OA: Rock Cesario Column February 20, 2009

Music memories are part of Hollywood’s movie industry, too

With the Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 22, I thought it would be fun to take a look at movie soundtracks.

This year, the following movie scores are up for an Oscar: “Defiance,” “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button,” “Milk,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “WALL-E.”

The 2008 winner was “Atonement.”

The best-selling soundtracks at Triple Play last year were for “Juno” and “Once.” Both are excellent, by the way.

The way that I understand the difference between a soundtrack and a score is that the original soundtrack is the way it was heard during the playing of the film. Scores are sometimes edited versions of the soundtracks.

Max Steiner’s score from 1933’s “King Kong” was a model for soundtracks that was followed for several years and used for scoring movies such as “The Bride of Frankenstein,” “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” and “Gone With the Wind.”

Great soundtracks from the 1940s include “Laura,” “Double Indemnity” and “The Jungle Book.”

All the Alfred Hitchcock soundtracks from the ’30s through the ’60s were incredible with the best, in my opinion, being “Psycho.”  

In 1955, Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” appeared in “Blackboard Jungle” making it possibly the first rock ’n’ roll song to appear in a movie.

Three of the most influential and best soundtracks from the 1960s would have to be “The Graduate,” “Easy Rider” and the classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Most of my favorite soundtracks are, of course, rock ’n’ roll-based with my favorite probably being the soundtrack to “The Last Waltz,” which was the Band’s farewell concert with Robbie Robertson,

It would be hard to go against the Beatles’ “Hard Days Night” with its slew of great new tunes from the world’s greatest band, though.

Before I get too far into rock ’n’ roll, I must admit that three of my favorite non-rock ’n’ roll soundtracks are “The Sound Of Music,” “The Sting” and the chilling “Godfather” soundtrack.

Two of my wife’s favorites are from the movies “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease.” I could
live without them, but they are both good as far as soundtracks go.

The soundtrack that really started it all for me and a lot of my schoolmates was “American Grafitti.”

Thanks to George Lucas, this soundtrack made oldies cool for a whole new generation, and being a sophomore in high school at the time it made a big impression on me. I still really like all of that music to this day.

Bob Dylan even weighed in with the soundtrack to “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Dylan even had a bit part in the movie, but spoke only in Spanish.

This led the way for folks like Ry Cooder, (“The Long Ryders,” “Paris Texas,” “Blue City,”
“Crossroads” and others), Randy Newman (“Leatherheads,” “Cars,” “Seabiscuit,”
“Pleasantville,” “Toy Story” and many more) and Mark Knopfler (“Cal,” “The Princess Bride,” “Local Hero,” “Wag the Dog” and “Last Exit to Brooklyn”) to get heavily involved in soundtrack work.

Some more of my personal favorite soundtracks, in no particular order, are: “The Pink Panther,” “Live and Let Die,” “The Big Chill,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Woodstock,” “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” “Stop Making Sense,” “Nashville” and “Cadillac Records.”

If you have time, let me know what your favorites are. I know I missed some.


Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday on Drive 105.3 FM. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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