"Wes is very careful about the songs he uses. He's very passionate about the music that goes in his movies,” explained longtime collaborator and composer for Anderson’s films Mark Mothersbaugh to Rolling Stone back in 2001. Mothersbaugh’s music career almost seems too good to be true—from co-founding the legendary pop-punk band Devo back in the ’70s to becoming the established film, TV, and video game music composer that he is today, Mothersbaugh’s track record is one for the history books. So it’s no surprise that the Devo legend had such an influence on the sound and feel of several of Wes Anderson’s cherished films. The Royal Tenenbaums came after Mothersbaugh and Anderson’s collaboration on the also superb Rushmore soundtrack, but with Tenenbaums, Mothersbaugh expanded his musical realm and creativity.

Like Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack includes several classic rock tracks—Bob Dylan’s “Wigwam,” The Clash’s “Police & Thieves,” etc.—but unlike Rushmore, the character’s in Tenenbaums go through more dark, emotional rollercoasters, which Mothersbaugh thus supplies an innovative and equally emotional tracklist to match. For all you Tenenbaum fans, imagine the gripping scene with Luke Wilson’s Richie character while he’s shaving in the bathroom without Elliot Smith’s “Needle in the Hay” playing in the background? Mothersbaugh's score and soundtrack are as vital to Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums as its actors. —Helen Owolabi