Recently while laying around on a lazy Sunday I sat through back to back viewing of Almost Famous (137th viewing) and Goodfellas (easily my 559th viewing) and could not help but again realize how amazingly tight their soundtracks were. Having seen these movies so many times it kind of feels as if Cameron Crowe and Martin Scorsese made special mixtapes for me. Every so often when I get nostalgic I can pop them in and hear their sonic time capsule and simultaneously be brought back to points in the movie and to the point in my life when I first heard the songs that these stellar movies introduced to me. Imagine my chagrin the next day as I helplessly watched the turderrific season finale of "How I Met Your Mother" shamelessly rip off Almost Famous and lazily rock Cat Stevens' "The Wind".
Once a song has made its mark in a movie it's off the table. No more re-uses. There are plenty of other songs out there for Ted Mosbey and Co to ruin! Go spread your taint on someone like Train or Keane. "The Wind" will forever belong to Almost Famous. Needing to put my rage to good use I decided to breathe deep and compile a list of my top ten favorite songs discoveries through film. Tim will be happy to know I ruled out anything and everything from Drive just because I've covered it far too many times.
Buffalo Bill, his poodle, and his mangina were all scary as Fuck so much that I muted this song from my subconscious. It wasn't till Kele from Bloc Party unearthed it with his 2011 cover did I realize how I had initially loved (and suppressed) this piece of 80's badassery.
on to the ten...
The directors of this film randomly heard this track on KCRW and decided to roll the dice with Devotcha as composers for the lion's share of the film's score. For rookies it in that field it worked well because no score (outside of my beloved Drive) of present memory seemed to play more of an integral role in a film
The opening 8 bit riff and the ensuing joyous Supermarket Sweep scene was a palette cleanser from the death and destruction that was the rest of 28 Days Later. I heard this song and fell in love and went straight to Circuit City and picked up Grandaddy's Sophtware Slump. Fast-forward to 2012 and the band, after a long hiatus, are back together and I'll be seeing then for the first time live. Hopefully rage monkey free.
Henry Hill's day of downfall had nothing to do with his Cadillac's car stereo. That mofo was blasting out banging tracks. The highlight for me was and still is this intense rocker from the vastly underrated Harry Nilsson. Peep the drum solo at the four minute mark!
The easy answer would be "The Wind" or “Tiny Dancer”, but I knew both of those songs already. "Something in the Air on the other hand was an epiphany for me. Pete Townshend played bass on this one hit wonder led by a Who roadie. Who knew!? (No pun intended. Seriously). Almost Famous' soundtrack is a staggering mixtape of love to Cameron Crowe's childhood and rock's "dying days" according to Lester Bangs. It is a flawless single disc soundtrack.
Boogie Nights was so chock full of music (and tits!) that it required two discs. This was a new song to me. Thank you, PT Anderson. PT took his scoring cues from his friend Quentin Tarantino and tried to fill his soundtrack with as many lost gems as possible. Breathing life into long forgotten songs is far more respectable than lazily rocking Queen's Under Pressure for the 100th time.
If I happen across this movie and it’s close to the end I’ll leave it on and embrace this song and imagine playing tether ball and drawing leigers for my own Deb. She'd be powerless against the deadly combination of my tether balls skills and this love soaked one hit wonder.
Without incriminating myself too much let me just say I was not in my normal state when I first heard this song. I was certain I was in the midst of a revelation and I had just uncovered a hidden Bob Dylan song that no one had ever heard before. I was frozen. It knocked me for a loop. When I finally sobered up I shazammed the song and learned it was not Dylan at all but Donovan...who had not too recently hit my radar ("Hurdy Gurdy Man") thanks in part to David Fincher's film "Zodiac" from 2007.
I was hip enough to see this film opening night, but not hip enough to have known this amazing song. It was instant love for both. Since then Richard Kelly released a director’s cut which removed “The Killing Moon” from the opening and replaced it with “Never Tear Us Apart” By INXS. If that wasn’t proof positive that Richard Kelly is a loose cannon who can’t be trusted, go rent Southland Tales or "The Box" Dude is clearly a one hit wonder. Echo and the Bunnymen on the other hand are full of hits. I suggest you dig deep into their back catalog asap!
Here's how much I love Perfect Day: If someone told me the only way I could hear this song I'd have to have a raging heroin addiction....well sorry Mom and Dad, but this song is just too damn good. Let it be known if it ever does come to that I will not be able to handle withdrawal. One ceiling climbing baby with a creepy 180 degree neck and I'm heading down to Hamsterdamn for some smack.
Everyone and their mother knows it now but there was a time when it was not so popular. Twenty years after Bohemian Rhapsody originally came out it was reborn as a sing along jam that Wayne, Garth, and every wannabe rocker would head bang to. Twenty years later it makes my #1 slot. In related news: Wayne's World is twenty years old.
You are old.