I love nothing better than a good root around in musty old boxes of records at a vintage fair or charity shop. Seeing if there are any hidden gems and every now and again coming across one that’s worth the effort of trawling through all the rubbish. I notice quite a bit there are a lot of Film Soundtracks records, mainly from the Musical film of the 40s and 50s. Like South Pacific and Oklahoma. I laugh every time I see one. They take me back to my own childhood, we had a lot of these musical film records, I wonder now if my parents were obsessed with them?
The first soundtrack from a film was in 1937, the Walt Disney film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It was the first commercially issued film soundtrack. The first musical film to have a soundtrack released was Show Boat in 1946.
Some soundtracks are actually bigger than the films. Saturday Night Fever, Grease and
Magical Mystery Tour are just a few of the huge albums from sound tracks. There are endless lists of ’50 Best Sound Tracks Ever’ and ’20 Best Movie Tracks’ out there, everyone has their take on what they think are the best.
I looked through my own CD’s and records to actually see how many sound tracks I own,
can’t be that many I thought. I actually have 20, to my astonishment!
So I’ve picked 5 tracks from my own collection, see what you think……..
FILM – WONDER BOYS
Wonder Boys is an American 2000 comedy starring Michael Douglas and directed by Curtis Hanson. It was a box office flop even after re-release. The soundtrack features several tracks by Bob Dylan. Hanson is quoted as saying ‘Every song in the soundtrack reflects, the movies themes of searching for the past promise, future success and sense of purpose’.
I’ve never seen this film, but was told to buy the soundtrack because it’s a great compilation album. I have to say there isn’t a naff track. Dylan, Lennon, Van Morrison to name but a few artists and I got it for a fiver, well worth a check out.
LITTLE WILLIE JOHN – NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD
Need Your Love So Bad is a blues song first published in 1995 written by Mertis John (Jnr). The first recording of this was by Mertis’ younger brother Little Willie John. The song an intense plea for love was different from his usual R&B ballad of that time. This song has been covered by so many artists, more notably Fleetwood Mac, Joe Cocker and Robert Palmer. I love this original version, stripped back and amazing vocals. Love the sentiment of the lyrics, its sexy love music. However I am partial to Pete Green of Fleetwood Mac’s version as well.
FILM – QUADROPHENIA
Quadrophenia, a British film released in 1979, was a screen adaptation of the rock opera of the same name by The Who. Staring Phil Daniels as Jimmy Cooper, a London Mod disillusioned with his mundane life. The soundtrack was released in 1979 and dedicated to Peter Meaden a prominent Mod and The Who’s first manager, who had died the year before its release. The album contains 10 of the original 17 tracks. Classed as a musical masterpiece, Quadrophenia is still appealing to generations, decades later.
THE WHO – THE REAL ME
The Real Me is the title track sequence for Quadrophenia. The song features a bass performance by John Entwistle which was recorded on the first take. Entwistle claimed he was ‘joking around’ when he played the part, but the band loved it and used it for the final version.
I love this film and love The Who, I had the pleasure of seeing them last year perform this track at the arena, it was amazing. The music from Quadrophenia live is something else and I’m indulging myself with this…..soz
FILM – THE BOAT THAT ROCKED
The Boat that Rocked is a 2009 film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The setting a Pirate Radio Station during the 1960’s anchored in the North Sea. The film has an eclectic mix of wacky DJ’s. Despite having an amazing cast it wasn’t a great hit at the box office. I have to admit I thought the film OK, not great like a lot of people said it was. But the music was fantastic and that in itself kept me watching. I ordered the soundtrack the same night.
A friend of mine told me to watch this clip that had been removed from the final edit. Shame they took it out, I love this and actually think it would have improved the film.
Sorry I digress, always doing that…..
THE TURTLES – ELENORE
Elenore is a 1968 song by The Turtles. They released this song as a joke a parody of their hit ‘Happy Together’. Their record company constantly asked them to record similar material to the Happy Together hit and their reaction was to write this joke song. With bizarre chord changes and even more bizarre lyrics they never dreamt that they would actually like it. It was a hit and has featured on many movie soundtracks through the years. I love this song, I used to get it played at home when I was young, great memories.
The thing that makes sense of this crazy world is Rock’n’Roll…….
FILM – DIRTY DANCING
Does the film Dirty Dancing really need any introduction? A huge commercial success, back in 1987, when it became a Box Office Hit. The soundtrack also became a huge hit, selling over 32 million copies worldwide. It has the award of being the one of the best albums of all time. Is there anyone who doesn’t know Bill Medley and Jenifer Warner’s huge iconic ‘I’ve had the time of my Life’? I personally, have never perfected that lift.
THE RONETTES – BE MY BABY
The Ronettes released this song written by Phil Spector in 1963. It has been classed as one of the most influential songs of its time. The elaborately layered recording was a first of its kind. It’s been on endless ‘best songs ever’ lists. Brian Wilson (Beach Boys) says it’s the best pop song ever written. It really has a truly amazing history this song and has influenced so many iconic artists. In 1999 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and in 2006 the Library of Congress honoured the Ronettes’ version by adding it to the USA National recording Registry. I just love it X
FILM – THE COMMITMENTS
The Commitments is a 1991 comedy drama set in Dublin. It’s an adaptation of a novel by Roddy Doyle and tells the story of some wannabe working class Dubliners striving to be a soul band. The cast were all virtually unknown and picked for their music ability rather than their acting talents. The film won numerous awards and was seen as a cult movie. Most of the songs in the film are performed by the cast. This is my favourite film of all time, it still makes me laugh and I know a lot of the quotes off to a tee. The soundtrack is just a wonderful bonus cram packed with wonderful soul songs. If you haven’t seen this film well please remedy that it a cult piece of work.
ANDREW STRONG – MUSTANG SALLY
Mustang was originally written and released by Mark Rice in 1865. But became a bigger hit for Wilson Pickett the year after in 1966. Wilson Pickett features heavy in the Commitments film hence the connection. Andrew Strong played Declan (Deco) Cuffe, lead singer of the Commitments. At the time of filming Andrew was 17 years of age. His version of this famous song blew me away, that amazing voice with such soul, still gives me goose bumps.
The thing that makes sense of this crazy world is Rock’n’Roll…….
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