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Editors Picks 48: Soundtracks Pt. 1 by Alison Baitz

All through the month of November I’ll be discussing my favorite movie soundtracks. It’s sometimes embarrassing to admit that you discover a band because you heard it in a movie, but right now I’m fessing up- I find out about a fair amount of bands thanks to some genius music coordinators. While acknowledging the brilliant, I also recognize that there are also plenty of throw-away bands that sound good once but aren’t worth pursuing past the film. We’ll discuss both in this series.

This week, let’s talk about the movies that shaped my adolescence: Movies of my Childhood. [Please note that not all of the songs discussed are on the for-sale soundtrack, but are definitely featured in the films].

1. Clueless. “No shit, you guys got coke here?” Constantly relegated to the realm of “chick flicks,” this movie is seriously universally funny. Though aspects of the soundtrack are definitely dated [plenty of 90’s grunge plus the Mighty Mighty Bosstones!], it’s universal. Listed right next to Luscious Jackson is Coolio; next to Salt-N-Pepa is No Doubt.  There are also a few standout tracks, including “Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead and a great cover of The Psychedelic Furs’s “The Ghost in You” by the Counting Crows. True fact: I brought this soundtrack into my 3rd grade show and tell. Relive the magic of the movie’s multifaceted soundtrack with this classic clip. “Can you do this?”

2. Now and Then. A staple of any and all sleepovers I hosted as an elementary/middle schooler is Now and Then. Focusing on one 1970’s summer, the soundtrack is perfectly retro. This is one of the first places where I learned about Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5. I also worked through my love/hate relationship with The Monkees and “Hitchin’ a Ride” by Vanity Fair. Amid an almost-perfect lineup is the standout “Band of Gold” by Freda Payne. I have the feeling that this one slipped under many a radar. Watch the trailer and just tell me that you aren’t getting nostalgic.

3. Romeo + Juliet. Ditto with the mandatory sleepover viewing for this one. Don’t judge- I was a whimsical, boy-crazy adolescent at the height of the Leonardo DiCaprio worship… this film is definitely considered an all-time favorite. Sure I loved Leo, but I also recognized how awesome the soundtrack was [that or I was so obsessed with the movie that I needed any and all accessories.. good music was a bonus]. It may have been the first movie to introduce the world to “Lovefool” by The Cardigans and the amazing voice of Quindon Tarver [yes, we sing Prince’s “When Doves Cry” in church.] I also liked the lesser-known stuff by Mundy (“To You I Bestow”) and The Wannadies (“You and Me Song”). Anyway, check out this video I found which utilizes one of the more beautiful songs I’ve heard, Des’ree’s “Kissing You.”

4. The Babysitters Club. This is where it really gets embarrassing. I loved this movie so much when it came out, I made my dad bring me to the theatre three times in one weekend to watch it over and over. I guess those “one crazy summer”-type stories really got to me. Yes this is based off of those books and yes, Alex Mack is in it. The soundtrack is really fun- perfect for warmer days. It’s upbeat and poppy. I liked “Say It” by Clouds and “Let me Know” by Xscape. Though it seems like preteen girl fodder, recognize that it’s got Letters to Cleo and Matthew Sweet on the soundtrack. This is also where I learned about Ben Lee, with his whiny yet adorable “Don’t Leave.” Unfortunately I couldn’t find a clip from the movie with music, but check this out anyway. Let the tears of salty nostalgia roll. FRIENDS FOREVER.

5. Empire Records. There was one lonely summer in high school where this movie [along with Rebel Without a Cause] was the only thing I could do to avoid extreme boredom. Of course, it’s a great exploration into that record store clerk fantasy that undoubtedly many of us are harboring. Like Clueless, many of the songs on the soundtrack date the film, like “I Don’t Want To Live Today” by Ape Hangers, and “Ready, Steady, Go” by The Meices. But don’t give up hope! There is great listening in songs like “Here It Comes Again” by Please and “Til I Hear It From You” by Gin Blossoms. By far, the coolest song in the movie has got to be “A Girl Like You” by Edwyn Collins. Of course, there are loads of scenes that perfectly utilize these songs. So many in fact, that it’s difficult for me to pick a clip to add. Should we talk about the resurrection of certain Grease 2 stars? Watch Corey freak out about offering herself to the sound of The Cranberries? Triumphantly celebrate with Gina as she overcomes her stage fright with Coyote Shivers? It’s definitely too hard to choose. Watch and reminisce.

– Alison Baitz, Editor-in-Chief


excellent new series for your picks! i gotta say, fave music moment in this movie is that cheese-tastic photoshoot montage to supergrass’s “alright.” fantatic.

Comment by Jen

also, i am the only person who absolutely hated empire records? it positively ruined the romantic image i had embedded in my head of maxwell caulfield after watching “grease 2.”

Comment by Jen

Jen, thank you for reminding me of that sequence. That just goes to show that there are a ridiculous amount of good music scenes in the movie. ALSO yes MC is a supercreep in the movie, but like.. I looked at his IMDB as I was making the post and like.. still hot. I love how the blog is just a forum for us to talk about qt boys.

Comment by Alison Baitz

for sure. 🙂

Comment by Jen

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