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Quirky T’s Favorite Instrumental Movie Soundtracks

To continue December’s month long listen to movie soundtracks, this quick station stop on the Guitar Train lists Quirky T’s favorite instrumental film soundtracks. Not coincidentally, two of the theme songs come from my two favorite movies. Also, two of the three songs are composed by Henry Mancini.

 

  1. “Charade” by Henry Mancini
  2. “Benny and Joon” by Rachel Portman
  3. “A Shot in the Dark” by Henry Mancini

Charade DVD cover

“Charade”, the 1963 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, is one of my all time favorite movies. It stars my two favorite actors and is a comedy, romance, thriller, and mystery. Henry Mancini’s music can first be heard during the very 60’s style animated opening titles. The jazzy music does set the tone of the movie.

 

Benny and Joon CD

Benny and Joon CD

“Benny and Joon”, the 1993 movie starring another of my favorite actors, Aidan Quinn, as well as Mary Stuart Masterson, and Johnny Depp, is another of my all time favorite movies. Rachel Portman composed the instrumental soundtrack for the movie. Although many of the songs sound similar to me, “Sam’s New Home/Raisins” always stands out.

Bella Luna CD

“A Shot in the Dark” is from the 1964 movie of the same name which is the second movie in the Pink Panther series. This cool, jazzy song really gets me moving. I wish it could be the soundtrack of my life but obviously it is already taken. “A Shot in the Dark” came to my attention on a compilation CD offered at Starbucks stores called “Bella Luna”. It contains an interesting mix of Italian themed songs. I prefer this song to the more popular “The Pink Panther Theme” also composed by Henry Mancini (which is also a very good instrumental soundtrack, too).

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite instrumental soundtracks?

Quirky T’s Favorite Movie Soundtracks

To continue on The Guitar Train for Movie Soundtrack Month, this stop looks at Quirky T’s favorite movie soundtracks. At the last stop, I explored movie soundtracks by my favorite musicians – The Beatles, Gloria Estefan, Phil Collins, Huey Lewis and the News, and Jon Secada. This stop lists my favorite movie songs by musicians other than my favorites.

 

  1. “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers
  2. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves
  3. “Sweet Freedom” – Michael McDonald
  4. “Say You, Say Me” – Lionel Ritchie
  5. “Footloose” – Kenny Loggins

 

I’ve already posted about my love of the 1993 movie “Benny and Joon” which contains the fun, upbeat song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/the-guitar-train-looks-at-the-20th-anniversary-of-benny-and-joon/  This song works perfectly in the fun movie starring my favorite actor, Aidan Quinn, and Johnny Depp.

I’ve also already posted about another fun, upbeat song, “Walking on Sunshine.” https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/do-i-want-to-hear-more-katrina-and-the-waves/   This song has been used in several movies but the one I identify it with is 1989’s “Look Who’s Talking” starring John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, and the voice of Bruce Willis.

 

Before the days of digital music and songs being available instantly for listening, I had to tape “Sweet Freedom” off of the radio so I could listen to it any time I wanted. I really liked this song and still do.   The 1986 movie it appears in “Running Scared” is a great, fun movie starring Billy Crystal and the late Gregory Hines.

 

My favorite Lionel Richie song is also one of my favorite movie soundtrack songs. “Say You, Say Me” is in the 1985 movie “White Nights” starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and the late Gregory Hines. Interesting how two of my favorite movie songs come from movies starring the great Gregory Hines. “White Nights” also contains a song by one of my favorite musicians, Phil Collins. He duets with Marilyn Martin on the bitter song “Separate Lives.” Both songs were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song with the Lionel Richie song winning the award.

 

Kenny Loggins is known for contributing songs to several movies. My favorite of his movie songs is “Footloose” from the original 1984 movie of the same name. The song is fun, upbeat and makes me want to dance so it is perfect for the movie.

 

Guitar Train passengers, what are your favorite songs from movies?

Do I Want to Hear More? – The Proclaimers

This month on The Guitar Train, Quirky T stops to ask the musical question, “Do I Want to Hear More?” There are several musicians who have made one song I have really liked. Now I’m wondering why I never took the time to listen to more of their songs to find out if I would like more of their music. Or are they just one hit wonders on my favorites playlist?

