The Agenda: Couch’s Top 5 Film Soundtracks
The summer sounds have reached us once again. Dancing in the streets becomes our festival as the sun beats it’s steady rhythm down, the smell of…ah f**k I forgot to get my cigarettes. Be right back…For those of you that haven’t noticed it is officially summer. Which means that live music is in abundance and any bar you’re lucky enough to stumble in to will have an open mic night. I’ve been to a couple of said event in recent weeks… and they really don’t deserve a mention here… but don’t lose hope! You’re just closing the gap between yourself and the band that will set your summer ablaze. But enough about my lamentations and trifles with the current state of Camden bars, I’m here to spread a wealth of music knowledge, trivia and add perspective to an otherwise shallow and empty grave where our passions go to die…
…But feast your intellects on this carefully constructed Top 5 Movie Soundtracks!
#6 Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) …Yeah, I know I said “top 5”. You’re so smart.
The soundtrack to this film was compiled by none other than Joe Strummer, so straight away you know that it’s gonna be good.
Notable tracks from the soundtrack include:
- Queen and David Bowie “Under Pressure”
- Tones On Tail “Go”
- The Clash “Rudie Can’t Fail”
- Guns ‘n’ Roses “Live and Let Die”
- Motorhead “Ace of Spades”
- Violent Femmes “Blister In The Sun”
There are many, many more songs on the soundtrack but these are a selection that seem to sum the movie up pretty well. Fast, cool and sexy songs that should accompany all films about hitmen who go to their 10 year high school reunion. I really can’t help thinking it should be higher on my list but thems the breaks, and I couldn’t find a good enough quote to finish this piece so we’ll leave it at the bottom of the pile.
#5 Ferris Buellers Day Off
One of the most important film for any young buck ever, I think we all learned a valuable lesson about the benefits of skipping school when:
a) your best friend has an old school Ferrari
b) you have a personal feud with your principal
c) you’re a pretty good hustler and get away with almost anything.
Notable tracks include:
- Sigue Sigue Sputnik “F1-11 Love Missile”
- The Beatles “Twist and Shout”
- Big Audio Dynamite “Bad”
granted FBDO does not have as many “big” tracks as #5 but it does have the benefit of working better, because of it’s cult reputation Ferris has become as much a part of the 80’s as hair metal.
#4 Reservoir Dogs
K Billy’s super sounds of the 70’s… Tarantino’s first feature length film has one of the most identifiable and unique soundtracks… with its own personal radio station that flits from being an external and internal source. Oh and Mr. Blonde slices some dude’s ear off while dancing to “Stuck in the middle with You.”
Notable tracks include:
- George Baker Selection “Little Green Bag”
- The aforementioned song by Stealer’s Wheel, “Stuck in the Middle with You”
- Joe Tex “I Gotcha”
- Pretty much every song on the soundtrack…
- lest we forget Tarantino’s own insight into the meaning behind Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”…classic.
#3 The Departed
Martin Scorsese’s re-imagining of the Japanese thriller Infernal Affairs is really good and with a soundtrack to match it has to be number 3 on my list, because no other song in cinema has made as much impact on me then when you first hear “Shipping up to to Boston” in 5.1 surround sound on the big screen.
A new soundtrack with an old feel; there’s a quality to The Departed soundtrack, like the difference between the gangsters from prohibition Chicago and the hoodlum gangs from L.A. It’s a matter of class. Notable tracks include:
- Dropkick Murphy’s “Shipping Up To Boston”
- The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”
- The Human Beinz “Nobody but Me”
There are more… but if you haven’t seen this film then you don’t deserve anymore. Shame on you.
#2 Pulp Fiction
the second Tarantino film on the list, I wish it could have been different but I would be remiss if I didn’t include this. We’ve all seen this film, we all have our favorite moments where the soundtrack brings the scenes alive. Bruce Willis running down Ving Rhames to the tune of “Captain Kangaroo” or Uma Thurman’s overdose to “Son of a Preacher Man”. I won’t insult you with notable tracks because there are too many to list and you all undoubtedly have your favorites.
#1 O Brother Where Art Thou
This is probably the odd one out of the group, but the story is a mixture of folk legend and Hollywood myth, the story of Robert Johnson spliced with Homer’s odyssey and George Clooney’s award winning smile (spoiler alert.) The mixture of music in this film is really good – I’m not one for musicals (I don’t know if it counts as a musical but there’s definitely singing,) But the Cohen brothers always do a good job of mixing folk/blues/bluegrass with some pretty bitchin’ scenes that will make you watch this film 5 times in one day… (I had the day off) and who can forget the Soggy Bottom Boys? There really aren’t that many tracks to choose from and I’d recommend the whole film rather just the soundtrack.
There are a few films I would have put in this list but it got to a point where I just had to bite the bullet and pick five to put through… or six. I know you may not agree with the list but there’s a wonderful quote about being pro-active and getting s**t done… “I did it before you.”