Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

Same Song, Different Movie: Ready Steady Go by Paul Oakenfold

Film soundtracks represent a convergence in a pair of arts I’ve devoted a lot of time toward — that of movies and music. Film scores on the other hand, which soundtracks are a part of, are the original music written by composers to accompany and enhance a motion picture. Don’t get me wrong. The orchestral, choral, or instrumental pieces utilized as cues by filmmakers can be essential to the overall result. Fairly or unfairly, most viewers often consider those tracks merely as the background music of a movie.

Yet, it is argued that songs aren’t part of a film score. Perhaps, that’s true. But I’d claim otherwise. For me, and others like me, it’s the theme song (think The Big Country, The Magnificent Seven, or The Great Escape as some in the renowned variety), or an existing popular songneedle dropped” into a film that is remembered most (see Oliver Stone’s Wall Street as an example). By the way, that tag (“needle dropped”) represents one of my favorite colloquial terms, like ever. My blogging colleague over at Fog’s Movie Review took note of this a few weeks back in his excellent post:

“… there’s a deep connection between the two arts, and sometimes that winds up creating an inseparable bond between the two in the viewer’s mind.”

Riffing on that somewhat, and concluding the theme I have going this week, I’ll look at a particular song that turns ten years old in 2012. This distinctive tune was used by two different directors/film scorers in a pair of stellar action sequences from a great duo of 00s thrillers — Paul Oakenfold’s Ready Steady Go (not to be confused with a Larc~en~ciel song by the same title, sorry Novroz).

The Bourne Identity (2002)

Written by Paul and Andy Gray, you can tell by listening to the trippy, pulsating dance track why commercials (Saab), games (EA Tiger Woods), TV shows (Las Vegas) made use of it during the decade. No wonder it was selected to underscore a key scene in filmmaker Doug Liman’s updated 2002 adaptation of author Robert Ludlum’s best novel (recommended reading – Claire and Max‘s wonderful look at that trio of films). Give filmmakers credit for utilizing the rhythmic piece to back that film’s car chase sequence, one featuring the iconic Mini, weaving its way through Paris. Given how successful the sequence turned out, director Paul Greengrass would anchor each of his subsequent sequels in that trilogy with pivotal auto chases. Although, I daresay Oakenfold’s original song made this particular sequence more musically memorable.

Collateral (2004)

Given that Michael Mann’s 2004 film was spotlighted this week, its stellar Club Fever action sequence had to bat clean-up in this article. While it remains initially the same song, Paul Oakenfold offered up a re-mix of the track to better fit the pivotal scene, this one cleverly staged within a Koreatown, L.A. dance club. If the above film performed well using the pulsing tune, I think the song was embedded to even better effect within this characteristic Mann action excerpt. Why, you ask? Its new blended vocals were now tighter within the refrain, and certainly its use is tailor-made for such a scene taking place in the midst of a crowded, writhing dance floor. Plus, Ready Steady Go’s pounding tempo really powers Vincent’s (Tom Cruise) deftly choreographed assassination of the final witness. Simply, it’s the filmmaker at his very best using pitch-perfect music to augment film to an extraordinary end result.

Note: there is one other instance that utilized this same song for a sequence, Stormbreaker, but since I’ve never seen it, I didn’t include that film here.

The entire series can be found here.

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40 Responses to “Same Song, Different Movie: Ready Steady Go by Paul Oakenfold”

  1. J.D.

    I really dig Oakenfold’s soundtrack work, esp. his score for SWORDFISH which is fantastic and one that I listen to often. I love how he incoporated soundbites from the film into the various cues on the album. Good stuff!

    • le0pard13

      Great point about Oakenfold’s work in general, and on the ‘Swordfish’ soundtrack (and it’s a reminder that it’s time for another guilty viewing of that one, too). He’s a great composer and scorer in film. Fine comment, J.D. Thanks.

  2. John DuMond

    As soon as I saw the club shootout scene in COLLATERAL, the first thing that occurred to me was, “Hey, that’s the music from THE BOURNE IDENTITY!” I didn’t know the title of the song back then, but it was instantly recognizable. It was used to great effect in both films. Great post.

    • le0pard13

      It’s such a distinctive song. No wonder many have incorporated it into their works on film and television. Thanks very much, John.

  3. rtm

    I LOVE both these songs, but I didn’t notice it was the same one when I watched Collateral, wow I must not be paying close attention. I do love that mini scene in Bourne!

    • le0pard13

      It was a great use of the song in ‘The Bourne Identity’ car chase. And I loved the Mini-homage of the car going down the stairway (à la ‘The Italian Job’) in the sequence, Ruth. Thank you.

  4. fogsmoviereviews

    Big Mike. :D

    Thanks for the shout out. I never anticiapated being quote for a “Tossin’ it out there”, LOL, half the times those things are thrown together on the way out the door to work in the morning!

    This is a great idea for a series though, I imagine there’ll be no end to the possibilities…

    Isnt like Hollywood is overflowing with originality.

  5. Max

    Thanks for the shout out. I agree that the Oakenfold song selection for that sequence was spot on.

  6. Novroz

    Huahahaha…I was just about to say that the tittle is similar to Laruku’s song when I read this post’s title…and then you wrote this:

    (not to be confused with a Larc~en~ciel song by the same title, sorry Novroz).

    You sure know my thought!!! ;)

    I have watched both movies and didn’t realize they the same song.

    • le0pard13

      Yes, when I began to look at this song on YouTube, Laruku’s song kept popping up. Naturally, I thought of you, Novroz :-). Thank you.

  7. Marianne

    Thank you for reminding me to pay closer attention to the background music in films. This song works for both scenes perfectly – adding to the tension/drama without calling attention to itself.

  8. Claire Packer

    That is one of my favourite scenes from Identity. The Mini worked so well – it makes me even more determined to get mine back on the road!

    The song works very well in both scenes, though I’ve never seen Collateral actually. It’s on my to watch list though!

    PS Thank you for the link :D

    • le0pard13

      I’m so late in responding to you, Claire! My pleasure for the linkage. Did you get a chance to see ‘Collateral’, yet? Many thanks.

  9. The Focused Filmographer

    ha! I hadn’t realized it was the same song. and it does work very well in both scenes. I still like the Bourne one most! Thanks for the post!

    You know, they always end up using the same songs over and over again in movie trailers too!

    • le0pard13

      So, true, T. The same music for commercials is a never ending loop, it seems. Sorry it took so long to reply to your comment, my friend. Many thanks.

  10. ileneonwords

    Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I am interested in your review of “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack, which I read intersperses jazz and rap!!!!!


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