One day, the call came from a fellow podcaster in need, a gentleman who has extended his hand to me and my Stratosphere pals countless times. Pint O’ Comics John Ganache needed entries for his show about the best songs from movies not originally written for that movie. It sounds more complicated than it is. It’s actually a really interesting concept. I knew what I had to do: …steal his idea!
It’s a great list idea, John! Thanks!
It was a challenge though, as immediately I went to thinking about Danger Zones and the theme from Rocky and Jaws and those are all out! They were written for the movie! That eliminates most Kenny Loggins tunes! I’m all right; don’t nobody worry ‘bout me. I got this!
I set out to commit my list to digital life before it took over my world. With little to no regard to my daily responsibilities, I sat down and pounded out my initial thoughts. Here are the results that I emailed into Ganache for use in their awesome Pint O’ Comics podcast. I tagged some YouTube videos, but beware the content might stretch beyond the family friendly vibes I usually try to put out in my articles. Some videos are for Mature Audiences Only.
Also, my apologies to the studios as we do not own or want you to think we think we own any of this material. We’re just sharing for review purposes. All content belongs to its respective owners.
Now onto the list I sent John Ganache!
1. “Singing in the Rain” –Gene Kelly— A Clockwork Orange—Nothing like transposing a classic childhood musical tune over top of some good ole’ hyper violence, eh? By using that song, they really show the deprivation of Alex and his actions.
2. “Where is My Mind”—Pixies—Fight Club—This is the song that plays at that climactic moment where the Narrator wins. It has that twisted, scrawling guitar lick that makes the blowing up of our economic structures feel like a real celebration.
3. “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love”—Blues Bros. (Originally Solomon Burke; also covered and made famous by Wilson Picket and The Rolling Stones)—This is the moment in the movie where everything is converging. The concert is happening, the police are at the door, the jig is up—but Elwood and Jake remind the audience what it’s all about in the long run.
4. “Father and Son”—Cat Stevens—Guardians of the Galaxy 2–Who cries at a super hero movie? Everybody, at least if you saw this touching tribute to Yondu from the Ravagers as Starlord and company watch on from their ship.
5. “Daughter”—Loudon Wainwright III (originally by Peter Blegvad)—Knocked Up—This song plays while Katherine Heigle and Seth Rogan are bringing their baby home. I don’t remember the scene entirely, but I remember the song. It’s the perfect mix of unconditional sentimentality and narcissism it takes to be a good parent.
6. “Hallelujah”—Rufus Wainwright—Shrek— Ok. Shrek is surprisingly well put together, considering what it is. It’s also the first time I heard this song. This is the perfect song for that moment when you need lifted up again after whatever wrong choices you’ve made. It might just be the perfect song. Here it blends in perfectly, and it lends a heart to a movie like Shrek that shows the animators really get it, whatever that is. Ignore the movies like Watchmen that have tried use this song for their own bastardized purposes.
7. “Pennies from Heaven”—Bing Crosby—Elf—I love two things: movie montages and unbridled joy. This combines both beautifully.
8. “Stuck in the Middle with You”—Stealer’s Wheel—Reservoir Dogs. There’s a sadistic joy to this scene that the song really helps to hammer home. This is just the embodiment of what makes Tarantino movies work. It’s stylish, it’s hyper violent, and it’s so damned cool.
At this point, it’s worth mentioning that John initially had requested five songs. I ignored that request and sent him eight. But my chums at the Stratosphere lounge aren’t satisfied with a mere five—nor eight, even. We go all the way, baby. All the way…to ten!
As it turned out, John and company at the Pint had the same idea and bumped their lists up to ten, so… huzzah, serendipity!
Regardless, here are two bonus, never before seen entries new to this list. I know this because I haven’t written them yet and still don’t know what they are. But there shall be ten! Here we go!
“Build Me Up, Buttercup”— The Foundations—There’s Something About Mary. I’m a sucker for the end of the movie, here’s the cast goofing around or clip roll of outttakes—and this song is so darned catchy. I can’t here it today without remembering this movie. It also has that fun manic energy that makes it a blast to sing in the car or wherever. How’d he get the beans above the franks, anyway?
And finally, …the last one on the list… the one you’ve been waiting for… I’m definitely not just stalling for time…I know what it is…and. I’m. Going. To. Say. It. Now….
“Tiny Dancer” Elton John—Almost Famous. One of my favorite things about music is how it brings people together. In fact, I met Ghost Andy because I heard Bob Dylan songs blaring out of his dorm room back in the day, and we’ve been friends ever since. I once made a friend solely because he used the words “fine music” in a sentence, to which I replied “fine FINE music” and our lives have been saved by Rock and Roll ever since. Yeah, Rock and Roll. It’s appropriate that Almost Famous, the story of how movie great Cameron Crowe got his start writing for Rolling Stone, showcases a scene where music brings everyone together. AF showcased the music industry at its best and at its worst—mainly the worst, but it’s nicer to focus on the best part, so here you go.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed the March list challenge. Thanks again to the fine folks at Pint O’ Comics who let us take their idea and run with it. They really do have an awesome show that you should check out if you’re not doing so already. I was also happy to have this topic as a break from all my travel articles recently (it’s worth mentioning I saw the guys from the Pint at Toyfair on their way to do their awesome video interviews with Bossfight Studios and Super 7). So thanks for the time to unpack, fellas!
Until next time, I’ll be humming along with some of these songs as I finally get to all that unpacking!