Popspotting #128: “Needledrop Soundtracks” (Sept. 14, 2011)

Pulp Fiction

We love movies. We love music. Why not combine the two? For Wildcard Wednesday, we start with your suggestion for a “favorite soundtracks” show, but with a slight twist. Instead of film scores (which we’re saving for later), today both of us share our “Top 5 Needledrop Soundtracks,” movie soundtracks that use popular music to set the scene.

We also covered a few runners-up that didn’t make the top five, but had to cut them from the podcast. They included “Romeo + Juliet,” “500 Days of Summer,” and “Forest Gump.” Of course, several other Tarantino films could have made the list, including “Reservoir Dogs” and “Kill Bill.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PAGKQS4Q3C7DAUEQR2ESVGDB4Y Albert Ross

    My favorite “needledrop” soundtrack, after the obvious Tarantino entries, is as much of a “cheat” as Jen’s number 1.   2001’s soundtrack fulfill’s Ryan’s rule of being evocative to the point of having practically stolen the meaning’s of the pieces from the original composer’s intent – try to hear Also Sprach Zarathustra without picturing the spacecraft, the bone, the space child, the planets aligned.   And Daisy… and The Blue Danube.

  • http://nemesisvex.myopenid.com/ NemesisVex

    What I remember most about the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack was hearing it day in and day out for an entire summer in 1995. Not necessarily by choice.

    I was hoping to hear “High Fidelity” mentioned, but “Grosse Pointe Blank” is the better soundtrack of the two John Cusack movies.

    It’s too bad “Romeo + Juliet” got cut — that’s one soundtrack I wore pretty thin when it came out.

    Not a movie soundtrack, but the second volume of the “Friday Night Lights” television soundtrack is really good. It feels like a mixed CD compiled by a close friend, while still evoking the mood of the show.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SNSVHPYQJYA3K2RGQQSTJFHNRQ Kit

    Great list

    I would have included “Valley Girl” for an amazing 80s soundtrack featuring the Plimsouls, Men at Work, Psychedelic Furs, Modern English, Sparks, Josie Cotton. Definitely one of the best 80s soundtracks – and from an actual 80s film

    Another great soundtrack is from a little-seen film from 1998 called “Next Stop Wonderland” starring Hope Davis and Philip Seymour Hoffman and directed by Brad Anderson who has directed numerous episodes of “Fringe”. The soundtrack is 60s Brazilian bossa nova music – some original, some remakes – with classics like Mas Que Nada, Corcovado, Batuacada, Girl from Ipanema

    And I can’t believe nobody included a John Hughes soundtrack like the “Pretty in Pink” soundtrack with 80s classics like New Order (Shellshock), OMD (If you Leave), Psychedelic Furs (Pretty in Pink), Echo and the Bunnymen (Bring on the Dancing Horses) and the Smiths (Please, Please, Please Let me Get What I Want)

  • http://twitter.com/stella_meimei Stella Torres

    Oh, goodness. I loved the great majority of these soundtracks! Especially “Pulp Fiction” and “Trainspotting,” which I wore out for the great part of the mid-’90s. 

    A couple of favorites that have not been mentioned: 

    – Tarantino movies always have the best soundtracks, so it follows that my second-favorite QT film soundtrack is Jackie Brown. I bought this on CD as soon as it came out – before I saw the movie, even – and I just love all of the ’70s soul tracks on it, especially “Across 110th Street” (which plays in the background of the opening credits) and “Strawberry Letter 23.” Plus: The young Pam Grier sings! 

    (Which reminds me: There’s a video on YouTube of a JB outtake where Pam “surfs” the people-mover from the opening scene to the tune of “Misirlou.” Pretty funny.) 

    – I’ve already mentioned “Go” here as one of my favorite LA movies, and part of the reason why I love this film so much is due to the soundtrack. It’s a compendium of mid-’90s pop, but some of the artists here released their best songs for this album: No Doubt (“New”), BT (“Believer”), Natalie Imbruglia (“Troubled By The Way We Came Together”), and Eagle Eye Cherry (“Shooting Up in Vain”). I have a few quibbles with the tracklist – they left out Massive Attack’s “Angel” in favor of that cheesetastic “Steal My Sunshine” song, and WTF is up with the remix of “Magic Carpet Ride”? – but other than that it’s worth a listen. 

    – And yes, yes, YES on the John Hughes soundtracks! “Pretty in Pink,” in particular, had the best compilation of songs. (Unfortunately for me, I didn’t like that movie as much as “The Breakfast Club” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Still and all.) 

  • Adam Eakins

    Just finished listening to this episode today.  Loved the format.  I like to hear the contrast between both of your top 5’s.

    Put a big smile on my face to hear Ryan mention Hackers.  Watched that flick quite a bit.  Snicker every time they “hack the Gibson” because flying around in a magical 3D space when looking for computer files was SO realistic.  And RISC is good. /snicker

    Anyway my guilty pleasure film and awesome soundtrack has to be Tank Girl.  Don’t know why I like that crazy flick so much… though Jet Girl rocks.  The soundtrack had a quirky mix of techno, Bjork, and stranger things… had it on repeat for years.