Continuing my summer of 2014 series, which was begun right here and chronicled my history with said device, examining the music that ended up on my iPod byway of the films that featured it on their soundtracks. An inventory, as it were, and one I continue to add to. Especially since I press on with my movies-watching and music-listening.
New song and those of a more vintage variety, even years after the initial screening, which still got there purely because of a movie. As alluded in another series, the convergence of the music and film arts is one I’ve spent much time toward. I’ll attempt to break these songs up into the categories most fit into, at least for my bizarre thinking, purely to make it more manageable in presentation. Fewest to most.
Pop, Rock, Whatever
These would be the pop, rock, or unexpectedly unique songs needle-dropped into a movie that stood out in one way or another. Somehow they earwormed their way into this listener’s head. Not to be confused with the vocal signature tune of the movie. Everything else but…in other words
What might you think is missing here: Immigrant Song, featured in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo1. Sorry, but as good as that is, from an opening titles sequence perspective, it’s been in my head since October 1970 by Led Zeppelin, and longtime in my library of music way before Fincher’s film.
A Must to Avoid – Hold On (1966): The one Herman’s Hermits song, from another of those post-A Hard Day’s Night clones out that decade, that really worked for me as a kid. The short little pop number still does.
Call Me – American Gigolo (1980): A perfect song not only for the sequence it accompanied, but for Paul Schrader’s distinctive tale of a male escort and his work. Blondie’s new wave hit (their most popular) forever melded on celluloid.
Old Time Rock ‘n Roll, Risky Business (1983): Speaking about a song fused with a movie, I’m sure there have been others, but few this memorable (or career-lifting). Plus, it gave me cause to seek out more Bob Seger.
Power of Love, Back to the Future (1985): Huey Lewis and the News first #1 hit, and in what could be my favorite sci-fi movie trilogy. Hear that George Lucas?
I Got Loaded – Bull Durham (1988): The wet horseplay sequence following a rainout game was never better powered than with Los Lobos’ exuberant track. This, and another film, made me go back and re-examine the group’s wonderful work.
Recurring Dream, Tequila Sunrise (1988): One of Crowded House’s oldest numbers in their discography escorted Michelle Pffiefer’s Jo Ann Vallenari down the coast to Manhattan Beach in her Italian convertible. Now there’s a recurring dream.
Stuck in the Middle With You, Reservoir Dogs (1992): Like everyone else who has screened this film, and that scene, the one involving a straight razor and Stealer’s Wheel ’73 hit, can never dissociate song from movie. Not ever.
You Never Can Tell, Pulp Fiction (1994): Tarantino moving from the savage to the sublime with his sophomore effort. Throwing in a scene so Travolta could dance for the camera. Chuck Berry’s rock ‘n roll ditty driving Mia’s and Vincent’s feet.
Boys on the Side (1995)
You Got It: Bonnie Raitt’s mid-90s stellar cover (even Whoppi Goldberg performed a fair one herself) of Roy Orbison’s late career 1989 Top 10 hit proved this a beautifully flexible tune for this unexpected film.
Dreams: Okay, it’s the only The Cranberries song in my entire library. So? It’s still a good one.
Ready Steady Go – The Bourne Identity (2002): As I’ve said of Paul Oakenfold’s song, “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.” It drives the scene by force and rhythm alone.
My Immortal – Daredevil (2003): This superhero movie gets lots of grief, some of it warranted. The choice of using Evanescence’s song for the funeral scene not up for any criticism, in my opinion.
Goodnight Moon, Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004): The noirish lyrics on alternative rock band Shivaree’s song, along with Ambrosia Parsley’s smokey vocal, was spot-on for the film’s end credits. Especially with that question mark following Elle Driver’s final status.
Let Her Dance, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): As mentioned here, “…the song resurrected most recently in Wes Anderson’s wonderful adaptation of the children’s novel written by Roald Dahl. […] The upbeat, up-tempo number used for the final sequence in the film that brought a smile to all who watched.”
A Real Hero – Drive (2011): I’ve already covered this, “If you’ve seen this film and its last act, you know exactly what I mean by all this — and understand why the number of plays for the tune keeps going up. I hope you enjoy “a real human being and a real hero”. ♫”
How about you? Any rockin’ pop songs or odd little ditties you’ve collected because of a movie?
The entire series can be found here.
- Trent Razor, Atticus Ross, and Karen O re-imagined Led Zeppelin’s classic rock tune for David Fincher’s film. ↩