Movie Music

Does Music Make The Movies, Or Do Movies Make The Music?

Last night  – during our weekly Cutting Edge Entertainment DJ Practice – we were discussing music history and music theory (admittedly my favorite part of DJ classes, arguing music), when the subject of ‘Old-Time Music’ came up.  “What is Old-Time Music?” you might be asking yourself.  Well Old-Time music is essentially American Folk Music that predated Country Music.

Anyway the song used as an example was Man Of Constant Sorrow from the film  ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’  I was shocked to discover that this song was actually a VERY old song (its original roots date all the way back to 1913!).  I always thought it was just a song fashioned in that style.  But no!  Its been covered over the years by such luminaries as Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart.  That also got me thinking…that song MADE that movie.  Would it have been as successful without that great soundtrack?  Hard to say.

Music and Movies go hand in hand.  Sure you could have one without the other, but they both improve the other immeasurably!  Would Risky Business have been as memorable without Tom Cruise sliding into the room to “Old Time Rock N’ Roll”?  What if it had been a different tune?  Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” hit number 9 on the Billboard Top 100 List in 1976 when it was first released…But after Wayne and Garth banged their heads to it in 1992’s Wayne’s World the song returned to the Billboard Top 100…at #2!  After 16 years!  And tell me you’ve never driven around banging your head to it.  Anytime I hear Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” all I can think of is John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobbler holding a boombox above his head in Say Anything (Fun Fact; during the filming of that scene music by the Ska band Fishbone was actually playing on the boom box. “In Your Eyes” was added in later.).

The point is, these are all iconic scenes that probably wouldn’t be the same without the music, and the music reached new heights of popularity because of the movie.  People hear these songs and can’t help thinking of the other.  When I’m DJing a Wedding, sometimes I think about this.  Its like the soundtrack for the event….Theres the songs for the Intros (its like the opening theme), the First Dance (the love theme), and even the Cake Cutting song (think of it as the fun upbeat song that would play over a montage…like “Eye Of The Tiger” in Rocky III).

In fact one of my favorite things to do is sit with the Bride and Groom and help them pick their “Wedding Soundtrack”.  Its got to be way more fun than picking floral arrangements or setting up table placements at least!  Ten years later they might not remember the hors d’oeuvres they had or the even the color of the bridesmaid dresses, but they will remember at least a couple of those songs from their own personal Wedding soundtrack and how everyone danced at the end of the night to “Time Of Your Life”…wait was that us or was that Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing?

– Justin Kutcher

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