known for a bunch of other stuff, including for playing Shauna for 50 episodes on Entourage.

What’s not well known is that a woman who was briefly my boss in the mid-2000s claimed to be dating a man who had previously dated Mazar. I have no reason to disbelieve this story. Possibly completely unrelated but I’ll just throw it out there: the same woman who was briefly my boss was kind of into party drugs and very into psychedelic drugs like Ayahuasca. In fact, she broadcast her love for such drugs on her MySpace page – including announcing all of her partying it up on nights before she called in sick to work – and then the owner of our little agency found out about it and fired her. And then I had to teach myself the job that I was hoping that she would help train me for.

Some stats & info about Empire Records: The Soundtrack

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Compilations, Alternative Rock, Rock Music, Pop Music, Indie Rock, Power Pop, Film Soundtracks
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Empire Records: The Soundtrack released? 1995
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #786 out of 1,000

Empire Records: The Soundtrack on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.