Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Friday, August 6, 2010

Heidi Presents, "Friday Gut Check - Sounding Off On Soundtracks"

I really like going to the dentist, and it's mostly because of Julia Roberts.

Like most kids, between the ages of 8 and 14, I must have been in the dentist's chair once a month. But, I never really minded it. Going to the dentist meant getting out of school early, enjoying happy gas (I always felt like my limbs were being twisted like a balloon animal, but in a good way.) and of course, picking from "the list."

Before every appointment at Dr. Bob's office, the hygienist would give me a laminated list of cassettes to listen to while I was under nitrous. And being a total dork, I picked the exact same tape every single time . . . the Pretty Woman soundtrack. Looking back, I think that having the picture of Julia's gaping wide pearly white smile was somehow comforting, and inspiring for a girl in the dentist's chair. But, mostly the soundtrack was just kind of happy. The track list includes David Bowie, Roxette and Peter Cetera! For me, a great soundtrack takes on the film's theme and spirit, and the Pretty Woman soundtrack is like a big toothy grin. It's awesome.

But, Pretty Woman doesn't make my list of the top 5 soundtracks of all time:

1. Reality Bites - One of my absolute favorite movies and my favorite soundtrack! Turn it up, you won't be sorry. The movie is a great depiction of the pop culture influence on Gen X, and their reluctance to enter adulthood. To get that same feel, the soundtrack mixes late 70s/early 80s hits like Tempted and My Sharona, quirky artists like Julianna Hatfield and hits like U2's All I Want is You. But, of course, we remember the huge hit Stay from the very quirky bespectacled Lisa Loeb. Oh, Gen X! Your soundtrack rocks. I wish every soundtrack were this good, and that Ben Stiller still made great movies.

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2. Footloose - Holy God do I love this soundtrack. Now, this movie is pretty ridiculous, and you know what? So, is the music. Almost Paradise and Holding out for a Hero could easily be the most cheesy melodramatic songs ever written. But somehow, we love that Footloose is cheesy, and by the end of the movie, we feel as exuberant as the title track sounds. But my personal fave is the use of Let's Hear it for the Boy in the best dance scene ever filmed, thanks to the late great Chris Penn. I WILL sing that song in a karaoke bar someday, it's a dream of mine.

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3. Juno - It's a gimme. I mean, The B Side and I actually agree on this one! I can't imagine everyone's favorite teenage pregnancy romp set to anything else but this. Every song choice used in the movie is perfect, and the soundtrack stands on its own as totally listenable - even that weird vampire song! Cat Power's Sea of Love makes me teary eyed every time, and the driving opener, All I Want is You, sets the tone for the whole movie.

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4. (500) Days of Summer - Any soundtrack that features Hall and Oates AND Simon and Garfunkel HAS to make every best soundtracks list. Much like the Reality Bites soundtrack, the mix of classic songs with modern indie gems fit perfectly with the film's tone. I can listen to this soundtrack over and over, and not get tired of it. It's just lovely. Plus, Regina Spektor is my personal hero, and I've loved The Smiths' Please, Please Please Let Me Get What I Want pretty much forever. Don't just watch the clip for this one, go watch the whole movie!

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5. Pulp Fiction - Iconic music for an iconic movie. I honestly don't think Pulp Fiction would have been as successful without the use of C'est la vie and Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon. But, what I really love about the soundtrack are those great instrumental surfer tracks. For a movie that exists solely to be cool, the soundtrack is a perfect match. I always catch myself doing the cool guy nod when listening to it.

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Honorable mentions go to Garden State, Romeo and Juliet and Jackie Brown - love those Delfonics. I probably have more movie soundtracks than actual albums, so this was really tough for me.

So Heidi caught me a bit off guard again and this was totally off the top of my head - but here are The B Side's Top 5 Movie Soundtracks:

PS...big time props to American Beauty, Menace II Society and Pulp Fiction. I love those too!

5 - Batman Forever. The movie is a little underrated to me, but it's still not good. What is good is the soundtrack. U2's Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me was huge. Smash It Up by Offspring is simply an awesome song. And who didn't love Seal's Kiss From A Rose back in the day? Heck - still today! Toss in some Method Man and you've got a soundtrack.

4 - Requiem For A Dream. It isn't so much a soundtrack as it is a score. But quite frankly, this is one of my favorite movies ever. And the soundtrack matches perfectly to the darkness of the film. I have many of the samples on my iPod and I listen to them often.

3 - Forrest Gump. Just look at this soundtrack. Seriously. Some of the greatest classic rock ever. Great movie, and the sounds mingled in with the times.

2 - Juno. I know most of it was done by one artist, but it's great. Mott The Hoople was a great sprinkle add and Sonic Youth covering the Carpenters blew my f'ing mind. Thank you Jason Bateman!

1 - Dark Knight. Duh. I didn't appreciate this nearly enough the first time around. I can crank this movie with the surround sound on and it blows my mind. If you really pay attention to the backgrounds especially when the Joker is about to do something crazy - it just fits. The music made the movie a 5+ star film.

Don't forget to tell us what we forgot, and share your lists!


  1. Gut checks are hard... I couldn't pick 5.
    So here goes:
    -Elf (greatest christmas soundtrack EVER)
    -Juno (loved it so much I ran out for the album after seeing the movie)
    -Beauty & the Beast (Classic and a great sing-along!)
    -Pretty Women (I stole this one from my mom!)
    -Clueless (As you can tell, I like to sing along to my soundtracks! WE'RE THE KIDS IN AMERICA!)
    -The Hangover (gotta love Stu's song!)
    -A Knight's Tale (an unexpected pairing of a medieval movie and modern music)
    -White Christmas (I know this whole movie by heart... including the songs)

    mine are not in order...

