Les Misérables

Let me take you down memory lane to the 19th century where the characters in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables French novel first come to life. It was here that the world first encountered Jean Valjean, Javert, Cosette, Fantine, Marius, Eponine, etc. in the midst of their strife and struggles. Because of the captivating and gripping accounts of the lives of oppressed factions throughout portions of French history as depicted in the novel, Les Misérables found its way into film and, later on, into one of the most widely celebrated musicals of all time.

In 2012, Working Title Films decided to bring Les Misérables back to life by producing a film based on the musical by Alain Boublil and composer Claude-Michel Schönberg. This version of Les Misérables again captivated the audience with their superb casting and their wonderful renditions of songs from the original musical. For this particular film, all but two songs were included – Dog Eats Dog and I Saw Him Once.

Being as true to the musical as possible, most parts of the movie were sang wonderfully by the cast, among them leading actors Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe, and Anne Hathaway.

So gripping and captivating are the 2012 film’s renditions of “I Dreamed a Dream” and “On My Own”, sang by Fantine (played by Anne Hathaway) and Eponine (played by Samantha Banks), respectively, that these songs have become worldwide favorites. Anne Hathaway’s rendering of “I Dreamed A Dream” was so captivating, in fact, that many find this to be a favorite scene in the movie. She was able to enchant the audience with her rendition and grip their emotions.

Listening to each song in Les Misérables’ soundtrack draws the audience in and captivates listeners making them feel the emotions of the particular character during each scene. “At the End of the Day” and “Do You Hear The People Sing?” are very fitting to the scenes within which they are sung. The latter anthem of the rebellion, for instance, builds within viewers a nationalistic emotion that allows the viewer to empathize with the revolutionaries wanting to create change.

The soundtrack of Les Misérables is said to be timeless and all encompassing. Behind the lyrics of each song is a story that tugs at the emotions of all those who chance upon them. During its third week, the Les Misérables soundtrack was said to have topped the Billboard 200. It was its skyrocketing sales and popularity that earned Les Misérables a spot among the top 10 best selling soundtracks of 2012.

50 First Dates

Imagine having to court a girl every waking moment of each and every day. Difficult? Now, try to picture yourself having to convince your wife that you are her husband every single day and that the two of you have already conceived a child. Well, for Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) true love entailed having to do just that. In the romantic comedy 50 First Dates, written by George Wing and directed by Peter Segal, Henry had fallen madly in love with Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) despite her being diagnosed with Goldfield’s syndrome, giving her permanent amnesia.

Screened in 2004, this romantic comedy, filmed in Oahu, Hawaii won Sandler and Barrymore the MTV award for Best On-Screen Love Team. True to its form, 50 First Dates can be said to be your perfect feel-good movie.

Apart from the butterflies the plot gives, the 50 First Dates soundtrack is one that has garnered much popularity especially among new lovebirds on their first dates. The movie’s well-celebrated soundtrack takes on a light, reggae, feel-good theme with many of their songs adapted from the 1980s. The upbeat, happy-go-lucky tunes behind the movie fittingly exude the high-spirited world of Hawaii and appropriately take on that “beach and tropics” vibe.

Included in the film’s musical score are the romantic songs “Hold Me Now” sang by Wayne Wonder and “Slave to Love” by Elan Atias. How these songs were played in 50 First Dates were actually said to be fitting renditions for the movie, capturing the budding romance between Sandler and Barrymore. These songs fondly depict Sandler’s obsession with the innocent and sheltered Barrymore.

Adam Sandler’s “Forgetful Lucy” was a honeyed approach to Lucy’s condition and his recollection of their first encounter. “Forgetful Lucy” was able to capture, in a song, the story of Henry and Lucy as well as the unconditional love that Henry had for her and would continue to have for her despite her condition. Jason Mraz’s “I Melt With You” was also a crowd favorite as its light yet romantic melody sets the perfect mood for any first date.

In the United States, the soundtrack of 50 First Dates garnered the number 1 spot among Top Soundtracks and Top Reggae charts. Other great songs included in the movie’s soundtrack were “Friday I’m In Love” written by Robert Smith and sang by The Cure and “Drive” by Ziggy Marley, the former being an MTV Award winning music video in 1992.

