March 8, 2006

Movie music madness

I am a definite s-u-c-k-e-r for a good soundtrack. Set me loose in the soundtrack section of any music store and I will find a few gems to be sure. I love the way that music makes a movie poignant or funny or heartbreaking or memorable. Plus, it’s the way I always think of songs in my head anyway when I listen to them – picturing a moment, a situation, a conversation to go along with them as they unfold.

It’s like the way you wish life could be sometimes – you know, the perfect song to accompany every moment.

My friend Vangelis the Greek (my nickname, I don’t think he actually goes by that in day to day life) sent me a really neat email the other day, filled with his reflections on various movies and drawing my attention to some good forgotten soundtrack songs. I thought I would share them with you. He says:

“First, a song from a movie I saw as a teenager accidentally on television late at night. I will never forget the way that movie made me feel and the discussions I had the following day at school with my friends that also watched it…Pump Up the Volume. The soundtrack (buy here) also contains Pixies, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth…”

Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen cover) – Concrete Blonde

MY NOTE: See, I had as big of a crush on Christian Slater as the next 11 year old girl back in 1990, but I was not yet, shall we say, “cool” in the musical arena when this soundtrack came out, as I was generally rockin’ out to oldies (cool in their own way), New Kids on the Block and gems like Michael W. Smith. Yeah, I’ll admit it. I was a late bloomer. Anyway, back to Vangelis:

“Another movie that I really like is Beautiful Girls. I will not send you the song they all sang at the bar (Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond) but the song with the same title as the movie. (Really cool soundtrack, buy it here):

Beautiful Girl – Pete Droge and The Sinners

Also, the Afghan Whigs appear in the movie and play live. You know Greg Dulli spent one summer here in Greece trying to find his Greek roots and where his relatives lived…

Anyway, another great movie and a fantastic soundtrack if you like swing music is Swing Kids. I think it comes from 1993 and in a parallel universe it would have won a thousand Oscars. Two songs from the soundtrack:

Bei Mir Bist Du Schon – Janis Siegel

Shout and Feel It – James Horner

Last, from the movie Pleasantville, a Beatles song from Fiona Apple – Across The Universe. Her voice is simply amazing, I have heard a lot of covers of this song but I think this is the best one ever. The soundtrack also includes Etta James, Buddy Holly and Elvis.”

Across The Universe – Fiona Apple

Finally, one from Vangelis himself. It is not soundtrack-related, other than the fact that Vangelis compared him and his buddies to the guys in That Thing You Do when they first heard themselves on the radio in Greece (yelling, screaming, calling each other). It is in English (although I think I hear some traditional Greek instruments in the background?) and I think it is pretty good!

Wonderful World – Vangelis & His Band
(sorry, dude, you didn’t tell me the band name!)

I’m off to add some good stuff to my Netflix queue. I got Long, Hot Summer with Paul Newman in the mail yesterday so I get to do a little inappropriate salivating over the young & smoldering Paul Newman later today.

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  • vangelis original “greek” band with demis roussous was “Aphrodite 666″, no shit released in US briefly on Vertigo Records I believe, circa 1970-1972

    Duncanmusic — March 8, 2006 @ 5:47 pm

  • A Greek band of the late ’60s and early ’70s, Aphrodite’s Child scored only one European hit, “Rain and Tears.” Though it was a big one, the group became little more than a trivia answer after keyboardist Vangelis Papathanassiou dropped his surname and hit number one with the theme to Chariots of Fire in 1981. Aphrodite’s Child also included drummer Lucas Sideras and vocalist Demis Roussos, who enjoyed some solo success himself as a pop vocalist. The band formed in Greece in the mid-’60s, and the title track from the second album was a hit throughout Europe. The 1972 album 666 — The Apocalypse of Saint John, was generally agreed to be the best, but it proved to be the last, though the single “Break” was also a hit in Europe.

    This is taken from

    I am definitely younger than Vangelis Papathanassiou, we only share the same name; and by the way the song Heather posted came under the singer’s name at the time Christos Nikolaides. One hit wonders…maybe not even that…

    Heather thank you so much!

    Vangelis — March 9, 2006 @ 2:12 am

  • AGGH! A Pump Up The Volume reference. SOOOOO underated! the blog is the underground radio station of the 21st century. talk hard! “They say I’m disturbed. Well, of course I’m disturbed. I mean, we’re all disturbed. And if we’re not, why not? Doesn’t this blend of blindness and blandness want to make you do something crazy? Then why not do something crazy?” And what a cool soundtrack back in the day… complete with the pixies and the alternateens first introduction to the beautiful art of the leonard cohen cover song.

    wwjblog — March 9, 2006 @ 6:59 am

  • I loved the movie Pump Up The Volume in high school- and the soundtrack was a regular listening staple all the way through my college career. The film’s director Alan Moyle later gave me another all-time favorite movie (also with a great soundtrack): Empire Records.

    Jamie — March 9, 2006 @ 7:30 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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