After reading Malagueta and Meet Me in Montauk's "song of the day" posts, I've been reflecting on why we gravitate toward the music we love. Yesterday I read a blog entry on the joys of watching films that was posted nearly two years ago (http://flat5ive.blogspot.com/) that caused me to do some further reflecting. Finally, this morning I decided to poke around the web for some song lists and came across this one: http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/500songs , which I vaguely remember reading (or reading about) when it first came out several years ago but which is newly controversial any time you start judging the songs that appear against the ones that don't.
I tell you all of this to provide the genesis of this blog entry (whether you want it or not!) When I got to #392 on the Rolling Stone list, "O-o-h Child" by The Five Stairsteps, I started thinking about Meet Me in Montauk's definition of hip. How would children born in a later era know about many of these "greatest songs of all time"? Either their parents (or other older friends or family members) had introduced them to these gems or, as often has happened to me over the years, they "discovered" them through a film. The above video has already revealed to you where I first heard "O-o-o Child," though I don't know if I ever knew it was performed by a group called The Five Stairsteps before perusing the list this morning. I'll never forget sitting in the theater, hearing that song, and watching the images on the screen. I became an instant (and lifelong) fan of Laurence ("don't call me Larry") Fishburne, Cuba ("I'll never make another good movie") Gooding and John ("I'll never make as good a movie") Singleton. More than those impressions, however, was the impression the song made. I have never been able to hear a bar of it without thinking of Boyz N the Hood.
This is also true for Dusty Springield's "Son of a Preacher Man" (#240 and forever associated with Pulp Fiction and Uma Thurman), "You've Lost that Lovin Feelin" (#34 and forever associated with "Top Gun" Tom Cruise serenading Kelly McGillis), and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" (#100 and forever associated with the opening scene of The Big Chill). Now, I know some of you will be incredulous that I heard these songs for the first time in the context of the films I just mentioned. Sue me. I'm sure some of you were introduced to songs through films. And I'm not talking about songs that were written for films; that's another blog entry entirely (for instance, I didn't know until years later that "Moon River" was written for Breakfast at Tiffany's, though I'll always choose to picture Big and Carrie dancing to it in an empty NY apt.)
If you choose to watch the Sex and the City clip, you can consider it a preview to future postings I may do on "best male tv characters of all time," "best tv couples of all time," and "Funniest supporting characters [Samantha "Why would anyone leave NY" Jones and Miranda "No" Hobbes] of all time."
In the meantime, I'd love to learn about your strongest film/song associations. Please share. :-)