The year is 1992 and the Seattle music scene is exploding. Director Cameron Crowe has made a film that tries to encapsulate that era of Seattle with his film Singles. While the film is a bit hit and miss, there is one thing about the film that stands out, it’s soundtrack.
We all know about the inclusion of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Chris Cornell. There is one song in particular on the soundtrack that has always stood out to me. That song is “Drown” by The Smashing Pumpkins. The song debuted during the tour for their debut album and was written not long after that record was released. “Drown” became a moderate radio hit in mid-1992 and gave the band significant exposure just before work commenced on their follow up album Siamese Dream. It’s worth noting that the song was also released on the band’s official greatest hits compilation album Rotten Apples but, only the abridged version was included. “Drown” was considered for the Pisces Iscariot album but William Patrick Corgan decided to not include it. The other night, when I saw the Pumpkins live, I finally got to hear this masterful song in its entirety and it left me in awe.
Back in 2003 director Tim Burton approached Pearl Jam to write a new song for his upcoming film Big Fish. After a screening of the film, Eddie Vedder went home after being blown away from what he just watched and wrote “Man Of The Hour” and brought it to the band the next day. The song itself is one of those true gems that when it’s played at Pearl Jam shows, the audience really digs in. Interestingly, back in 2006 while performing in New Jersey, Eddie mentioned to the audience that “Come Back” from the band’s 2006 self titled album (also known as The Avacado album) is set with the same young man from “Man of the Hour” talking to the departed two months later. To me, I love that he continued the story of what he started with “Man of the Hour.” Something else that I found interesting is, this song has been used as a dedication to those who have passed such as Johnny Ramone, Lou Reed and Layne Staley.
Let’s take a trip back to 1990 and the movie Young Guns II. The story goes, Emilio Estevez had asked Jon to use “Wanted Dead or Alive” as the main song for the film but instead, Jon wrote a new song and an albums worth of material. Kiefer Sutherland mentioned in an interview many years ago, “When Jon (Bon Jovi) joined the team for Young Guns 2, we were all eating hamburgers in a diner and Jon was scribbling on this napkin for, say, six minutes. He declared he’d written ‘Blaze of Glory’, which of course then went through the roof in the States. He later gave Emilio Estevez the napkin. We were munching burgers while he wrote a No. 1 song… Made us feel stupid.” The song later won the Golden Globe for best original song and received an Oscar nomination (but lost to Stephen Sondheim’s “Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man) from Dick Tracy… Talk about a robbery).
The summer of 1993 was supposed to be huge for Arnold Schwarzenegger and the movie Last Action Hero. Instead Jurassic Park swallowed up the competition that summer. Even though Last Action Hero bombed, it was still a fun movie. The one real saving grace to that movie though was the soundtrack. In particular the Alice In Chains song “A Little Bitter” which was released exclusively on the soundtrack and not available anywhere else until their box set came out in the late 90’s. Enjoy this gem of a song.
Back in 1998, the Matthew Broderick version of Godzilla was released. Now, the movie is absolute garbage but the soundtrack is actually pretty good minus one song (Come With Me which had P. Diddy and Jimmy Page collaborating… what an abomination). Anyways among the other songs on the soundtrack the one song that always stood out to me was “No Shelter” by Rage Against The Machine. “No Shelter” has always been a favorite Rage song of mine. It does suck that the song only appeared on this soundtrack though it was a bonus track on the Australian, Japanese and European releases of The Battle Of Los Angeles. Anyways enjoy this great gem by Rage Against The Machine.
As I’ve written about it many times before, the soundtrack for The Crow is one the best soundtracks of all time. There isn’t one song on it that doesn’t fit or make you want to watch the film. I’ll never forget way back when, the first time I heard the Rage Against The Machine song “Darkness.” I was completely floored by it. I had been a fan of the band for a while at that time and didn’t hear it on their debut. The song was originally written in 1991 and titled “Darkness Of Greed.” They re-recorded the song specifically for the soundtrack. “Darkness” never appeared on an album until the anniversary edition of their debut album. It did appear however as a b-side on the “Killin In The Name” single. Either way the only way to get this song for a long time was via The Crow soundtrack.
John Wick 1 and 2 are quite possibly the best action films to come out in the last 10 years. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either of the films. Keanu Reeves was made for this role as he was in Point Break, The Matrix and Bill and Ted. Besides Keanu’s awesomeness in the films, the soundtracks are stellar. There is one song in particular from John Wick Chapter 2 that should be on your radar. Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains wrote a song called “A Job To Do” and it’s badass!