Today sees the release of We Bought a Zoo, the latest film from Cameron Crowe, and his first feature in six years. This makes it a good time to reflect on this endearing director’s use of music within many of the pivotal scenes of his films throughout the years. When it comes to music in film, Cameron Crowe “gets it”. Which of these did he get best?
1. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes from Say Anything
We all fell in love with John Cusack’s character Lloyd Dobler when he lifted that boom box to the sky and let Peter Gabriel try and win back the heart of Diane Court. Since then, how many of us have used “In Your Eyes” on a mixed tape for that same purpose? And by “us”, I mean “me”.
2. Mother Love Bone – Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns from Singles
For many Seattleites, Cameron Crowe created a truly Seattle music experience with the movie Singles. With a nod to one of the greatest local bands to ever play in Seattle, Mother Love Bone, Crowe both pays tribute and lays down the perfect vibe to what could be considered the most definitive collections of Seattle bands for a movie about love in the time of grunge.
3. Elton John – Tiny Dancer from Almost Famous
Some of the best songs of all time have been used as a sing-a-long in film (Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne’s World anybody?). But that feel good moment in Almost Famous when the band begins singing along to this classic song reminds those characters and the viewer that it’s really all about the music!
4. Paul Westerberg – Dyslexic Heart from Singles
One of the non-local artists in Singles comes from ex-Replacement Paul Westerberg. Anyone who ever hears this chorus will immediately be brought back to the movie Singles and subsequently will never be able to get it out of their heads.
5. Radiohead – Everything in its Right Place from Vanilla Sky
Matching the emotional force of this Radiohead song with the intensity of Tom Cruise discovering that he is in the big city and all others have disappeared is a fantastic example of a song helping to set the mood.