Jammin’ at the Movies 2 – Music that Makes the Movies🎶🎬😎

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Movie Soundtracks

What would the film experience be without a memorable soundtrack that sets the mood, pumps up the action and evokes nostalgic memories?

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As I started writing “Jammin’ at the Movies – Music that Makes the Movies” I realized there were far too many films to note in one post, so these are a few others that make my list of movie soundtracks that are synonymous with the film itself.

“Pulp Fiction”, “Forrest Gump”, and “Saturday Night Fever” are true American classics and so are their soundtracks!

 

Let me know some of your most notable in the comments!

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The idea of musical accompaniment has been around since silent films but with the advent of sound in the 1920’s, filmmakers were able to have direct control over the soundtrack as a device to manipulate the audience’s emotions.

The first film to use a completely original score was written by composer Max Steiner for the classic ‘King Kong’ (1933).

 

Imagine Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” without those driving Bernard Herrmann violins and strings during the shower scene and the ominous “dun-dun-dun” that alerted the audience to the arrival of “Jaws” thus evoking all kinds of fear. With the Soundtrack Album, audiences have the freedom to listen to and relive the memories of their favorite films at any time.

In developing his film projects Director, Quentin Tarantino approaches the movie process in this way:

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino

“One of the things I do when I am starting a movie, when I’m writing a movie or when I have an idea for a film is, I go through my record collection and just start playing songs, trying to find the personality of the movie, find the spirit of the movie. Then, ‘boom,’ eventually I’ll hit one, two or three songs, or one song in particular, ‘Oh, this will be a great opening credit song.” (Tracks and Fields)

 

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“Pulp Fiction” (1994), “Forrest Gump” (1994), and “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) are 3 of my favorite films that demonstrate the impactful relationship between the storyline and the music.

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Pulp Fiction

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“Pulp Fiction”(1994) is the coolest film and soundtrack ever. QuentinTarantino (Oscar for Best Original Screenplay) certainly had his finger on the pulse of the vital connection music plays in conveying the attitude of this movie and put together the perfect soundtrack to complement the mood.

First of all, I would love to hang at Jack Rabbit Slims. I love all things 60’s and between the cars and the celebrity impersonators, how fun! Second, this is how you dance cool. I remember all the back in the day dances like the twist, the jerk, and the batman.

The album reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200, while Urge Overkill’s cover of the Neil Diamond song “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” peaked at No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Billboard chalked up MCA’s compilation to identifying the market niche: “Pulp Fiction…successfully spoke to those attuned to the hip, stylized nature of those particular films.” The eclectic “mix-and-match strategy” is true to the film.

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“In some cases, like Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, which were not geared toward any specific demographic, the soundtracks were still very focused albums,” said Kathy Nelson, senior VP/general manager at MCA Soundtracks. “In both cases, the body of work — both the music and the film — has a specific personality.” (Wikipedia)

Trivia – revitalized the career of its leading man, John Travolta, who received an Academy Award nomination, as did co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman.

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Forrest Gump

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Academy Award-winning film “Forrest Gump” (1994) starring Tom Hanks and based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom, will always have a special place in my heart. The genuine spirit and remarkable journey of Forrest make you root for him.

The time setting of the ’60’s was perfect with the politics of the day and the Vietnam War being the volatile flashpoint of the decade.

The 32-song soundtrack from the film was released on July 6, 1994, and re-creates the angst of a generation and is perfect for fusing the film with the troubled times.

With the exception of a lengthy suite from Alan Silvestri’s score, all the songs are previously released; the soundtrack includes songs from Fleetwood Mac, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Byrds, The Doors, The Mamas & the Papas, The Simon & Garfunkel, and Buffalo Springfield among others.

 

 

Music producer Joel Sill reflected on compiling the soundtrack: “We wanted to have very recognizable material that would pinpoint time periods, yet we didn’t want to interfere with what was happening cinematically.”

