Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Top Movie Songs of the 1990's

Screw Rolling Stone and their little 80's movie song list. One of the best trends to come out of 90's cinema was new directors going the Scorsese route and using previously recorded and sometimes familiar songs rather than have Kenny Loggins or Bryan Adams cut some lame ass ballad as their theme song. So before RS steals our idea, in no particular order, the best songs from 90's cinema:
  1. "Layla", Goodfellas (1990): Starting with the master himself, Marty uses the piano exit of Clapton's masterpiece in a montage of corpses, from the dead old couple in the car spotted by curious kids to the guy with the Eugene Levy haircut hanging in a meat cooler.
  2. "Stuck In The Middle With You", Reservoir Dogs (1992): We really have Quentin Tarantino to thank for this trend in movies. There are about three or four you could pick from "Dogs", but this one sticks out, because you can't listen to Steelers Wheel's "little Dylan-esque pop-ditty" without thinking about Michael Madsen slicing off that cops ear and then pouring gasoline all over him. God I wish there was a 70's radio station like K-Billy's Super Sounds.
  3. "Hotel California (Spanish Version)", The Big Lebowski (1998): We first meet Jesus Quintana (John Turturro), sworn enemy to our hero The Dude (a never better Jeff Bridges), in the bowling alley to the beautiful straings of the Mexican version of this 70's classic rock staple. The brilliant part of using this song: The Dude not only hates Jesus, but later in the movie yells at a cab driver about how he "hates the fucking Eagles."
  4. "Let's Stay Together", Pulp Fiction (1994): Again, as in Dogs, you can pick many other songs (and there's another one from "Pulp" on this list). Simple scene: We get a simple close up of Bruce Willis, cutting back and forth to a close up of the back of Ving Rhames bald head. Only that bald head has some big band-aid on it that's never explained, or really even shown again. Great foreshadowing on a harrowing event that would bring Butch (Willis) and Marselus (Rhames) together again later in the movie.
  5. "Son of a Preacher Man", Pulp Fiction (1994): I remember young people first hearing this during "Pulp" and they all thought it was some new song. So a new audience got to discover Dusty Springfield, just as John Travolta was first meeting Uma Thurman and her coked up skinny ass in her weird LA home. This song works better than Urge Overkill's cover of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" later in the movie when Uma finds that wild stash in Travolta's coat.
  6. "Sister Christian/Jessie's Girl", Boogie Nights (1997): It's almost the last scene in the movie (before Marky Mark pulls out his special purpose). Todd Parker (Thomas Jane) convinces our two heroes at the end of their ropes, Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg, in a role I still can't believe he didn't even get an Oscar nomination for) and Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly), to con 5 grand off of Alfred Molina and an Asian guy who wears a Rick Springfield t-shirt and tight underwear while tossing lit fire crackers across the room. Only thing is, Molina's got a mix-tape, a mix-tape he's a little too proud of. He leads off with "Sister Christian", only to have the tape switch sides to "Jessie's Girl". While Molina is all too eager to get into the songs, the camera stays on Wahlberg for what seems like two minutes, and we see the moment of clarity in his face that they need to get the fuck out of Dodge. Dirk and Reed narrowly escape, only to go back to the one thing that can earn them an honest living: Pornography.
  7. "Don't Let It Bring You Down", American Beauty (1999): Annie Lennox covers Neil Young, scored to an eerie scene where we see Kevin Spacey finally getting his chance to fulfill his earthly desires with that little hottie Mena Suvari. Plus that crazy Chris Cooper wants to see if he can't get it on with Spacey's character. Again, lots of songs to choose from, but this is the one that sticks with you.
  8. "Where is My Mind?", Fight Club (1999): "You met me at a very weird time in my life," Ed Norton tells Helena Bonham Carter at the end of the movie while this Pixies song plays and buildings explode all around them. This song would be #1 with a bullet if it would have been played during the scene where Carter fucks Brad Pitt and remarks, "I haven't been fucked like that since grade school."
  9. "Perfect Day", Trainspotting (1996): Ewan McGregor shoots up just a little too much, and somehow it feels like this Lou Reed song was written just for this scene alone.
  10. "2000 Man", Bottle Rocket (1996): Wes Anderson's debut, also brought the Wilson Brothers to mainstream movies. But he uses this old Rolling Stones tune underneath a robbery attempt gone wrong, complete with Owen Wilson getting busted. Again, it sounds like the Stones choreographed the music to fit the scene brilliantly.


notorious DEK said...

The Blairian Nation makes its first appearance on Deadspin....


Dirtylaundry said...

I saw that. Good stuff. Shame on us for not having it ahead of Deadspin.

Scotty From Boogie Nights said...

So, do you like my car? Im a fuckin Idiot,,Idiot, Im a fucking idiooooottttt..

TravisRoastBeef said...

Oh come on, Celine Dion's My heart will go on from Titanic, that song brings me to tears every time I,,,ummm Yeah this is a good list.

BSmokedTurkey said...

I could go on and on about Goodfellas. Two more tunes from it that I thought were memorable:

"Atlantis" by Donovan while Billy Batts is getting stomped.

"Sunshine of Your Love" while focusing on De Niro with murder on his mind.

Mackenzie said...

Apologies for my absence, I've been laid low w/some virulent flu bug that's had me praying to Jesus for death for the last 4 days.

Anyhow, TRB, is this possibly the movie you were looking for a couple of posts back:


TravisRoastBeef said...


I owe you a Shot of Patrone, You found it, and it has been killing me, that is the best worst movie I have ever seen, I forgot that Marrisa Tomei was in it.

TravisRoastBeef said...