The Soundtrack Album: Listening to Media offers the first sustained exploration of the soundtrack album as a distinctive form of media.

Soundtrack albums have been part of our media and musical landscape for decades, enduring across formats from vinyl and 8-tracks to streaming playlists. This book makes the case that soundtrack albums are more than promotional tools for films, television shows, or video games— they are complex media texts that reward a detailed analysis. The collection’s contributors explore a diverse range of soundtrack albums, from Super Fly to Stranger Things, revealing how these albums change our understanding of the music and film industries and the audio-visual relationships that drive them.

An excellent resource for students of Music, Media Studies, and Film/Screen Media courses, The Soundtrack Album offers interdisciplinary perspectives and opens new areas for exploration in music and media studies.

chapter |18 pages


Listening to Media

part 1|70 pages

Case Studies

chapter 1|17 pages

The Soundtrack in Transition

The Many Objects of Paul Simon’s One-Trick Pony

chapter 2|17 pages

It’s a Kind of Soundtrack

Queen, Highlander, and the “Unofficial Soundtrack Album”

chapter 4|17 pages

Signifyin(g) on the Soundtrack Album?

OutKast’s Idlewild Project

part 2|66 pages


chapter 7|18 pages

King of the Whole Wide World

Elvis, RCA Camden, and the Non-Filmic “Budget” Soundtrack Album

chapter 8|16 pages

Sing Along with Hitch

Musically Marketing the Master of Suspense

part 3|54 pages


chapter 9|16 pages

Fixing the Brand

The Sonic Branding of Adult Swim

chapter 11|19 pages

Tracking Hypernostalgia

Soundtrack Albums and the Return of the Cassette in American Film and Television

part 4|39 pages

New Directions