 

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The soundtrack reached a peak of number 2 on the Billboard album chart and went on to sell twelve million copies and is one of the top-selling albums in the United States. (Wikipedia)

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Saturday Night Fever

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The mother of all movie soundtracks, Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track skyrocketed The Bee Gees  and their music to the top of the charts with their timeless love ballads and energizing disco hits like the title song, “Staying Alive”.

From the 1977 hit film starring John Travolta, the album was certified 15× Platinum for shipments of over 15 million copies. The album stayed atop the album charts for 24 straight weeks from January-July 1978 and stayed on Billboards album charts for 120 weeks until March 1980. In the UK, the album spent 18 consecutive weeks at No. 1.

The Bee Gees

Maurice, Barry, Robin Gibb – The Bee Gees

The brothers wrote the songs “virtually in a single weekend” at Château d’Hérouville studio in France. Barry Gibb remembered the reaction when Producer Robert Stigwood and music supervisor Bill Oakes arrived and listened to the demos:

“They flipped out and said these will be great. We still had no concept of the movie, except some kind of rough script that they’d brought with them.” The album has been added to the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress for being culturally significant. (Wikipedia)

Even more, than the incredible music, John Travolta blew me away with his club-worthy dance moves. Who knew the kid from the television show “Welcome Back Kotter” could bust a move!

Trivia – John Travolta’s mother Helen and sister Ann both appeared in minor roles in the beginning of the film. Travolta’s sister is the pizzeria waitress who serves him the pizza slices (and delivers the first dialogue), and his mother plays the woman to whom he sells the can of paint (after being late).

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If you haven’t already, check out these rockin’ flicks. Perfect for a musical binge-worthy night!

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Jammin’- Music that Makes the Movies🎶🎬😎

Image result for movie soundtracks

Movie Soundtracks

What would the film experience be without a memorable soundtrack that sets the mood, pumps up the action and evokes nostalgic memories?

 

Image result for movie theater

 

The idea of musical accompaniment has been around since silent films but with the advent of sound in the 1920’s, filmmakers were able to have direct control over the soundtrack as a device to manipulate the audience’s emotions.

The first film to use a completely original score was written by composer Max Steiner for the classic ‘King Kong’ (1933).

 

Imagine Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” without those driving Bernard Herrmann violins and strings during the shower scene and the ominous “dun-dun-dun” that alerted the audience to the arrival of “Jaws” thus evoking all kinds of fear. With the Soundtrack Album, audiences have the freedom to listen to and relive the memories of their favorite films at anytime.

In developing his film projects Director, Quentin Tarantino approaches the movie process in this way:

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino

“One of the things I do when I am starting a movie, when I’m writing a movie or when I have an idea for a film is, I go through my record collection and just start playing songs, trying to find the personality of the movie, find the spirit of the movie. Then, ‘boom,’ eventually I’ll hit one, two or three songs, or one song in particular, ‘Oh, this will be a great opening credit song.” (Tracks and Fields)

 

Image result for quentin tarantino movies

 

“Purple Rain” (1984), “Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014), and “Almost Famous” (2000) are 3 of my favorite films that demonstrate the impactful relationship between the storyline and the music.

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Purple Rain (1984)

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The music from “Purple Rain” has kept me groovin’ since it premiered. While rockin’ the theater, “I Would Die 4 You” also connected the events necessary to resolve the plot and “The Kid’s” conflicts, utilizing the flashback technique leading to the climactic ending scene. The album rocketed Prince to superstardom!

The soundtrack for the film was released on June 25, 1984, by Warner Bros. Records and to date, it has sold over 22 million copies worldwide, becoming the sixth best-selling soundtrack album of all time.

“I Would Die 4 U”, “Baby I’m a Star” and “Purple Rain” were recorded live from a show on August 3, 1983, at the First Avenue club in Minneapolis, with overdubs and edits added later. This marked the first time Prince included live recordings on any release. The show was a benefit concert for the Minnesota Dance Theater and featured the first appearance of guitarist Wendy Melvoin in Prince’s band, The Revolution.

