Thanks to The Alamo Drafthouse’s Music Monday, I recently got to revisit VELVET GOLDMINE. I absolutely love this film. I have always loved the decadence that is the unauthorized tale of David Bowie & Iggy Pop. Also, how often do you get to see Obi Wan Kenobi get it on with Batman? I got to thinking about how great this soundtrack is. Obviously they couldn't’t use actual music by Bowie or Iggy for fear of lawsuits. Some great musicians came together and wrote original songs for this film including Thom Yorke, Shudder To Think, and Pulp. I especially love Placebo’s cover of T-Rex’s “20Th Century Boy.” If you get a chance, check out this soundtrack and also check out Music Monday at Alamo Ritz. Every Monday they show music films/documentaries for only $2.
After my epiphany, I began to think about other film soundtracks that are awesome. So what do you know, I came up with another list! Here goes:
Who doesn't love Prince? The first time I watched PURPLE RAIN, I was definitely preschool age and probably should not have been watching it. The first sex scene I ever saw was between Prince & Apollonia. I kinda wanted to be like her (still do)! The 1980s spawned a weird influx of musicians turned actors (Madonna, Gene Simmons, Bowie), but PURPLE RAIN is the best. I was fortunate enough to see Prince when he did the big comeback in 2004; I have to say that was the best concert I have ever been to. This soundtrack is filled with hit after hit. Many people have tried to capture the same magic that PURPLE RAIN created since, including Prince himself. Does anyone remember UNDER THE CHERRY MOON & GRAFFITI BRIDGE?
I recently confessed that the first villain I sympathised with was Ivan Drago from ROCKY IV. ROCKY IV is responsible for one of the most important elements in film: the montage. Now this is how you do a motherfucking montage! From the training scene to the build up for the Apollo fight, these scenes would never be as memorable without these great songs. Make no secret, I often listen to this soundtrack at the gym.
Hands down, best falling in love montage is in VALLEY GIRL with Modern English "Melt With You." Call me sentimental but I have a special place in my heart for 80s teen flicks. I am guilty of dreaming about Lloyd Dobler standing outside my window with a boom box. However, although he is a complete lunatic now, it's almost impossible not to swoon over Nic Cage when he takes Julie to see The Plimsouls.
I have never been a huge fan of 1970s rock with the exception of The Stones. I have never been into Zeppelin or Cat Stevens but their song choices for this film are so spot on. It's really hard not to get teary eyed when Stevie Wonder sings "My Cherie Amour" when Penny nearly overdoses. "Tangerine" and "Tiny Dancer" are definite highlights.
LOST IN TRANSLATION
Kevin Shields composed a lot of stuff for this film and you can't go wrong with My Bloody Valentine. Sofia Coppola is famous for her use of songs by Air and several other now hipster bands like Phoenix. I've said before that the scene with Bill Murray karaoke-ing "What's So Funny (Bout Peace, Love, & Understanding)" is one of my all time favorite scenes. This is also the first film we see the use of Peaches' "Fuck The Pain Away." The Piece De Resistance of the film is the final scene with one of the most beautiful songs by JAMC.
I used to be of the impression that soundtracks are pretty lame but now that I think of it, many films are strengthened by their soundtracks. Other honorable mentions include: THE LOST BOYS, STAND BY ME, DESERT BLUE, THE KARATE KID, SAY ANYTHING, and CASINO.