Remember the 1994 movie Reality Bites? It starred Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garafalo, Steve Zahn and Ben Stiller (who also directed the fiim). The film was one of those at the time that tried to capture the Generation X movement and highlight the issues of each individual. It’s one of those movies that over time has achieved cult status and has started to be studied in a way as to the correlation between differing eras and how times change so rapidly these days, not to mention the capitalistic/corporate nature of our world and how it’s all but taken the individual aspects of culture and commerce away. But enough of me going off on a tangent about that (I will save that for another day and topic). The soundtrack to this film though is one that stands out. Not only in the songs/bands picked, how they were used in the film. There is a bit of an interesting history to the soundtrack as well. RCA met with the film’s music supervisor Karyn Rachtman, and Stiller, three weeks into filming, to discuss the soundtrack album. They finalized a deal and the label opened its roster to the director, who picked only one band: Me Phi Me. RCA aggressively marketed the album and had five tracks on rotation on radio and MTV. The video for Crowded House’s “Locked Out” was updated to include footage from the film. In addition, the video for “Spin the Bottle” by the Juliana Hatfield Three was directed by Stiller and featured clips from the film as well. The soundtrack sold 1.2 million units and reached #13 on the Billboard 200. The album also earned a No. 1 single with Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)”. In the US the album went 2X Platinum as well. What’s most interesting about this soundtrack is that it tells a story just like an album would. That is something quite rare in soundtracks these days. The 90’s really had a knack for putting together the right soundtracks and it took the film to a whole level, just like in Reality Bites. By the way, if you haven’t seen this movie, I recommend it. It’s a great watch especially when you look at the world today and realize how doomed we all are!
The 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet, you know the one with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, has one hell of a great soundtrack. It features a bunch of great bands like Radiohead, Garbage, The Cardigans, and Butthole Surfers. The Radiohead song “Exit Music (For A Film)” is featured in the film as the credits play but, was not included on the soundtrack. Instead “Talk Show Host” is. This soundtrack was a huge success and a few of the songs like “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, helped to propel the sales. The soundtrack reached number 2 on the Billboard charts and would go on to sell over 3 million copies in the US alone.
I was talking to a friend the other day who is doing one of those post an album cover without explanation things on social media. One of the ones he posted was an album cover by The Donnas. It’s been so long since I’ve listened to them that it sent me on a little bit of a dig back through their catalog. While doing so, I remembered they did a pretty awesome and fun cover of the Kiss song “Strutter” for the soundtrack to Detroit Rock City. So for the fun of it, here’s that cover for you to enjoy.
Let’s travel back to 1992 and revisit the soundtrack for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer. While the movie has achieved some cult status over the years, and the TV show has been hailed, the soundtrack has become a bit of an after thought. When you look at the soundtrack though, you can see why it would be. Though there has always been one song on it that has been intriguing. That song is “Light Comes Out Of Black” by Pantera featuring Rob Halford. In an interview some years ago, Rob Halford commented on how this came to be. “I was away from Priest. Sony were working on the soundtrack. They wanted Sony artists and asked me to write a song. I hadn’t written as a solo writer for years and years and years. But it’s one of those things where you don’t know what you can do until you put your nose to the grindstone. So I wrote “Light Comes Out of Black,” and I was stuck. And I got Dime’s number, and I called him up and I said, “Here’s the deal.” And he goes, “Let’s do it. Just get in the plane and come down to Dallas.” So that’s what I did the next day, went to the studio, laid the track down in a very short space of time. Phil wandered by, said “Oh, how’s it going, ‘metal god’?” So I told him and he said, “You got a spot for me?” I said, “Pfft, here’s the mic.” So Phil joins me on the back end of the song. And it turned out really good. It’s amazing to think that that’s a Pantera song really. It is Pantera with me on lead vocals, and Phil obviously doing the outro sections. But it’s a Pantera song really.
So without anymore delay, here’s the song!
