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.
In other words, Frozen‘s Let It Go moment. A song I really enjoyed when I saw it, but have grown sick of the tune by the sheer number times it’s been replayed on TV and online. Ad nauseam.
Okay, this is the Big Kahuna…the musical highlight. Seemingly, the prime reason the movie is a platform for this number. What music fans desire, a tune to show off. The important caveat being it’s not the film’s theme song. That said, nothing in my definition says a film should feature only one. In fact, a few of these on my list have a couple. Given the number of these on my iPod, I’ll split them up by a simple differentiation.
Whether the film is a musical or not.
Wizard of Oz (1939)
Over the Rainbow: Of course, this classic had to be included. No one ever sang it like the young Judy.
If I Only Had a Brain: Ditto, just with Ray Bolger. Always loved this character.
The Sound of Music (1965)
Favorite Things: God, I love Julie Andrews! It’s here where I began my crush, as I saw this way before Mary Poppins.
Something Good: Ditto.
Edelweiss: Never knew Christopher Plummer could sing, or had a voice like this. I need to rewatch this movie, which will chase out everyone in my home. But I don’t care ;-).
People – Funny Girl (1968): I for one still consider this the signature tune for Barbara Streisand, as my dear aunt Olivia did.
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
I Don’t Know How to Love Him: Yeah, Helen Reddy covered it for a ’71 pop hit on radio, but Yvonne Elliman truly owns it. Having performed it on stage and reprising the song for the Norman Jewison film adaptation, where she really captured it for me.
Everything’s Alright: Nothing wrong in having more Yvonne. Sure, I’d heard it before, like Helen’s rendition of the above, on radio in 1971. But, again, it was here where the song made the impression it did. Still has me.
A Star is Born (1976)
Evergreen: I guess one could argue it’s the signature tune of this film, one of many solid ones. Along with the fact it was the film’s biggest hit. Still, I’ve positioned it here.
With One More Look At You / Watch Closely Now: With what I’ve said of the previous song, this was how to close out a musical! Babs in full glory, with a finale that doesn’t get the appreciation it should.
Aretha Franklin successfully re-recorded this with Curtis Mayfield, but nowhere was the movie’s actual soundtrack ever released, unfortunately. I ‘borrowed’ this song for my iPod directly from the film itself.
Something He Can Feel – Sparkle (1976): Some will recognize this wonderful Curtis Mayfield song, primarily through its most recent 2007 incantation, but it was done here first. Performed by Lonette McKee, Irene Cara and Dwan Smith in a more real, and less flashy, fashion. Love this.
All That Jazz (1979)
I remain an out-an-out fan of this film. The one Fosse production that made me understand the importance of hands and arms in dance.
On Broadway: If Streisand had the best close for a single artist on the list, this needle-dropped song by George Benson for Bob Fosse’s greatest film represented the best start for a dance-slash-musical. Simply mesmerizing.
Take Off With Us: Whimsical, eye-popping, and definitely boundary-pushing for 1979, this dance sequence had it all. As Alan Arkush described, “A depiction of coast-to-coast sex that’s the real show-stopper.” The snappy little number that Frank Sinatra wouldn’t go near.
Bye Bye Love: Okay, as opposed to Streisand’s bit, this is the best closing number on the list for an ensemble piece. Everything in the film led up to this moment and Bob Fosse, bless his heart, didn’t pull back. If there’s another role, besides his Chief Martin Brody from Jaws, when I think of Roy Scheider, it’s this.
Victor Victoria (1982)
The Shady Dame From Seville: Remember what I said of Julie Andrews earlier? Well, her husband, the unappreciated Blake Edwards, certainly knew how to showcase her. Indeed.
Le Jazz Hot: Just see above. Besides, any film featuring Julie Andrews and the late-James Garner will always remain a favorite of mine.
Young and Beautiful – The Great Gatsby (2013): I had to thank Ruth of Flixchatter for first turning me on to this. Confirming how great Lana Del Rey’s haunting number from the film was when I finally saw it deployed on film.
How about you? Any featured songs from a Musical you’ve collected because of a movie?
The entire series can be found here.