Music has been a big part of my life despite the fact I cannot play a musical instrument to save my life! I love the way music can transport you back to the time when you first heard it and how it can remind you of all the emotions and events in your life at that time. I know a lot of people utilize smell as ways of remembering past events but for me it is music.
I love the way that when I hear a song it can take me back to happy and sometimes sad times in my life. Like when I hear Madonna’s Vogue and Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that reminds minds me of Smash Hits mixtapes and family road trips to Sydney to see my grandparents.
Movies are another great love of mine and the humble soundtrack became one of my favorite albums to buy when I was younger. I still love soundtracks but these days they don’t seem to be as important to moviemakers anymore and good ones are becoming more rare. I’d say the best soundtrack I can think of from the past few years is from the movie 500 Days of Summer.
During the 80’s directors like John Hughes placed so much importance in the music that accompanied their movies that the music became just as popular as the movies themselves. Soundtracks helped open me up to so many musicians that I would probably never have listened to if not for their inclusion on a soundtrack I bought. I am ashamed to say but my love of Paul Kelly music stems from his song ‘I’ve Done all the Dumb Things’ being included in the movie Young Einstein. (For those of you not from Australia this movie was the pinnacle of Yahoo Serious’s short lived career. Although now that I think about it he seems to have been way ahead of his time in regards to naming internet search engines!)
For me the 80’s and 90’s had the best soundtracks and over the next few posts I thought it might be fun to revisit some of my all time favourite movies and their accompanying soundtracks.
Reality Bites was one of the first CD’s I bought in Grade Eight. I remember the movie was such a big hit at the time and the soundtrack was everywhere. My highlights are:
The Posies - Going, Going, Gone
Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories - Stay
Baby, I Love Your Way - Big Mountain
I recently sat down and watched the movie again after many years and its funny how time (and maturity) can sometimes change your perception of things. I remember at the time I thought the Ben Stiller character was the biggest yuppie and Winona Ryder's character had to end up with Ethan Hawke. Yet now when I watched it recently I thought Ethan Hawke was a bit of a douche and Ben Stiller really wasn't that bad. It’s funny how perceptions can change with over 15 years of life experience under your belt (Oh God how old do I sound!) Now I think I like the soundtrack more than the movie itself.
It was also interesting to see chain smoking in a movie again and the social fear of AIDS at that time. It's funny how smoking is now such a taboo in movies yet AIDS/HIV seems to have been completely forgotten or put on the back burner for something that only happened 20 years ago. Watching it again also made me wonder whether teenagers today would be able to relate to the anti-establishment, anti-consumerism message that's so prevalent in the film. These characters wanted to leave home and completely rejected their parents. It’s amazing how the relationship of twenty-something’s and their parents has changed so significantly in recent times. I still absolutely love this soundtrack and as Lauren reminds me I could still listen to it everyday just like I did back in '94. Although I haven't had the chance to re-create the scene where the characters dance around to The Knack's My Sharona in the service station yet. Damn.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip down my music memory lane and maybe you have the same connection with movies, music or something else that has been a constant in your life? Do you have a favourite soundtrack? I'd love to hear.
Now all I need to do is pick the next soundtrack... Romy and Michele's High School Reunion? Clueless? What do you think?