Following the footsteps of another Adam Sandler movie that came before, The Wedding Singer, the soundtrack of 50 First Dates is sure to remain as one of the all-time favorites.

 

 

Frozen

I figured that I need to feature an animated film with awesome music. What better animation to feature but, Frozen??? This recent film has really touched plenty of lives and I’m sure you, along with everyone knows at least one of the songs from this soundtrack.

From the timeless tales of princes and princesses, everlasting love and fantasy, comes one of Disney’s greatest hits — Frozen. The year 2013 was a big year for Walt Disney Pictures as its animated musical effortlessly won the hearts of viewers of all ages and from all corners of the earth. Joining the ranks of Beauty and the Beast, Snow White and Lion King, Frozen was named the highest grossing film of all time.

What was it about Frozen that captivated the world? Simply put, Frozen was breathtakingly amazing. The story of Elsa (Idina Menzel) and her sister Anna (Kristen Bell) depicted a different kind of love and sacrifice. The movie veered away from your typical prince charming saving his damsel in distress and focused on the love that could exist between two sisters. The plot was daring and different but garnered respect from all over.   Moreover, it was not just the storyline that was full of surprises, the music accompaniment was impeccably heartwarming and fitting for the movie.

“Let It Go”, “For the First Time in Forever”, “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”, “In Summer” – these amazing songs in Frozen’s soundtrack were surprisingly written by a couple – Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Their songs soon became all-time favorites with people from around the world singing along the happy tunes of this animated musical.

The expertise behind Frozen’s musical score was seen in the way the music behind the animated film was able to capture the precise emotions that the different events in the plot were trying to imbibe. “Let It Go” sang by Idina Menzel, for instance, was perfect in its ability to give the audience a clear picture of the story of Elsa and the freedom she longed for, freedom from being trapped within the confines of her room, unable to show the world the powers that she held.

“Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” was another hit from the movie. It beautifully depicted the years that elapsed between the two sisters and was able to portray the distance that was growing between them because of the choice of Elsa to keep herself away from her sister. The emotions that the song was able to project allowed one to feel exactly what the sisters were going through during those years. The confusion and longing within Anna was felt by the audience as this song was sung.

These songs, as well as the other pieces in the musical, all contributed to helping this soundtrack become an all-time favorite.

Saturday Night Fever

Saturday Night FeverI figured it was time to honor another classic soundtrack, Saturday Night Fever. Saturday Night Fever was a film released in 1977 that starred John Travolta and Karen Lynn Gorney. This dance movie was very popular that its soundtrack grew popularity as well. Basically, anything associated with Saturday Night Fever during this time was a huge success.

Now let’s talk about what made this soundtrack so popular. For one, it was such a hit even when disco has died out of the scene. Second, The Bee Gees were a big part of the soundtrack and who does not love The Bee Gees? This soundtrack even won a Grammy for Album of the Year and had a spot on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of top albums of all time.

Out of the seventeen tracks on this album, a total of six are songs by The Bee Gees. These are classics like “Stayin’ Alive,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Night Fever,” “More Than a Woman,” “Jive Talkin’,” and “You Should Be Dancing.” All these tracks from The Bee Gee’s are hits and are still popularly known today. The Bee Gee’s wrote and recorded all these songs, and had no idea at the beginning that they would be making a soundtrack.

Aside from songs from The Bee Gees, there are also other great dance tunes in this album. Many of them were already popular songs from the disco period. One is Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You.” Another great hit is “More Than a Woman” by Tavares. There is also “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps. The Bee Gee’s also had a version song “If I Can’t Have You” which was not included in the film, instead included Yvonne’s version.

Disco was a great period in time that was definitely memorable to many and the film Saturday Night Fever, along with the album, gives all of us a chance to experience those moments or even re-live those times. Certainly, a lot of people would agree that this album is one of the best out there that brings disco back to life.

Saturday Night Fever is really one for the books and the fact that this album was added to the National Recording Registry in the Library Congress proves that. If you are planning a disco party or simply want to groove to disco tunes, then this is the soundtrack that you should play on your mp3 players and play out loud on your speakers.