  2. Great list! I love the soundtrack to A Knight's Tale! Great choices!

  3. In no particular order:

    Dirty Dancing
    Singin' in the Rain
    8 Mile
    Purple Rain
    Wizard of Oz

  4. Singin' in the Rain is my favorite movie musical! Great choice. Dirty Dancing was in my consideration.

  5. Not being at all versed in soundtracks, I was disappointed with Hangover just because it didn't have the songs in it from the movie. I loved 'Can't Tell Me Nothing' by Kanye in the movie, but it wasn't on the soundtrack.

    8 Mile got a lot of respect from 'Lose Yourself' but other than that, I can't recall any other tracks.

  6. I guess I cheated on the Hangover soundtrack... I made my own playlist with all of the songs from the movie. So mine included Yeah, Can't Tell Me Nothin', and Live Your Life, etc.

  7. AWESOME! I bet that's a rockin' soundtrack! I'm not sure why the studio didn't release it that way!

    I had that on my list as Top 5 material. I was shocked to see it wasn't those tracks.

  8. i don't really know that i have a top five soundtracks list, but i do have some comments.

    no one had the soundtrack to almost famous? really? the movie as a whole probably is one of the best compilations of classic rock ever. the actual soundtrack is maybe a fourth of what was used in the movie. and the songs written for the movie aren't bad either. i even heard alice cooper play 'fever dog' on his radio show a while back.

    and no one had the lost highway soundtrack? i've never seen the movie, but the soundtrack had 'eye' by the smashing pumpkins and 'the perfect drug' by NIN - two of my favorite songs by either artist.

    love the clueless soundtrack. 'mullet head' by the beastie boys is my favorite song of theirs and it's from this album. when i listen to songs from this soundtrack i can picture exactly where they belong in the movie.

    i also LOVE the White Christmas soundtrack. all of it. and the movie.

    i also like the soundtrack to a knight's tale (it's what made me love 'golden years') and batman forever. although i disagree with the seal - i hate that song and always have - you really can't beat 'smash it up' and 'bad days' by the flaming lips is probably one of my favorite songs ever. and the soundtrack to romeo and juliet - i have some of those songs in my regular playlists on my ipod.

    i also love the soundtrack to that thing you do! and empire records. and i think the soundtrack to the nightmare before christmas is very kick ass. i'm not a danny elfman aficionado by any means but i think any soundtrack he works on kicks ass. pretty sure he worked on chicago and batman? and probably other tim burton works.

    and in closing, i will submit my favorite soundtrack for listening: the soundtrack to snatch. it is great in the car. it is great all the time. and i love the movie. and it's another one where i can see all the parts in the movie that correspond to the songs when it's on.

  9. The Almost Famous soundtrack was 'almost' as good as the Forrest Gump one in my opinion. I had that down on my preliminary list, but it didn't make the cut over Gump.

    I've both seen Lost Highway and listened to the soundtrack. I do enjoy it, and I probably should have given it a shoutout on the honorable mentions.

    There was a Radiohead track on the Clueless album, Fake Plastic Trees I think. Awesome song.

    I didn't much care for Seal either...but hey, I'm the minority on that one. I'll enjoy your company in my boat.

    I'd have to listen to the Snatch Soundtrack. By the track list, it doesn't look like I know anything on it.

  10. the snatch soundtrack didn't have any 'hits' on it like some of the other soundtracks discussed did. but if you've seen the movie - even if you haven't - it's great to listen to. perhaps i'll slide that one your way...

    and yes, 'fake plastic trees' is awesome.

  11. Movie was fun. I'm sure the soundtrack would be neat too.

    Radiohead in general, is pretty much awesome.

  12. I didn't see any mention of the Coneheads soundtrack.

    It brought us Soul to Squeeze.
    1. Magic Carpet Ride by Michael Monroe & Slash
    2. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
    3. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) by Andy Bell & k.d. lang
    4. Kodachrome by Paul Simon
    5. Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Morten Harket
    6. It's a Free World, Baby by R.E.M.
    7. Soul to Squeeze by Red Hot Chili Peppers
    8. Fight the Power by Barenaked Ladies
    9. Little Renee by Digable Planets
    10. Chale Jao by Babble
    11. Conehead Love by Nan Schaefer

    And the Wayne's World Soundtrack...
    Sikamikanico, Hot And Bothered, Ride With Yourself, Why You Wanna Break My Heart. I used to listen to this over and over when I was younger.
    1. "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Queen
    2. "Hot And Bothered" - Cinderella
    3. "Rock Candy" - Bulletboys
    4. "Dream Weaver" - Gary Wright
    5. "Sikamikanico" - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    6. "Time Machine" - Black Sabbath
    7. "Wayne's World Theme" - Mike Myers/Dana Carvey (Extended Version)
    8. "Ballroom Blitz" - Tia Carrere
    9. "Foxy Lady" - Jimi Hendrix
    10. "Feed My Frankenstein" - Alice Cooper
    11. "Ride With Yourself" - Rhino Bucket
    12. "Loving Your Lovin'" - Eric Clapton
    13. "Why You Wanna Break My Heart" - Tia Carrere

  13. Nice post. Two very good soundtracks there Mith.

    Coneheads for Soul To Squeeze alone. Great track.

    Waynes World I listened to a ton back in the day too. About the only song I skipped was Tia Carrere's version of Ballroom Blitz. I enjoyed Sweet's version too much.