A blog by Jorge Garcia.

Monday, November 12, 2007

They're just not trying anymore

A long time ago when I was working at Borders a little movie came out by the name of Forrest Gump. (Now I'm not going to get into Forrest Gump and how the damn movie ends three times before the credits actually roll.) At the time I was working in the music department and we got a copy of the soundtrack for in-store play.

Here's my beef: You have a movie, an overall good one, that covers three decades of America and thus American music to choose from and you pick three songs that not only are from other movies but are actually FAMOUS for being in those movies.

"Everyboby's Talkin," "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head," and "Mrs. Robinson" all signature songs from the movies they were originally in. There could be more, I don't know, I didn't do too much research on it. I just remembered it bummed me out.

Today I went to see Fred Claus. Uh... not going to review it. But how many movies are they going to close with Israel Kamakawiwo'ole (which I like to say with emphasis on the ole') "Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World."

It all started with Meet Joe Black, then Finding Forrester came out and I thought "That's weird, someone wasn't paying attention." Since then the song has been in countless commercials, TV shows and movies leading up to Fred Claus. Are we out of songs? Don't get me wrong. I dig 'Bruddah IZ' but how many times do you plan to pimp this song? (Plus he kind of fudges the lyrics a bit which always bugs me.)

Please someone record a new song for us to abuse and over use, this one's kind of been played.


EvilBlackSheep said...

And there is also the same problem with this song from donnie darko, "Mad world" by Gary Jules... They're using it again and again, in movies, tv shows, video games trailers and even ads...

I loved that one but now i'm pretty fed up of them using so much...

Honeybell said...

Maybe Britney could come up with something . . .

KillerR said...

Or all the movies and shows that use them damned cold play songs.

Irishcoda said...

ooh oooh thank you! I thought, why have I never heard this song? and so I went to youtube and looked it up and it was one that I've been looking for! So now I have to put it on my profile over at Facebook! I am so happy, like you gave me an early Christmas present!!!!

Unknown said...

It was a nice way to end 50 First Dates I have to say. I've found the lyric rewording irksome as well, but it is a nice song so it's forgivable.

D S said...

I'm old enough to remember when people said that Modern English's "I stop the world and melt with you" and the Romantics' "What I like about you" were PUNK! Then they were on TV and film... for... ever.

The problem really is the fragmentation of the music industry so that it's getting harder and harder to have a hit that Mom, Dad and the kids like.

Bananaoracle said...

Why don't they stop using music from mainstream commerical sources and use it from indie labels and underground music. It is far better then much of the music that populates the norm.

Unknown said...

They should use original music. There're great film music compositors, like Ennio Morricone or Danny Elfman (they are my favorites, I love their music, I hear them and ...I go to The Mission, Edward Scissorhands, a west movie, The Simpsons...) just to name a few (yes, I like Michael Giaccinno too).
Music moves the world (or MY world).

Thugolina said...

ER used "Over the Rainbow" in the episode when Dr Green died, in 2002, I think.
Suddenly, everyone started using that song.

lesterburnham said...

'What a Wonderful World'. There's something about that song, man... The Louis Armstrong original is played to death in movies and TV as well.

Lindsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsey said...

I agree with you.

I just saw this article on CNN, and it sort of goes along with what you're saying, so I thought you might like to read it.

From CNN: Whatever happened to the movie theme song?

Unknown said...

Those are my feelings exactly!

For quite some time now.

Besides the movies that you mentioned it was also heard, at least, in:"50 First Dates", a very important episode of "ER" and in a Portuguese campaign about recycling.

It would actually be a great song to use on "Lost" if it wasnt so played out already.

Hey Jorge.What are your feelings about the Writer's Strike?


Unknown said...

Echoecho - Joey Ramones version is much cooler! (not that I don't love Louis!)
Personally I'm getting tired of Don't Stop Believing...all over again!

marcia said...

Funny thing, I was going through my iTunes by album today, and from Forrest Gump soundtrack I have 18 songs. It's a double album with 31 songs, like "On the road again", "California Dreaming", "What the world needs now is love", "Hound dog", "Break on through", etc... and the original suite from Alan Silvestri.
I don't remember any other movie with so many known songs like this one.
"What a wonderful world" is a great song, but kind of got tired. Thanks to the "ad nauseam" use of it.
Agree with Deneph, that Ramones version is really cool.

Heather (a.k.a. Bella) said...

Did you also ever notice that no commercials ever use original jingles anymore? They're all existing songs and it always cheapens it for me.

stormko said...

Speaking of which, wasn't this song in the episode of Lost when they were leaving Alcatraz? It's been a while since I've seen the episode, but I thought I remembered hearing an IZ song in Lost.

I like Hawaii '78.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Just to inform one comment, Mad world was not originally done by Gary Jules . It was Talking Heads, and also redone by Evergreen terrace, an amazing metal band. I think that if they are going to butcher songs by overuse then they should use covers from different genres to keep the song alive and interesting. Forrest Gump didn't have enough American rock . Classic rock always defines a movie with more power I think. Like the song in Lost when Charlie and Hurley are in the van. That song made that whole scene more powerful and made me just want to jump in with them and drink some beers man. Sorry to ramble I just like to debate.

Ashley S. said...

Hearing 'ole's song always reminds me of the episode of ER when Mark Greene died at the beach house. They played the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is a reason common songs are used in movies, commercials, and the like. Your ears perk up. It's an automatic reaction. Once they have your attention, they can reel you in. Sure, there's the minority that will be annoyed by the umpteenth use of the song "I'm Gonna Be" by the Proclaimers, but for the majority of ordinary people they won't even think about it. They'll just look for the source of the familiar music, start singing along in their head, and then they'll have the damn song stuck in their head for another week or so. Every time they think about the song in the following week, they'll think about that movie, commercial, television show, etc.

Now, the reasoning behind Forrest Gump having these popular played-out songs is zeitgeist. These songs, familiar from other movies, will draw you back to that time. It's quite a smart move, actually. Plus, the movie does have several different potential areas for endings, but that's because life itself can be that way. I've lived so many different kinds of lives, which started and ended abruptly. Most everybody's lives has worked like that. Forrest Gump is actually my favorite movie of all time because of this.

Ruth said...

hello from Portugal! once in a full moon i get into the matrix and found the most amazing things.... anyway (about this particular post) you know, quentin taratino (the man!) almost had the same problem. he wanted to use "my sharona" for the anal rape scene but the song was already been considered for ben stiller's "reality bites". He also mention the use of "Be my Baby" in both "Mean streets and "Dirty dancing". Far apart universes, eh?!

Roman said...

Borders..ah, my current job.

What gets me upset is that Clint Mansel's music from Requiem for a Dream is used for damn near every action movie made today. When Two Towers used it, it was awesome, but then every other film started to ride that train. Now, the music to the Fountain, also by Mansel and Kronos Quartet, is in the trailer for I Am Legend. Yes, the music is wonderful, but they're destroying it!

kats said...

And it was on American Idol last week (ok, I know this is an old post and I shouldn't even be commenting here...)

Spook, RN said...

Umm just a correction to Carla's comment:

"Mad World" was originally written and recorded/performed by the British band "Tears for Fears".

Not "Talking Heads".


Suzy said...

My buddy Josh is an awesome uke player and when anyone asks him to play that song he says "Eh! jus cause i'm fat and hawaiian doesn't mean I know that song."

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