So, although I haven’t put together a mix CD in a while, on my drive home today, my wandering mind decided maybe I should do a mix of great soundtrack songs. Then I decided to put some rules on it:
- The song had to be written for the movie. Not a previous song used in a movie.
- I’d most likely exclude instrumental soundtrack stuff. Mind you, I love various Harry Potter cues for example, but I’m thinking more “regular” songs here.
- I’m gonna toss out every James Bond theme song, most likely. Not that they’re bad, or I hate them, but... I kind of want something else. I’m not necessarily ruling out title songs in general, but these ones, yeah I think so.
- Similarly, although I love the Beatles, and I love their movies, I’m gonna throw A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, and Yellow Submarine out as well.
So, let’s see where that takes us, in no particular order, but roughly grouped by decades.
I’ll have to go with one of my favorite songs from my son’s current favorite movie, Disney’s Mary Poppins - “A Man Has Dreams”:
Starting off the decade, we have “Suicide Is Painless” from MASH, a song whose instrumental version would go on to be much more well known by being used as the opening theme for the TV adaptation. Here, I’m going with the alternate version sung as part of the movie, rather than the opening credits version.
At the end of the decade, we have The Muppet Movie. We start with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, and “Can You Picture That”. Enough said:
And from the same movie, we have Gonzo’s haunting “I’m Going To Go Back There Someday”:
So, when Dino de Laurentiis started making the Flash Gordon movie, one of the folks involved talked him into getting Queen to do the soundtrack. This, in my opinion, was a brilliant move, and frankly one of the things that helped make the movie a cult classic. Where would it be without the driving repetitive bass riffs? So many good choices for this, starting with “Flash’s Theme”, but I’m gonna go slightly out of my way for a deeper cut here, and also honor BRIAN BLESSED, with “Vultan’s Theme (Attack of the Hawkmen)” and the “Battle Theme”:
After doing Flash Gordon, Queen would wind up doing several songs for Highlander, songs which would eventually wind up on their album A Kind of Magic. Again, great stuff, but everybody knows “Princes of the Universe” and “Who Wants To Live Forever”, so let’s go with “One Year Of Love”:
Meanwhile, Kenny Loggins was writing the ballsiest, manly-man-liest song of his career, “Highway To The Danger Zone” for Top Gun:
For some fun, we have Paul McCartney singing the theme song so Dan Akroyd and Chevy Chase’s Spies Like Us.
We also have Spinal Tap performing “Stonehenge”:
For the ‘90s, we start with when Bryan Adams was still big, and go with “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” from Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.
Next, we give a word to your mother, with Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap” from TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze:
We conti with Disney’s ode to Stockholm Syndrome, Beauty and the Beast’s “Something There”:
Although I just realized, I can close out the ‘90s with, well, almost the opposite of Disney, South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut - and “La Resistance”:
The ‘00s and beyond
We got Bob Dylan singing a song for a Civil War movie, “’Cross The Green Mountain” from Gods and Generals:
Where would we be without a Scott Pilgrim song? No, don’t answer that. I don’t care, and I don’t want to live in that world. So here, have some “Threshold”:
Disney, in their wisdom, somehow decided to give Daft Punk the keys to the soundtrack for Tron Legacy. This was a fantastic move. And leads to one of the non-vocal entries on my list, “Derezzed”.
And, a pair from the “F you, Academy” list - first, Pharrell’s “Happy” from Despicable Me 2:
And last year’s “Everything is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie.