Saltburn soundtrack ranked

The nostalgic 00s soundtrack of Saltburn, definitively ranked from worst to best

Any film featuring The Cheeky Girls deserves an Academy Award

If there’s one thing you’re going to get from an Emerald Fennell film, it’s a soundtrack that will have you grinning maniacally at the cinema screen. I have my qualms with Saltburn, but like Promising Young Woman before it on the soundtrack front no one can deny the assignment was well and truly understood. Fennell treats 2006 and 2007 like a period piece and her dedication to capturing the music uni age people were listening to in those years is second to none. Here’s the entire Saltburn soundtrack, ranked from worst to best.

14. This Modern Love – Bloc Party

Very right for the film, but the kind of song listened to by the worst people you knew at that time. It’s giving Inbetweeners. I don’t hate it but it’s just background indie music, business as usual.

13. No Cars Go – Arcade Fire

Amazing vocal production, but no business being six minutes long. Get on with it, lads.

12. Hang Me Up To Dry – Cold War Kids

I have such a visceral, core memory of a girl on my school bus putting in one of her wired headphones for me and showing me this song and me thinking it was the coolest, most grown up song I’d ever heard. I went home and begged my dad to let me buy it on his iTunes account for 79p. What a time.

11. Time To Pretend – MGMT

It obviously would be plain wrong to create a film centred around this time period and not include a track from this seminal MGMT album. I’d never listen to it out of choice but I respect that its inclusion here is the definition of necessary.

10. Destroy Everything You Touch – Ladytron

From here on in, we only have masterpieces ranked from the Saltburn soundtrack. Ladytron are so underrated. Scouse icons. This song is anthemic. It kind of feels like a Girls Aloud tune and I mean that with the highest of regard. A throbbing and pulsing anthem of chaos. Blast it.

9. You’re Gorgeous – Babybird

My grandma used to sing this to me when I was a little kid. She used to rock me from side to side and sing it. Appreciate that’s quite a specific story to me but I think we’re all in agreement that it’s very sweet.

8. Satisfaction – Benny Benassi

Maybe it’s the utterly filth music video, or the thumping dance beat, but there is something about Satisfaction that truly feels like your first boner. Sorry if that’s a bit blue, but if you’re reading this you’ve watched and presumably enjoyed Saltburn where Barry Keoghan slurps Jacob Elordi’s cum filled bath water… so. Satisfaction is sexual awakening core. Listening to it makes me feel feral. An anthem for those discovering what horny means in the 00s.

7. Mr Brightside – The Killers

Obviously, in today’s world, the stuff this song stands for has kind of overshadowed how great a song it actually is – its straight lads at uni meets wedding disco meets Come On Eileen of the 00s vibes are apparent to us all. But, guys. Hate to tell you: this song is amazing. It’s anthemic for a reason. It absolutely needed to be in this film, because if there was one song that Oliver and Felix would be blasting out it is Mr Brightside. So bizarre to cast your mind back to a time where this was a new song.

6. Have A Cheeky Christmas – The Cheeky Girls

Actually quite sad this didn’t quite make it into the top five ranked tunes on the Saltburn soundtrack. One of the best Christmas songs of all time, and I only say that with a crumb of irony. I love that Emerald Fennell has these songs in her head when she thinks of festive uni party songs. She’s so real for that. I adore the idea of a CHEEKY Christmas and what that could actually consist of. A slight spank over dinner? A couple of double entendres round the tree? Cheeky cheeky!

5. Murder on the Dancefloor – Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Perhaps controversially, I hated the on-the-nose way this song concluded Saltburn and thought the whole scene was a bit of an eye roll… But that’s not what this is about. It’s about ranking the tunes, and Murder on the Dancefloor is a tune of the highest order. Sophie Ellis-Bextor is incredibly underrated, with an immaculate pop catalogue. MOTDF is a floor filler in the ilk of Kylie that never fails to get you UP.

4. Sound of the Underground – Girls Aloud

Used very sparingly in Saltburn, which has harmed its placement here slightly, but even a little sniff of Sound of the Underground is like a rush of poppers to the brain. I am not being hyperbolic when I say this is top three greatest girl band songs of all time. The surf rock guitars? The evocative lyrics? The radiating personality and charm of Nadine, Cheryl, Sarah, Nicola and Kimberley? It’s a masterpiece.

3.  Loneliness – Tomcraft

Happiness! And loneliness! Happiness seems to be loneliness! Wow. An anthemic, pulsing dance classic that fits Saltburn like a glove. This makes me want to be off my bonce at the best rave of my life. One of those songs I sort of forgot existed until Fennell shoved it in Saltburn and now it’s changed the trajectory of my life again.

2. Perfect (Exceeder) – Mason and Princess Superstar

Now here is a song that I did NOT forget about. This song permeates every fibre of my being. I have been obsessed since I first heard it when I was in year seven of school, and it’s never left me. Perfect for predrinks, gym, weddings, graduations and funerals. The look, the lips, the hips, the tits, the hair, the eyes, the skin and the waist? You’ve seen what I can do on this microphone so guess what I’m gonna do to you at home? Come on now. Even Shakespeare couldn’t say I love you better.

1. Rent – Pet Shop Boys

Not just my favourite Pet Shop Boys song, but a song so perfectly fitted to Saltburn and used in such a perfect way in their film that nothing else could be number one when getting the soundtrack ranked. Like Emerald Fennell did with Paris Hilton’s Stars Are Blind in Promising Young Woman, here she takes a film I already know and love and makes it so distinctively fit the film that from now on I’ll associate it with that specific scene forever. Masterful.

The lyrics just never get old.

You phone me in the evening on hearsayAnd bought me caviarYou took me to a restaurant off BroadwayTo tell me who you are
We never ever argue, we never calculateThe currency we’ve spentI love you, you pay my rent
Simply wowing.