Almost Famous

Another great soundtrack that is most recent is from the film Almost Famous. The movie was also incredible, which is wonderfully complimented by the music. Just to juggle your memory, Almost Famous is a movie that is set in the seventies and stars Kate Hudson, Billy Crudup, and Patrick Fugit. Not only do I think this movie has one of the best soundtracks ever, there is actually a Grammy to prove it. The movie Almost Famous won the 2001 Grammy Award for the Best Compilation Soundtrack Album. One of the things that makes this soundtrack so cool is that most of the music is from the 1970s, which is the period that the story of the movie is based. The first song that comes to mind when I hear almost famous is “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John. This is such a nice song that is originally from the seventies. The soundtrack for Almost Famous is a mixture of different popular artists. Rock n’ roll dominates the soundtrack with songs by The Who (Sparks), Led Zeppelin (That’s They Way), David Bowie (I’m Waiting for the Man) and The Allman Brothers Band (One Way Out). These artists are sure to give you your fill of true rock n’ roll, with some of the tracks recorded live. For those who are after something else, there is also mellow rock n’ roll tunes from several artists. There is “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Feel Flows” by The Beach Boys, and “America” by Simon & Garfunkel. There really is a bit of everything in this soundtrack. But the only thing to really consider is that if you love 70s music, then you will surely love these tunes. The film takes you back in time and allows you to see the life of a rock n’ roll band, a young writer for The Rolling Stones, and groupies during this era. It really is a great movie to watch with classic songs to compliment the story. What makes the songs so great is how perfectly it goes with the movie and the characters. It’s incredible just how everything works together.

Juno

junoThere are tons of awesome movie soundtracks from decades back, but I figured I could get to those later. I wanted to take a breather from the classics and do something a bit more recent like Juno starring Ellen Page and Michael Cera. This movie was released in 2007 and aside from being an incredible film, it also had a great soundtrack. Let’s try to remember the movie and the great tunes that are a part of it.

Many of you might not know this, but Ellen Page who plays the lead character, Juno, actually took part in determining the songs for this soundtrack. Director Jason Reitman asked her about the songs she thinks Juno listens to and she simply said, The Moldy Peaches and immediately made him listen to their songs. This lead him to contact the singer of The Moldy Peaches, Kimya Dawson, who in turn is a main fixture in the Juno Soundtrack.

The songs of Kimya Dawson included in the soundtrack are “Rollercoaster,” “The Swing,” “Loose Lips,” “Sleep,” “So Nice So Smart,” and “Tree Hugger.” A song by The Moldy Peaches is also included, which is “Anyone Else But You” with a version sung by Ellen Page and Michael Cera. “Anyone Else But You” is really such a cute song and hits the spot when it comes to this movie. I must say, this music is perfect for Juno and is certainly a lot of fun to listen to, especially since the songs are not like any average song that you would normally hear. These songs sound like they were specifically made for the movie. That’s just how perfect they are for the film.

But of course, there are also other cool artists and songs that are included in the Juno Soundtrack. One is “All I Want is You” by Barry Louis Parker. This is another fun song that sounds ideal for the Juno film. There is also “Sea of Love” by Cat Power, “Vampire” by Antsy Pant, and “I’m Sticking With You,” by The Velvet Underground. The Kinks and Buddy Holly also have songs in the soundtrack.

All the songs for the Juno soundtrack were picked out really well. This is one of those soundtracks that you could purchase and listen to each and every song without having to skip any. It’s just that good in my opinion.

The fact that this soundtrack is not like the usual musical soundtrack or any other soundtrack full of pop songs, makes it one for the books. But of course, I think the younger group who are into indie music might appreciate these songs more than the older crowd. Either way, the movie is awesome and the soundtrack is awesome so Juno can easily be enjoyed by anyone.

The Sound of Music

sound-of-musicOkay, okay, so some of you might find The Sound of Music a bit much, but really it is a true classic. In fact, you probably know the songs in this movie more than you realize! As a child, I would hear these songs everywhere and many of them were used at my kindergarten class. Even if the movie was released sometime in the sixties, I am pretty sure it was playing in the cinemas in the eighties. So, if you ask me, this movie is another one for the books.