Pantera with Rob Halford- Light Comes Out Of Black:
Back in 1999, on the soundtrack and in the movie to the Adam Sandler film Big Daddy, something truly wrong happened. There was an atrocious cover of a song that should have never been allowed to be released. Sheryl Crow’s version of the Guns N Roses classic “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” I still remember hearing it in the movie and thinking this was terrible, and guess what, it still is. Her version was originally released as a bonus track on her third album. And even more interestingly, the recording not only won her a Grammy but, it was also produced by Rick Rubin. Over the years, Crow’s version has been regarded as one of the worst cover songs ever, and rightfully so. Despite all the negativity towards it though, it became somewhat of a hit in areas like Australia, Canada, Iceland and the U.K. I still want to know who thought this would be a good idea and who approved it to be in the movie.
The Breakfast Club is one of the best films to come out of the 80’s and it’s also one of the most poignant films of a generation. It’s one of those films that as time goes on, it will always be highly regarded and looked upon with acclaim. The story, the script, the performances in the movie are all stunning. As much as those elements make up a truly great film, the soundtrack that accompanied it was just as important, especially the song “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.
While scoring the film, Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff wrote the song with the band Simple Minds in mind to perform the song. Originally the band turned down the opportunity to record the song so it was then offered to Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry as well as Billy Idol but, they too declined. According to Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr, the band didn’t want to do the song based on the feeling that “they should only record their own material. “We are Simple Minds – we don’t do songs that sound like Simple Minds. We are Simple Minds. We do our own songs.” After much persuasion from their record label as well as The Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde (who was also married to Jim Kerr at the time), Simple Minds finally agreed.
This song was played twice in the film (the beginning and end) and it’s played such a pivitol role in the message of the film. It’s also worth noting that the band opted not to include the song on their album Once Upon A Time, which they were working on at the same time. Thus making it exclusive to the soundtrack. However in 1992, it did appear on the bands best of.
Back in 1996, one of the biggest movies of the year was Beavis and Butthead Do America. I still remember seeing that movie countless times with my childhood best friend. It was and still is one hell of a funny movie. One of the coolest parts of the movie was the soundtrack. In particular the song that White Zombie contributed to it entitled “Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls.” Even the scene in which it’s featured is superb and super trippy. This White Zombie song was also the last thing the band would release before they broke up.
White Zombie- Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls:
The Wedding Singer is one of those movies that no matter when it’s on, it’s always a fun movie to watch. It’s aged well and the jokes are still funny. One other thing about the movie that has always been great is the music. The 80’s had some really good music and some that was well, lets just say, it was crap. One of the fun parts of The Wedding Singer was the ability for them to poke some fun at the music of the time. Either way, the soundtrack to the movie is a classic and it’s perfect for your 80’s themed parties or when you just want to have a good time. Songs by David Bowie, New Order, The Psychedelic Furs, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and Billy Idol are just a few of the greats that appear on the soundtrack. Plus the two songs that Adam Sandler sing in the film are included and both of those are actually quite well done, especially “Somebody Kill Me.”
The End of Days soundtrack is a great example of a soundtrack that is way better than the movie. The soundtrack features many songs that are b-sides or previously unreleased. Korn’s contribution is a track entitled “Camel Song.” This was recorded during the Follow The Leader sessions and it only appears on this soundtrack.
Take a trip back to 1985 with me. Miami Vice (which is one of my top 5 all time favorite TV shows ever) is taking over the small screen and captivating audiences. Part of what made the show great besides the writing, acting, costumes, cars, and setting was the music on the show. Those in charge of picking the music for the show had a real knack for picking the perfect songs. The first soundtrack released for the show back in 1985 featured some great songs including “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins and two songs by Glenn Frey of the Eagles, “Smuggler’s Blues” and my personal favorite “You Belong To The City.” Glenn’s songs were written specifically for the show, in particular the episode entitled Prodigal Son, which Glenn had a small part in. This song (along with Jan Hammer’s theme) helped to propel the soundtrack to the top spot on the Billboard charts for 11 weeks.