The film Say Anything has one of the most iconic scenes ever involving a song. John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler stands beside his car, boom box over his head, blasting Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” (from his stellar debut solo album, So) into Diane Court’s bedroom window, just to let her know that he has not given up on her. When talking about the scene writer/director Cameron Crowe (that’s right Say Anything is a Cameron Crowe film if you didn’t know) said “That scene is like Romeo under the trellis, But I have this feeling when I watch it that it’s filled with double emotion – both with the story and the actors, whose own trepidation bleeds in.” This scene and song is truly amazing and one that will stand up for centuries. Interestingly, Peter Gabriel initially turned down Crowe because he confused the film with another film in production at the time, a John Belushi biography called Wired.
If you ever watched the show House you are probably pretty familiar with the opening credits song. If you don’t know, that song is Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” from their exquisite and masterful album, Mezzanine. This song has some very interesting history and tidbits. The origin of the song was first developed from a harpsichord riff made in the studio. Originally (and this is very intriguing) Madonna was the first person Andrew Vowles wanted to have sing on this track. The other 2 members Robert Del Naja and Grantley Marshall wanted Cocteau Twins singer Elizabeth Fraser to sing lead. Turns out there is a version with Madonna singing this song but, they chose Elizabeth Fraser’s version due to her style fitting the mournful melody more favorably.
Empire Records is one of my all time favorite movies. It’s one of those movies that really does capture the time period and the connection of life to music. Over the years, the cult status of the film has grown by leaps and bounds. Besides launching many careers for a lot of the actors in it, the soundtrack was amazing. There is one scene in particular that I’ve always been fond of and have wanted to recreate if I had a job and boss like that. I’m talking about the scene when Lucas and AJ are rocking out to “If You Want Blood” by AC/DC while their boss Joe, locks himself in his office and plays along on the drums to blow off some steam. “If You Want Blood” is my all time favorite AC/DC song so, it’s only fitting that I share this with you!
Yesterday, I was listening to Suicidal Tendencies. While listening, I thought back to watching Mike Muir and Infectious Grooves playing the prom in Encino Man. They played “Feed The Monkey” and absolutley rocked the prom. I still think the dance sequence with Pauly Shore, Sean Astin and Brendan Fraser is perfect and hilarious. It’s fun to go back and watch that movie. It still holds up and is still funny. If there were ever to be a sequel (though it’s been a really long time), they need to bring Infectious Grooves back to play.
Infectious Grooves- Feed The Monkey in Encino Man:
Infectious Grooves- Feed The Monkey (Album Version):
I will be totally honest with you. I can’t stand Coldplay but, there is one song they have that I’ve enjoyed over the years and it’s thanks to the show Rescue Me. Many years ago, while watching Rescue Me (if you aren’t familiar with the show, you should definitely watch it. It’s fantastic and it’s in my top 5 all time for favorite TV Shows), a Coldplay song began playing at the wrap up part of the episode. To my surprise, the song really was beautifully chosen and fit the scenes perfectly. Over the years, the song “Don’t Panic” by Coldplay has been the only song of theirs that I could really stand. Anytime I hear this song, it makes me think of Rescue Me.
The movie Adventureland is one of those movies that flew under the radar a bit when it was released but has since become a sort of Dazed and Confused type of cult movie. It’s got a really good ensemble cast, a good story, decent performances but, the real standout is the soundtrack. There are so many great songs found in this movie. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is this part when Jesse Eisenberg and Ryan Reynolds are driving and talking and Lou Reed’s “Satellite Of Love” is playing in the background. The whole scene plays out perfectly and this song plays an interesting and pivotal role for the characters. If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend it. I’m sure it’s streaming somewhere. AND, if you’ve never listened to Lou Reed’s Transformer album, you should most definitely do that as well!
This has got to be one of the best, if not top 5 all time uses of a song in film. Personally, anytime I hear Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” I immediately think of this scene from Almost Famous. It’s seriously one of the best uses of a song in film EVER. It’s absolutely perfect. It also makes me want to watch the movie too. There isn’t much need to go on rambling about this one. Just enjoy it, especially if it’s been a minute since you’ve seen the movie.
When you think of Lynyrd Skynyrd, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is “Free Bird.” That’s the same for me too. Over the years though, I’ve really come to the realization that “Tuesday’s Gone” is a better song than “Free Bird.” That’s just my opinion, and we can talk about that later if you’d like. Anyways, the other night while looking for something mindless to watch, I noticed Happy Gilmore was about to start and so I settled in and watched. As it began I couldn’t help but remember that “Tuesday’s Gone” opens and closes the movie and its the perfect song to do both. So with that in mind, check out this great use of the song in one of the funniest movies ever!
David Fincher’s film Zodiac, is quite a remarkable film. There isn’t one thing about this film that I have any complaints about. Everything about it from the performances, the cinematography, art direction, etc, it all makes this film something great. The soundtrack for the film is also something special. You know how Quentin Tarantino has a knack for picking the right songs, well David Fincher is right there with him. In the first scene in the film, Fincher’s song selection of the Donovan song “Hurdy Gurdy Man” is absolutely perfect. I still remember the first time I saw this film and thinking what a perfect use of a song for this scene. If you’ve never seen Zodiac, I highly recommend it.
Grosse Pointe Blank is one of the best films of the past 25 years. It’s funny, heartfelt, violent and all around great. Plus the soundtrack to the film is superb. This movie is one of those that you can watch constantly just for fun. It’s also one of those that when it’s on, most people tend to watch it no matter how far in the movie already is. John Cusack is perfect as Martin Blank. I was recently watching the movie the other night and there was a scene I made a note of and had to present it here. Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” was featured in the movie in one of the coolest scenes. Check it out!