Just like Grease, this movie started off as a Broadway musical before being turned into a film. Because of the time period the film as based upon, it really has a lot of historical significance. Maria, played by Julie Andrews, accepts the position of a governess in the home of Captain Von Trapp who handles his kids like they are in military training.

Seriously, I don’t know what song from this soundtrack to start talking about. There are just so many good ones. “The Sound of Music” of course is the popular song Maria sings on top of a hill. This is the movie’s anthem and really a memorable one for many. How can you forget the words, “The hills are alive, with the sound of music….”

Childhood favorites of mine includes a couple from this soundtrack like  “My Favorite Things,” “So Long, Farewell,” and “Do-Re-Mi.” I loved singing these songs over and over again. Plus, they really help put a smile on your face when you’re having a bad day.

As I grew older, I began to love the songs “Edelweiss” and “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” I especially enjoyed singing the latter because I felt like I could relate to it at that age. Of course, Edelweiss is a classic song and is really enjoyable to listen to.

“Climb Ev’ry Mountain” was also another hit song from this soundtrack. I think what make these songs so popular is they really relate to the story of the movie itself. Despite the awful period in history, the Von Trapp family was still able to stay cheerful and sing these songs to get through the horrible times.

There is no doubt about it that The Sound of Music soundtrack should definitely be on this list. It’s a classic movie with classic songs that are timeless and will definitely bring joy to our hearts for years to come.

Songs from Grease

greaseThe first soundtrack I must write about is from the movie Grease of course. There was a time when I was younger and this movie would be playing over and over in VHS. Correction, I would be playing it over and over in our VHS player. I mustn’t forget to mention that while watching, I would be singing to all the music. In fact, I think I used to know every song by heart.

Well, enough about my experience with the Grease soundtrack. Let’s talk about why this soundtrack is so great. For one, until now everyone knows Grease – even those born in the nineties. John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John really did an amazing job in this movie adaptation of the Grease Broadway show. It is still one of the best acts that they both delivered, which they each received Golden Globe nominations for.

“Summer Nights” was the song that both Newton-John and Travolta sung somewhat at the beginning of the movie. This was at a point when they reminisced about their summer romance to their friends, each of them not knowing that they were actually in the same school.  Danny was bragging about the summer fling he had to the boys, while Sandy was talking about the summer love she had to her newfound friends at Rydell High.

Another hit from this movie is the song “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” sung by Olivia Newton-John as Sandy. In this song, she sings about trying to forget Danny but can’t help but follow her heart. This song was so popular that it even reached number 3 in the Billboard Hot 100. It was also Oscar nominated for the best song, but unfortunately lost to “Last Dance” by Donna Summer.

The movie ends with Danny, Sandy, and the entire cast singing “You’re the One that I Want” and “We Go Together,” which are both great classics. If you are a fan of the movie Grease, these songs were sung towards the end when Sandy had a make over and everyone was singing and dancing around the location of the race.

These are only some of the hits in the movie though. Surely you have other favorites like “Beauty School Dropout,” “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Greased Lightnin’” “Tears On My Pillow,” “Born to Hand Jive,” “Blue Moon,” and many others. It’s pretty obvious that this movie soundtrack deserves to be on the all-time list of the best!

About Raam

I think something that doesn’t come across our heads instantly is that music is a big part of movies. The type of tunes played in big pictures really help in setting the mood. Not only does it set the mood, it also helps make a bigger impact in a certain scene. For instance, in scary movies, did you ever think that it might not be as scary if the music was not around? Imagine watching a movie that had no music whatsoever, that would probably a strange feeling to us all.

That being said, music is a big part of movies, so I have decided to start this blog to discuss the cool soundtracks released in different movies. I will try to focus on the good movies, but once in a while, I might decide to write about soundtracks in movies that were a flop.

If you are a movie and music buff like me, I hope you enjoy this site! Thank you for visiting :)

Just another WordPress site