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A soundtrack album is any album that incorporates music directly recorded from the soundtrack of particular media such as a feature film or a video game. In some cases, not all the tracks from the movie are included in the album; however there are rare cases of songs in the trailers that do not appear in the movie but occur on the soundtrack album. Also, music that is not in the movie can sometimes be incorporated onto a soundtrack album; one notable example is the South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut soundtrack. Two other well-known examples are Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel and The King and I. In each case, two or more songs which are featured on the album were not included in the finished film.
Often, in advertisements or store listings, soundtrack albums are confused with original cast albums. These are albums made with the original stage cast of a Broadway musical, and are recorded by the cast in a studio, not transferred from a movie soundtrack.
In some cases, recorded dialogue may be incorporated into the soundtrack album. This comes in two kinds: audio clips from the movie itself (used on the albums for Pulp Fiction and Apollo 13, for example) or radio dramas that involve the characters from the movie involved in other events (example: King of Pirates, from FLCL). The unusual 1956 soundtrack album of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz was virtually a condensed version of the film, with enough dialogue on the album for the listener to be able to easily follow the plot, as was the first soundtrack album of the 1968 Romeo and Juliet.