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.
One of the best things about movies set during specific times is the music that is chosen. I’ve always felt that if you can nail the look of the time, than you had best make sure you get the sounds right as well. It’s sort of funny to think about but, also not surprising that one of the best soundtracks ever also came out in 1994. I’m telling you, 1994 was beyond a magical year. The soundtrack I’m speaking of is for Forrest Gump. As you know, the film takes place across a few decades and the music chosen to represent those years is absolutely perfect. You’ve got selections from Elvis Presley, The Four Tops, Creedence Clearwater Revivial, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Supremes, Bob Segar & The Silver Bullet Band, Harry Nielsson, etc. This soundtrack really is exquisite. Even the rest of the songs in the film not included on the soundtrack were great. Songs by Fleetwood Mac, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Canned Heat and Jackson Browne really bring it all together. Even the score for the film by Alan Silvestri was perfect. The soundtrack to Forrest Gump is one of those that will always be recognized and rightfully so.
Oh the 90’s, what a great time for music. Just like our parents had the 60’s and 70’s, we had the 90’s. The music and films at the time were totally representative of the changing culture. There were a few filmmakers like Richard Linklater and Kevin Smith that really dialed in on that. One such film which has now garnered a cult following, is Kevin Smith’s Mallrats. Not only was the movie funny and zeroed in on the culture, the soundtrack that accompanied it was pretty damn good. There was one song on it that I will always remember and that was Bush’s “Bubbles.” This song was released only on the soundtrack for Mallrats, though it now can be found on an expanded edition of the bands second album Razorblade Suitcase (which is quite a great album as well). Anyways, check out this song and enjoy!
Bush- Bubbles (from Mallrats):
Last year when Venom was released in theaters it was met with mixed reviews. There was one thing though about the movie that was absolutely perfect and that was the inclusion of Run The Jewel’s on the soundtrack. The duo featuring Killer Mike and EL-P released a track called “Let’s Go (The Royal We)” and it was downright badass. Ever since they released the song, I can’t stop listening to it. I was hoping that it might be included on the duo’s upcoming RTJ IV album but, it seems like it was released just for the soundtrack. Either way this track is fantastic and the beat that EL-P created is “hard and heavy.” So, until Run The Jewel’s releases RTJ IV, this will do just fine!
Remember way back, when Tales From The Crypt was on? I know I do. It was such a fun show full of humor, horror and violence. The show was a pretty big success and of course out of that came a couple Tales From The Crypt movies. The first (and best one) was Demon Knight. The movie starred Billy Zane, William Sadler, Jada Pinkett and Thomas Haden Church. The real gem of the movie though was the soundtrack, which consisted of bands like Pantera, Machine Head, Megadeth, Rollins Band, Filter, Ministry and The Melvins to name a few. The choice to make the soundtrack mostly heavy music really gave the movie the right mood. Plus a soundtrack and movie like this in 1995, you knew you were gonna get something worthwhile.
A couple years back the folks who make Game of Thrones released a “soundtrack” album of songs written about the show. One of the most stand out songs from that release was Mastodon’s contribution to it. The song “White Walker” is one of the bands most experimental yet wonderfully crafted songs. It’s also worth noting that a few of the members of Mastodon have appeared on the show and yes, they were killed, hahaha. Anyways here’s Mastodon’s awesome song!
Way back in 2001 after the break up of The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain formed a new band called Zwan. There was two sides to the band and the more acoustic based side was called The Djali Zwan. Then in 2002, Billy was approached by visionary director Jonas Akerlund to create the music for his upcoming film Spun. A slew of original songs were written by Billy, as well as different approaches to a variety of other songs like a very stripped down version of Iron Maiden’s “The Number Of The Beast.” The film would go on to become a sort of cult movie but, the soundtrack is one of those sought after items for many fans of Corgan’s. These songs have taken on a life of their own and really helped to give a vibe to the film.