Various Artists, Wild Style – 25th Anniversary Edition (Original Soundtrack)
Quite possibly the best movie soundtrack of all time.
This is not only (in this writer's opinion) the best hip-hop compilation ever made, it's also one of the best movie soundtracks of all time. Charlie Ahearn's part-fact/part-fiction hip-hop flick from 1983 was the perfect way to introduce outsiders to the enthusiasm and innovation of all aspects of the nascent genre's culture. Fab 5 Freddy and Chris Stein of Blondie produced the basic electro-funk tunes which served as interstitial music for the film and as backing tracks for artists like Busy Bee, Double Trouble and the Cold Crush Brothers during their live performances. The results, heard on cuts like "Fantastic Freaks at the Dixie" and "The Chief Rocker Busy Bee and DJ AJ at the Amphitheatre" are stunning, making you regret that many of these artists peaked here, never making the transition into the recording studio. This is what makes Wild Style important — it's a document of the power of live hip-hop, before production tricks took over.