 

For this first stop, I listened to The Proclaimers. The only song by the Scottish twins, Charlie and Craig Reid, I had heard was “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”. I first heard it over 20 years ago in 1993 when it was part of the soundtrack of one of my all time favorite films, “Benny and Joon”. I wrote about this great movie starring Aidan Quinn (one of my favorite actors) and Johnny Depp in The Guitar Train stop, “The Guitar Train Looks at the 20th Anniversary of Benny and Joon”. https://guitartrain.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/the-guitar-train-looks-at-the-20th-anniversary-of-benny-and-joon/

The Proclaimers - "This is the Story" tape

So to further my musical knowledge of The Proclaimers, I went to my local library’s website to find more albums by this band. (I’m not going to pay money to buy a CD that I will possibly not like and not listen to enough to justify the money spent on it). Interestingly, the only item available for check out was a cassette tape of their first release, “This is the Story”, from 1987. The fact that in a large library system, this was the only item available from this group who has released nine albums from 1987 to 2012 says something about their popularity in the United States. They are more popular in the United Kingdom where they still perform.

 

Benny and Joon CD

Benny and Joon CD

My first reaction when listening to this tape was “Are they singing in English?” I had trouble understanding the lyrics because of their Scottish accents. I don’t know how the actress Mary Stuart Masterson who played Joon in “Benny and Joon” understood them enough to recommend using their song in the movie. The songs are short and vary between slow and fast. I found the songs interesting. So yes, I do want to hear more. I also want to understand more.

In researching this stop, I discovered that The Proclaimers’ song, “I’m On My Way” was included in the 2001 movie, “Shrek”. I had seen the movie years ago but I didn’t remember the song so I watched the video on You Tube. And a revolutionary event occurred on The Guitar Train – I liked a song the moment I listened to it! It’s a catchy, fun tune with a cute dismembered video.

 

So not only have I listened to one complete cassette tape and another hit single from The Proclaimers, I want to hear even more. So I will actually be buying their 1988 CD “Sunshine on Leith” which includes “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”. I’ll provide an update in a future Guitar Train stop as to whether I liked (and understood) that CD or not. For any Guitar Train passengers who want more information on this band, check out their website http://www.TheProclaimers.co.uk

 

At The Guitar Train’s next stop, Quirky T asks “Do I Want to Hear More?” about another group who also had a hit song which deals with walking and romance. Hop aboard The Guitar Train to find out who this group is and if I want to hear more.

The Guitar Train Looks at the 20th Anniversary of “Benny and Joon”

Benny and Joon DVD

Benny and Joon DVD

Twenty years ago this month, Quirky T skipped out of school early, the nerd way, to see the great movie, “Benny and Joon”, for the second time. For all of you cool kids, the nerd way to skip out of school early was to give the school a legitimate note from your mom giving you permission to leave school early.
It was my birthday and what better way to spend my birthday than to go to a mall, eat a huge Ruben sandwich, and then see Aidan Quinn’s gorgeous blue eyes as Benny in “Benny and Joon”. After seeing the movie for the first time, all my four female friends and I could say was, “Wow, those blue eyes!”
Besides the blue eyes, this is a must see movie for several reasons. Johnny Depp is great as Sam. He does several amazing Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin bits including the always entertaining “roll dance” in the diner which was based on a Charlie Chaplin bit from his movie, “Gold Rush”.

Benny and Joon DVD back cover

Benny and Joon DVD back cover

Mary Stuart Masterson and Julianne Moore are also great in the movie. It was Mary Stuart Masterson’s idea to include music by the Scottish group, The Proclaimers, in the movie. Their song, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” became a huge hit in the United States. The twin brothers, Charlie and Craig Reid, are still performing today, even in America. Check them out at their website, http://www.proclaimers.co.uk

Benny and Joon CD

Benny and Joon CD

Besides The Proclaimers’ song, the rest of the Benny and Joon soundtrack is all instrumentals, including Quirky T’s favorite, “Sam’s New Home/Raisins”. I always wondered why two songs that are in the movie were not included in the soundtrack. Those songs are John Hiatt’s “Have A Little Faith in Me” and “Can’t Find My Way Home” written by Steve Winwood and performed by Joe Cocker.
Another reason to watch Benny and Joon is for culinary inspirations. I discovered tapioca pudding because of this film. I also discovered a not as delicious treat – a peanut butter Cap’n Crunch smoothie. I have yet to smash potatoes with a tennis racket or make grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron like Sam did in the movie.
Every year on my birthday (after hearing The Beatles’ “Birthday”), I watch “Benny and Joon”. This year’s viewing will be more significant because it is the 20th anniversary of the movie.
So Guitar Train passengers, get your tapioca pudding and your Cap’n Crunch smoothie ready and watch this great movie. Then tell Quirky T what you thought about it.
All Guitar Train passengers should keep in mind that anything posted on the Guitar Train blog must NOT contain profanity or ethnic, racial, gender, or physical insensitivity. Anyone who violates this will have to disembark at the next stop on the Guitar Train and will not be allowed back on the train.

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