Another good movie soundtrack

You've Got Mail album cover
Image via Wikipedia

As soon as I put up the post about the soundtrack for Sleepless In Seattle, another Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie came to mind. That is the romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail. The movie is clever and fun. Tom Hanks is always easy to watch and Meg Ryan is pretty cute in this part. there are some great people in the supporting cast. Look for Dave Chapelle in what, I am pretty sure, was his first movie role as Tom’s assistant at Fox Books.

The musical selections are terrific and, again, they really feed the story. Once more, like Sleepless In Seattle, the movie climaxes with the incomparable Jimmy Durante setting the mood with You Made Me Love You. It can’t get any better than that.

Listen to this lineup of performers: Harry Nilsson, Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong, Roy Orbison, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Williams and Jimmy Durante. Also included, but maybe not as familiar, The Cranberries and Bobby Day (with Rockin’ Robin). Harry Nilsson is featured on three tracks and, if you have not given him a listen in recent years, by all means do so. He does The Puppy Song (cute), Remember (very pretty song) and one of the three best versions of Over the Rainbow you will ever hear. (The other two are, obviously, Judy Garland’s original from the movie, and Jane Monheit.

Jane Monheit, btw, is one of the best of today’s jazz, cabaret, ballad, swing & showtune performers. She tours with her own excellent band led by her husband, Rick Montalbano, and featuring his excellent custom arrangements. If you get a chance to see them live, especially in one of the small, intimate venues they prefer. her website has some good samplings from her impressive album catalog . Here is the link: A Jane Monheit CD is always a safe investment.

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About thejazzmonger
Music fan. All types of music but, especially Jazz, Big Band, Swing & Oldies from the 50s & early (pre-Beatle) 60s.

9 Responses to Another good movie soundtrack

  1. dcfan says:

    Does it have to be classic music to count? Here are a few soundtracks that I love, ones in which, like you said, the music is so integral it is almost like a character in the movie or really shapes the movie. BUT, not necessarily jazzy in nature, so my choices might seem a little weird to you.

    The one that springs to mind first is “The Graduate,” where all the great Simon & Garfunkel songs really set the tone, beginning with “The Sounds of Silence” as Benjamin makes his lonely way through the airport as the movie opens, dialogue-free.

    And the next is “Forrest Gump,” which, granted, has been replayed to death on TV, but it still has a great soundtrack. Some fabulous songs on the soundtrack, and it really takes you through the journey of the main character. Elvis Presley (Hound Dog) in his elemntary days, to hippie music (Joan Baez), to beach music (Beach Boys & Mamas & Papas), to Vietnam war music
    (CCR – Fortunate Son; Buffalo Springfield), and of course, Southern rock (Lynrd Skynrd).

    And then I think of “An American Werewolf in London,” with the “moon song” soundtrack – lots of version of “Blue Moon,” and his initial transformation to “Bad Moon Rising.” Added a nice note of humor to a frightening scene.

    And a few movies where just one song is the centerpoint of a scene so that it has become iconic to the movie: a classic – “Moon River” in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” And two that will make no sense to you unless you are a thirty-something female: The Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody” from “Ghost” (pottery, anyone?) and Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” from “Say Anything.”

  2. What a great post! Welcome to my humble little blog, dcfan.

    And “jazzy” is not a requirement. In fact, I like the way the music works in every one of the movies you cite.

    That long scene of Benjamin riding the moving sidewalk through the LA airport is one of the best openings I have ever seen. You are dead-on with how the musical changes move you through time in “Forrest Gump.” The music kind of takes the place of the old cinematic cliche of pages flying off the calendar to show the story speeding forward in time.

    “An American Werewolf in London” has to be one of the most hilarious and interesting uses of music in a film. Especially at the end, when we have just seen the hero/villain shot down. All in an instant, the film jumps to the closing credits, with The Marcels totally upbeat Doo-Wop version of Blue Moon.

    BTW, how many people know that David Naughton, who played the lead in American Werewolf, was the original “Pepper” in the “wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?” commercials for Dr. Pepper?


  3. dcfan says:

    I know that about David Naughton, because he went to my undergrad school! John Legend, too – he’s kind of jazzy.

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