We’re a week out from The Wrestler being shafted for Best Original Song this year – hell, it wasn’t even nominated, which is bullshit. It got me thinking though – where have the awesome original songs gone? I’m not talking about songs that are loosely written about the film or just have some sort of general them. Like Snakes on a Plane wasn’t really about a bunch of snakes placed on an airplane. Peter Gabriel’s Down to Earth for Wall*e fit the theme, but it wasn’t about a cute robot. I have no idea what Jai Ho is about, but I’m positive it’s not about little boys falling into feces. Where are the damn original songs?
What kind of song am I talking about? Hell yeah I’m going to tell you. I’ll start a little loose – Danger Zone from Top Gun. That song isn’t about Maverick per say, but it is definitely about an F-14 Tomcat kicking all sorts ass when it comes to afterburning itself into the danger zone. That’s tight. How about Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr. That song is 100% about and inspired by the movie and written in about 15 minutes. But who doesn’t love that song? Who ya gonna call? Bustin makes me feel good! Now that is a damn fine tune. Still in the 1980s, Back In Time by Huey Lewis and the News for Back to the Future? It mentions Marty by name, talks about lightning, time travel, and bridging the gap between the past and the future. Hell, even the original My Bloody Valentine had an original song! The Ballad of Harry Warden, and it’s awesome and about a pissed off miner.
A few recent movies have tried to continue this great tradition. Ed Harris had two tracks on the Appaloosa soundtrack, You’ll Never Leave My Heart and Ain’t Nothin Like a Friend, both of which were very clearly about the film, though not quite as obviously as I would have liked. So where are the awesome songs like this? Maybe I’m a bit weird about wanting this, but I think they’re fun and cool and can be a lot of fun. Grandma’s Boy had a song like that, and it sucked, but I’m glad they tried. This used to be a lot more common back in the awesome 80s but unfortunately things have gotten a little too serious in the soundtrack business. We need more original songs that straight up tell the movie and what’s going on. For all types of film. I want an original song for Slither or The Transporter. Just give me some feel good ridiculous songs.
Anyone with me on this one? Or has my strange obsession with movies and music merging pushed me off the deep end? You’ve got to at least admit that some of these songs, no matter how cheesy, are completely awesome. I need some more. I demand some more. I’m tired of films having barely related songs tacked on to them. I get the artistic integrity of not crooning Bustin’ makes me feel good, but you know what, you’re being paid to write an original song about a movie – make it about the movie. It’s a challenge, rise to it. Otherwise, I’ll be at my boiling point.
What are your favorite original songs that directly relate to the film, mentioning plot points and characters by name?