Deep Cuts: Soundtracks

There was a time when the soundtrack ruled, dude. Bands would actually beg their managers to get them on the soundtrack to a hit movie. By the mid-‘90s, however, the tables had turned; bands would hold out for more money before they agreed to have their song appear on a soundtrack, since the bands figured that putting their next big hit on some nameless soundtrack would cost them untold thousands of copies sold of their next record. The labels wouldn’t pay, the bands kept the songs for themselves, and boom, the soundtrack was dead, just like that.

This list is a tribute to one writer’s favorite songs from his favorite soundtracks. The rules for what made a soundtrack Deep Cut were simple: it can’t have been released as a single and, in an effort to keep the pool of eligible songs somewhat reasonable, it can’t have been written for the movie in question. The beauty of a list like this is that it’s open to interpretation, so expect sequel after sequel of this list to appear in the near future. But for now, Mr. Brit Pop is in charge, and he’s taking names. Tom Hanks, please step forward….

“Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boys,” Angel & the Reruns (“Bachelor Party”)
Any fan of the Waitresses will love this sax-filled New Waver. When explaining why bad boys like good girls, the answer, of course, is “he must want to be the first / To make her little bubble burst / Shock her with his attitudes / Get her hooked on beer and ‘ludes / Make her parents think she’s nuts / And all her friends will hate her guts.” Absolutely of its time, which is what makes the song so awesome.

“All the Young Dudes,” World Party (“Clueless”)
When Karl Wallinger decides to cover something, he is not one to stray too far from a song’s original arrangement – his version of “Penny Lane” is nearly note-for-note – and that’s a good thing. A World Party cover version is less about a radical reinterpretation, like our good friend Carmel did with the previous entry, and more about how incredibly cool Wallinger’s voice sounds singing, well, anything. Bullz-Eye associate editor Will Harris saw World Party cover “A Day in the Life” at a show once. I think I hate him.

“Kelly Watch the Stars (Moog Cookbook remix),” Air (“Splendor”)
No, I had never heard of the movie “Splendor” either, but when I saw its soundtrack in a bargain bin and read the track listing, it was the “Yoink!” heard ‘round the world. The general premise is that it features new remixes to various UK artists, along with a few assorted B-sides and single edits. What those pranksters known as the Moog Cookbook did to Air’s mellow jam “Kelly Watch the Stars” is hard to put into words, but I’m pretty sure that George Clinton has had made sweet, sweet love while this was playing in the background, if that helps.

“Papua New Guinea,” Future Sound of London (“Cool World”)
Much like “Until the End of the World,” the soundtrack for “Cool World” was received far better than the movie it represented. Look at that track listing: David Bowie produced again by Nile Rodgers, Electronic with Neil Tennant singing lead, the Cult produced again by Rick Rubin, Moby getting his first major label exposure, and Ministry just beating the snot out of everything in sight. In between all of these bands was a pair of British unknowns who turned a Dead Can Dance sample into something that could both pack a dance floor and seduce your girlfriend. Trust me, Brad Pitt would want you to remember it this way.

To view the rest of the list, click here.