Various Artists – Rushmore (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack): #467 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Various Artists - Rushmore - Motion Picture Soundtrack

So why is the Rushmore soundtrack on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Is “Kite Flying Society,” by Mark Mothersbaugh, the most Wes Anderson movie song ever?

“Kite Flying Society” is whimsical, cheerful, and yet somehow a little bit self-reflective and sad. It’s also a little bit ironic yet earnest at the same time. Wait, am I talking about a song here or Wes Anderson flicks in general?

It’s the Rushmore soundtrack that helped me to discover fantastic 1960s bands The Creation (see: Our Music Is Red – With Flashes, #517 of best 1,000 albums ever) and Unit 4 + 2 (their Greatest Hits album is #825). And man, every time I listen to “Making Time” by The Creation – which is a lot of late – that guitar riff gets stuck in my head; it’s so striking and great. And then “Concrete & Clay” by Unit 4 + 2 is yet another Treasure of Arcana that could have turned into another great Quentin Tarantino discovery, had Anderson not snatched it up first.

But back to Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo and other things fame!), we also have an original piece called “Edward Appleby” (a figure of import within the world of Rushmore), a beautiful baroque little number that features the harpsichord.

Okay, now we have reached Maximum Wes Anderson, I’d wager!

A number of deeper cuts from well known artists fill out the Rushmore soundtrack, including songs from The Kinks, The Who, John Lennon, and the Faces. They’re all good selections, but I’m rather taken with the kind of Simon & Garfunkel-esque “Nothin’ In The World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ‘Bout That Girl,” by The Kinks.  

Pop culture stuff that has something to do with the Rushmore soundtrack

Here’s my Top 5 Wes Anderson movies, or my best Wes Anderson movies ever, if you will…

  • #1) Moonlight Kingdom – A true masterpiece, love it more every time I see it. Endlessly charming and moving and offbeat and funny and timeless.
  • #2) The Grand Budapest Hotel – A few hairs shy of a masterpiece. Love it to pieces.
  • #3) Fantastic Mr. Fox – I’m not typically drawn to animated stuff these days, but this one is exceptionally well done, including top notch voice acting from an all-star cast.
  • #4) Rushmore – A dazzling coming-of-age story that takes place in Wes Anderson World.
  • #5) Bottle Rocket – Early Wes showing off his raw talent in a lower budget movie. Occurs to me that Bottle Rocket is to Wes Anderson as Hard Eight is to Paul Thomas Anderson (though the same is true really for other exceptional directors who show off their stuff with a modest budget).

If you’re wondering, there are very specific reasons why I made this a Top 5 list and not longer, and why some of Wes’ movies didn’t make cut.

This will be sacrilegious to some, but I’m just not a big fan of The Royal Tenenbaums. The French Dispatch is a visual and stylistic spectacle, but I was pretty worn out around halfway through (will need to revisit it at some point). I just didn’t enjoy The Darjeeling Limited at all, and finally, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is one of the top movies on my I Really Need To See This One Day list.

Some stats & info about the Rushmore soundtrack

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Compilations, Movie Soundtracks, Rock Music, Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock, British Invation
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was the Rushmore soundtrack released? 1999
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #467 out of 1,000

The Rushmore 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.