Music Monday: Best-Selling Movie, Broadway Film, and Cast Recording Soundtracks of All Time

I know, the title is a mouthful.

At first, I was just going to write about the top-selling movie soundtracks of all-time, but then I remembered some of the wonderful soundtracks I’ve listened to from Broadway plays. When I went searching, I discovered that there are two separate lists for the Broadway plays. One list is for the best selling soundtracks from the play itself, featuring the original cast, and the other list is for the soundtrack of the film version of the plays.

Anyway, let’s get started with the top ten best-selling movie soundtracks (top to bottom):

  • The Bodyguard
  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Titanic
  • Grease
  • Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
  • Aashiqui
  • Purple Rain
  • Flashdance
  • Bombay (tie)
  • The Lion King (tie)

Here are the top ten best-selling cast recording from Broadway plays (top to bottom):

  • Hamilton
  • Les Misérables
  • The Phantom of the Opera (both the full version as well as highlights made the top ten)
  • My Fair Lady
  • Wicked
  • Rent
  • A Chorus Line
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • The Jersey Boys

Ranking (in parentheses) of some of my favorite plays:

  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (25)
  • Camelot (40)
  • The Sound of Music (43)

Finally, here are the top ten best-selling Broadway film soundtracks (top to bottom):

  • Grease
  • Evita
  • West Side Story
  • Chicago
  • Mamma Mia!
  • Hairspray
  • Dreamgirls
  • Phantom of the Opera
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Jesus Chris Superstar

I like to include at least one song with my Music Monday posts, but it is hard to choose just one song from all these great soundtracks. I’ve already included songs from Saturday Night Fever, Grease, The Lion King, Hamilton, Wicked, Joseph, Camelot, and The Sound of Music in previous posts, so that helps narrow it down a bit.

The best I could do was to narrow it down to two songs. The first one is Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from Evita, featuring Madonna:

And this one is actually a medley of hits from The Jersey Boys:

*image from Rotunda Media

45 thoughts on “Music Monday: Best-Selling Movie, Broadway Film, and Cast Recording Soundtracks of All Time

  1. Well, I just watched Jesus Christ Superstar the other night. It had been ages since I watched the film. But I could sing every word to every song, so it must have been listened to quite a bit in my younger years. I am a bit surprised that “Frozen” did not make the list as it seems to be hyper popular.

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  2. I’ve never been a great fan of musical theatre but agree there have been some great movie soundtracks. My favourite on that list is Purple Rain, by a distance, though my all-time favourite is Easy Rider. I’m surprised Hair didn’t make the top ten, but I guess its sales were divided between US and UK versions. I know you were choosing the movie performances, but I can recommend the version of Don’t Cry For Me that was a huge hit single here for Julie Covington – in my view, she knocks spots off Madge’s version!

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      1. I’ve just never really got into it. I’ve seen quite a few over the years but usually because wife/family wanted to go. Purple Rain is ok as a movie, but that song – wow! Julie Covington was offered the part of Evita when it was first put on here but turned it down – said she didn’t like the woman and wouldn’t be able to bring empathy to the role. She later admitted that may have been a mistake! Her version of the song was #1 here and in Australia, and shows, I think, how good she would have been in the role. Elaine Paige owes her big time!

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      2. My problem with Madonna is that I think she’s over-hyped and under-talented! EP’s is ok, but my preference is Julie. Each to their own, though – there’s no compulsion to agree with me!

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    1. that is another interesting way to rank them, which I am guessing would have a strong correlation with box-office receipts. I have never seen Porgy and Bess – I’ll have to look for the film version…


  3. My favorites are the old musicals like, Sound of Music, West Side Story, My Fair Lady and some with more contemporary music like Saturday Night Fever, Purple Rain, and Jersey Boys. One not one the list is Carmen Jones with Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte.

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  4. I will forgive you for not posting a Mama Mia song! LOL! Both of your selections were great! I would say my 4 favorites are Sound of music, Fiddler on the Roof, Mama Mia and Lion King. I still can see my Dad dancing around the kitchen to “If I was a Rich Man”, from Fiddler on the Roof. 🙂 And my sisters and I always used to sing the Matchmaker, Matchmaker song.

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  5. Brilliant choices.. Loved the Jersey Boys medley… Nobody mentioned Grease… Its still our girlie watch when we get together as a family.. The men in this house secretly love it.. Haha

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