Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Music Month: 10 favourite movie songs

Wang Chung: "Wait" from To Live and Die in LA (1985)
Can't think of another 80s movie that ended on such a note perfect song. Perfect for driving down roads late at night (pretending to be on the run from angry money counterfeiters).

Public Image Limited: "Order of Death" from Hardware (1990)
Bleak, sober song but unbelievably catchy.  John Lydon's repetitive lyrics get stuck in your head a long time after the song has finished.

Michael McDonald: "Sweet Freedom" from Running Scared (1986)
A yacht rock classic! The Disease Control Centre should get on this song immediately, it's goddamn infectious! Warning: May bring up mental images of Billy Crystal in rollerskates.

Cake: "I Will Survive" from Survival Style 5+ (2004)
Great little weird Japanese film. Quite taken aback to see the director dug out this 90s track by indie rockers Cake to close out the film.

John Parr: "St Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)" from St Elmo's Fire (1985)
True story: Parr originally wrote the song for wheelchair athlete and activist Rick Hansen but it ended up in this famous brat pack movie instead.

Geto Boys: "Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta" from Office Space (1999)
Office Space is a movie I always stick on after I've had a crappy day at work. The next day I go into work listening to this song and try to emulate Ron Livingston.

Peggy Abernathy: "Back to the Shadows" from Pray for Death (1985)
Great Sho Kosugi ninja flick. A little mean-spirited in places (particularly the uncut version) but this great power ballad softens some of its harsh edges.

Quarterflash: "Night Shift" from Night Shift (1982)
Michael Keaton's big screen debut. This movie should be more famous, it's a great little movie about morgue attendants running a brothel and this title track is the icing on the cake.

Jason Segal: "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets (2011)
Ah, man I still haven't gotten around to watching this movie but I f**king love this song. Bret McKenzie really captured that 70s Elton John sound.

Mogwai: "Auto Rock" from Miami Vice (2006)
Love how Michael Mann takes full songs and then edits his movies to them. The ending to Miami Vice was perfect (until that nu-metal version of "In the Air Tonight" kicks in, spoiling it somewhat).


  1. Cool idea for a post, I like music month! I familiar with the tracks by Quarterflash and Geto Boys though I actually haven't seen those movies. I also like John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire." Though Parr is normally considered a one hit wonder, his song "Naughty Naughty" was a US top 40 hit in 1985.
    I was happy that "Man or a Muppet" won the Oscar for best song last year.
    Of these ten my favorite is Wang Chung's "Wait." Cool tune and works great over the closing credits. I still think it's too bad that Wang Chung is more known for "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" than their work on the To Live and Die in L.A. soundtrack.

  2. Hey Chris, yeah, I totally recommend all these accompanying films. Night Shift in particular is a great underrated gem. Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton make a great double act.

    Haven't heard much more of Parr's stuff but I can always go for a bit of cheesy power ballad every now and then.

    Totally agree about Wang Chung. Love that soundtrack (and film). Such a perfect match.