Playlist: Popular movie tunes
With the Academy Awards coming this weekend, it's time to run down a list of the best songs off of movie soundtracks. I mean, what would a movie be without a heartfelt score during the most romantic scene? Or what about that scene in a sports movie in which the underdog is on the brink of upsetting the favored team - what would that be like without music?
I'm sure a lot of movies come to mind, but here are a few of our favorites.
My colleague Meg Weal is taking care of the award-winning songs, but I'm handling the most popular tunes movies have to offer.
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" - Simple Minds
This song is the symbol of the 1980s. Remember the scene at the end of The Breakfast Club where "Bender" walks off the football field, past the field goal posts, and throws his fist in the air? That's a pretty awesome moment, and it symbolizes the movie as a whole.
"Stand By Me" - Ben E. King
How can you not have this as the theme song of the movie Stand By Me? This nice, fluffy, melodic tune has nice ring of a triangle after every word and helps bring out heartfelt emotions. It also evokes memories of your childhood friends banding together in search of some adventure, just like the kids in Stand By Me band together to find their friend.
"I've Just Seen a Face" - Jim Sturgess
If you haven't seen Across the Universe, you're missing out on a great movie that's filled with musical content. "I've Just Seen a Face" is a classic tune. Oftentimes, when musicians try to reincarnate classic songs, they fail. But Jim Sturgess puts a modernized flare to it and allows the song to keep its original form. This is a must-have for your Academy Awards playlist.
The Theme to Rudy - Jerry Goldsmith
Throughout the whole movie, viewers see Rudy, played by Sean Astin, being told that he is too small to play football and that his dreams of playing for historic Notre Dame are impossible. But this song - along with Rudy's drive - turn you from a non-believer to a believer, especially when he sacks the Georgia Tech quarterback to end the game.
"Imperial March" - Boston Pops Orchestra
This song is arguably the most intimidating tune that a movie has to offer. When this song comes on, the one thing that comes to mind is the ominous "dark side." What I find funny about this song, though, is that it not only exemplifies Darth Vader, but it warns fans at sporting events that the rival team is approaching.
"Hakuna Matata" - Jimmy Cliff and Lebo M
Let's follow the last song with something more upbeat - "Hakuna Mata." It's a Swahili phrase that means "no worries." Throughout the song, Timon and Pumba teach listeners about the philosophy and compare it to the jungle in The Lion King.
"Iris" - Goo Goo Dolls
Johnny Rzeznik was on the verge of quitting the band and had a serious case of writer's block a few days before he wrote this song for the 1997 soundtrack to City of Angels. The melody has a slow pace, with a lot of emotion. But it picks up when the chorus kicks in, with the lyrics: "And I don't want the world to see me /'Cause I don't think that they'd understand / When everything's made to be broken / I just want you to know who I am." Rzeznik must have had a lot of his mind when he put this song together. It's a classic.
"A Real Hero" - College, Electric Youth
So, you've got the hots for Ryan Gosling? I've got you covered. "A Real Hero" has a driving, low-toned synthesizer sound followed by a gentle keyboard providing the primary melody. There are faint voices in the background that make this song what it is. I recommend putting this song on your playlist if you, a.) love Ryan Gosling, b.) are cruising in 70-degree weather in the summer, or c.) are a fan of the movie Drive.
"My Heart Will Go On" - James Horner, Will Jennings, Celine Dion
Titanic had a solid soundtrack in general, but Celine Dion knocked it out of the park when shesang the notes to this 1997 theme song. If you haven't seen the movie, I'm sure you've heard this song - and with good reason. It's the perfect finale to a soundtrack filled with cinematic musical masterpieces.