Friday on My Mind: The Oscars Edition – KEXP’s Favorite Songs Used in Movies

It’s Friday, therefore it’s time for Friday on My Mind, a weekly blog post centered around a different music related theme each week. This feature is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.

This upcoming Sunday Feb. 26th, the 84th Annual Academy Awards will be taking place. To mark the occasion, this week we thought we’d talk about KEXP’s Favorite Songs Used in Movies.

Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark – “If You Leave” used in Pretty in Pink

Written specifically for the final scene of the 1986 film Pretty in Pink, the song “If You Leave” became UK band OMD’s biggest hit here in the US. This song became the seminal love song for a generation raised on John Hughes movies. While for most of us, its impossible to understand why Andie didn’t choose Duckie over Blane, there is no denying how PERFECT this song is.

OMD performing “If You Leave” for KEXP from Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop for SXSW 2011:

OMD’s music video for “If You Leave”:

The Jesus and Mary Chain – “Just Like Honey” used in Lost in Translation

Director Sofia Coppola is a master at choosing the right mix of older and newer songs and utilizing them at just the right moment in her films. The unforgettable final scene in Coppola’s 2003 film Lost In Translation when Bill Murray’s character Bob Harris whispers to Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte is an achingly tender movie moment. “Just Like Honey” off of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s seminal 1985 debut album Psychocandy, serves as the ideal modern classic love song to accompany the intimate moment shared between the characters. The audience may never know what Bob said to Charlotte, but at least we get to enjoy JAMC’s distorted guitars as they part ways.

Final Scene from Lost in Translation:

The Jesus and Mary Chain Video for “Just Like Honey”:

Harry Nilsson – “Everybody’s Talkin” used in Midnight Cowboy

Although not actually penned by Harry Nilsson himself, the Fred Neil tune, “Everybody’s Talkin’ charted in the top 10 and won Nilsson a grammy, largely in part to its prominent placement as the theme to the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The John Schlesinger film was the only X-rated movie to ever win the Best Picture Oscar. This laid back folk song evokes the perfect combination of hope mixed with melancholy as portrayed by the drifting characters Joe and Rizzo were portrayed by Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman respectively. The carefree and mellow vibe of this melody set the scene for this memorable picture. It’s difficult to think about this movie without hearing the song in your head.

“Everybody’s Talkin” as used during the Opening Scene of Midnight Cowboy:

“Everybody’s Talkin” as performed by Harry Nilsson:

Honorable Mentions:

Lou Reed – “Perfect Day” used in Trainspotting

Danny Boyle’s 1996 adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting is one of the all time greatest soundtracks in my opinion. Its difficult to pinpoint just one song and scene from this film. Beyond the Underworld ceiling crawling baby and toilet swimming to Brian Eno, one can’t deny the use of Lou Reed’s 1972 classic “Perfect Day” as Renton slowly sinks into the abyss of a carpet, which becomes his coffin.

“Perfect Day” used in the movie Trainspotting:

Lou Reed Performing “Perfect Day” with help from Antony Hegarty in 2003 on Jools Holland:

Pixies – “Where is My Mind” used in Fight Club

At the end of the 1999 David Fincher directed Fight Club, the entire city begins blowing up in front of Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Pixies “Where is My Mind” begins playing as they watch the explosions. I’m not sure it gets any better than that.

“Where is My Mind” used during the final scene of Fight Club:

Pixies performing “Where is My Mind” during their 2004 Reunion Tour:

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One Comment

  1. Sooz
    Posted February 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant! Really enjoyed this visual walk down movie memory lane. Hit the nail on the head! I also keep Echo & the Bunnymen remake of “people are strange” at the beginning of Lost Boys and Blue Velvet’s entire soundtrack on my list. It’ s the perfect kind of creepy!

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