 

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Prince won two Grammy Awards in 1985 for Purple Rain, for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special, and the album was nominated for Album of the Year. Prince won a third Grammy that year for Best R&B Song (songwriter) for Chaka Khan’s cover of “I Feel for You”. Purple Rain also won an Oscar for Best Original Song Score in 1985.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

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“Guardians of the Galaxy” is the 2014 film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Directed by James Gunn, the movie features the songs present on character Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) mixtape in the film.

The album was released by Hollywood Records on July 29, 2014, and reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, becoming the first soundtrack album in history consisting entirely of previously released songs to top the chart.

“Come and Get Your Love” by (Redbone) set the tone and mood of the film for me and is also a classic rock song from the 70’s. The film incorporated songs from the 1960s and 1970s, such as “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede, which, according to the film’s director, James Gunn, acts as a way for Quill to stay connected to the Earth, home, and family he lost.

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)

Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill forms an uneasy alliance with a group of extraterrestrial misfits who are fleeing after stealing a powerful artifact.

 

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Drax, Gamora, Quill, Groot, and Rocket

 

I couldn’t help but fall in love with the sweetness of “I am Groot” and subsequently, jammin’ “Baby Groot”.

“Baby Groot”

Other hits from the soundtrack and my childhood include: “I Want You Back”, Jackson 5, “Oooh Child”, The 5 Stairsteps, and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell which make for one kickin’ playlist!

 

Almost Famous (2000)

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Almost Famous was written and directed by Cameron Crowe, and starred Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit. It tells the fictional story of a teenage journalist William Miller (Patrick Fugit) writing for Rolling Stone magazine in the early 1970s while covering the fictitious rock band Stillwater, and his efforts to get his first cover story published. The film is semi-autobiographical, as Crowe himself was a teenage writer for Rolling Stone. (Wikipedia)

 

The film received four Oscar nominations, one of which led to an award to Crowe for his screenplay. It was also awarded the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Roger Ebert hailed it the best film of the year, and also the 9th best film of the 2000s. It also won two Golden Globes, for Best Picture and Kate Hudson won Best Supporting Actress.

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Patrick Fugit, Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup

This scene between William and his sister Anita takes me back to the days of vinyl and a time and way of appreciating music you cannot get from a cd. Music can change your life and for child prodigy William Miller (Patrick Fugit) it does.

Frances McDormand, as the mother, strictly controls and protects him and his older sister Anita by forbidding rock music and in her opinion, other unwelcome influences which drive Anita to leave home and become a flight attendant.

 

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I’ve always loved the song “America”. It’s just as poignant today as it was when it was first performed in 1968 by Simon and Garfunkel. The song was written by Paul Simon and concerns young lovers hitchhiking their way across the United States, in search of “America”, in both a literal and figurative sense. It was inspired by a 1964 road trip that Simon took with his girlfriend Kathy Chitty.

 

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Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel

Director Cameron Crowe took a copy of the film to London for a special screening with Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. After the screening, Led Zeppelin granted Crowe the right to use one of their songs on the soundtrack — the first time they had ever consented to this since allowing Crowe to use “Kashmir” in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. (Wikipedia)

 

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Zeppelin also gave Crowe rights to four of their other songs in the movie itself, although they did not grant him the rights to “Stairway to Heaven” for an intended scene (on the special “Bootleg” edition DVD, the scene is included as an extra, sans the song, where the viewer is instructed by a watermark to begin playing it). (Wikipedia)

 

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Robert Plant (Led Zepplin) and Cameron Crowe

This classic soundtrack takes me back to some of the best memories of my high school days. Every time I watch this film I’m inundated with emotions and remember where I was when these songs were playing on the radio.

 

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Music has the power to cross time and space. I believe it’s our common bond. Even if you don’t speak the same language you can speak the same music.

 

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