Wes Anderson movies are well known for having great soundtracks. His love of sixties British Invasion music is well documented, as evidenced in his earlier works. Lately he has been leaning more to scores by the likes of Benjamin Britten, Satyajit Ray and Alexander Dusplat, but still finds time to throw in a few morsals of popular music as well. I won’t pretend to be a connoisseur of classical pieces, so this playlist will only include ‘the hits’ so to speak. Enjoy!

Bottle Rocket

BRWhere it all began. This debut feature is largely made up of an original score by go-to musical collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh. It does however feature these three aural treats:

  • Over and Done With – The Proclaimers
  • 2000 Man – The Rolling Stones
  • Alone Again Or – Love

As you can see, Wes is already using some sixties inspiration in his soundtrack work.



Anderson’s breakthrough film, and the real start of his love affair with British invasion music. The soundtrack includes some great songs from the likes of The Who and, again, The Rolling Stones, as well as two joyous songs that make me smile every time I hear them:

  • I Am Waiting – The Rolling Stones
  • Ooh La La – The Faces (joyous song #1)
  • A Summer Song – Chad & Jeremy
  • Concrete & Clay – Unit 4+2
  • Oh Yoko! – John Lennon (joyous song #2)
  • A Quick One Whilst He’s Away – The Who
  • Here Comes My Baby – Cat Stevens

The Royal Tenenbaums

royal tenenbaums

My first exposure to a Wes Anderson movie, and thus my favourite. And the soundtrack is pretty eclectic too. This one ranges from sixties beat, to punk, to folk and a few things in between. Includes some iconic Wes movie moments:

  • Hey Jude – Mutato Muzika Orchestra (Mordecai)!
  • These Days – Nico
  • Look at Me – John Lennon
  • Police & Thieves – The Clash
  • Judy is a Punk – The Ramones
  • Needle in The Hay – Elliott Smith
  • Fly – Nick Drake
  • Lullaby – Emmitt Rhodes
  • Stephanie Says – The Velvet Underground
  • Everyone – Van Morrison

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

life aquatic

Anderson goes for a David Bowie themed soundtrack here, with a few songs from the great man himself, and a whole albums worth of Bowie songs sung in Portuguese by Brazilian musician Seu Jorge:

  • Life on Mars – David Bowie
  • Starman – Seu Jorge
  • 30th Century Man – Scott Walker
  • Search & Destroy – Iggy & The Stooges
  • Queen Bitch – David Bowie
  • Gut Feeling – Devo

Also check out the album by Seu Jorge “The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions”

seu jorge the life aquatic studio sessions

The Darjeeling Limited


A slight departure on this soundtrack, as the film is supplemented by film scores composed by director Satjayit Ray. It all suits the Indian setting a treat, and is augmented by more British invasion hits and a jolly little French tune! Also worth noting that the Peter Sarstedt track is used in the short film Hotel Chevalier, before the Darjeeling Limited:

  • Where Do You Go To My Lovely – Peter Sarstedt
  • Play With Fire – The Rolling Stones
  • Strangers – The Kinks
  • Powerman – The Kinks
  • This Time Tomorrow – The Kinks
  • Les Champs Elysees – Joe Dassin

Fantastic Mr. Fox


As well as a visual departure, this film was also different in the soundtrack department. Instead of usual collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh, the score was composed by Alexander Dusplat. Although not teeming with hits like some of his other movies, it still had some standout moments, including Jarvis Cocker’s original:

  • Heroes & Villains – The Beach Boys
  • Petey’s Song – Jarvis Cocker
  • Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
  • Let Her Dance – The Bobby Fuller Four
  • Ol’ Man River – The Beach Boys

Moonrise Kingdom


Possibly Wes’ most critically acclaimed movie to date, he used the music of Benjamin Britten to great effect throughout the movie. There isn’t much room for iconic sixties pop in this one, bar a couple of nice moments:

  • Ramblin’ Man – Hank Williams
  • Kaw-Liga – Hank Williams
  • Le Temps de L’amour – Francois Hardy

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.



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