Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #343: The Day The (Movie) Music Died

It's seems sort of fitting that I should see a report on the death of the movie soundtrack album so soon after the death of writer/director John Hughes.

Hughes was the master of the movie soundtrack, especially when it came to selecting songs that would both appeal to his young audience, and perfectly fit the
mise-en-scene* of the movie.

Those soundtrack albums (yes they were albums back then) sold big too.
The Breakfast Club soundtrack was practically mandatory for folks of my generation.

Sadly, it seems that movie soundtracks aren't really selling these days. Some blame changes in buying habits, but I personally blame what I just found out was iTunes policy. When you go to buy a song from a soundtrack, you can't, because most of the songs on said soundtrack are locked, so that you can only get them if you buy the whole album.

Man, I thought it was the record label's policy, because I thought iTunes was smarter than that.

Maybe it's the combination of stubbornness and parsimony in my mostly Scottish DNA, but when I see that I can't buy the song I want without buying the whole album, my first thought is "fuck you, now I'm not even going to give them one red cent for that." Though it comes out with more of an enraged brogue, and for some reason my hair turns red at those moments, sort of like the Hulk, only I use the word "Och" more.

Anyway, it's a stupid policy in my opinion. Because I'm a grazer, I usually pick up a couple of songs, at first, then I go and splurge on the rest of the album if I like what I hear. However, block me from grazing, I'll just move onto a new field. Especially if the songs are available on another album.

Another thing that bugs me is that you'll hear a bitching song on the trailer, but it's not on the soundtrack. That pisses me off. The studio's already paid to use it, why not make it available as an extra "trailer track." I'm sure the artists would like people to buy their music in a convenient and affordable way.

Also, something could be done about the quality of the music in movies these days.** Why in my day... Damn, I'm starting to sound like my Dad. Only I'm right, aren't I?

* Film school nerd alert.

**Gen-X becoming Old Coot Alert


  1. I used to buy cassette tapes of movie soundtracks back in the day, then upgraded to the magical CD. What a difference!

    But I was more of the lover of the BGM rather than any songs, so picking up a copy of John Williams (any movie) was more my liking.

    Music companies can take a long walk off that oh so very small pier in my opinion.

  2. Sadly, with this new century I can't find an interest in many soundtracks. The music seems to of passed away with the 20th century. Nothing lights my fire like it did once, there's no 'Raiders of the lost Ark' theme to invigorate my tepid soul.

    I love the new 'Batman' movies, but the music in both are entirely forgettable. Unlike that ham fisted burton movie with the roaring music that I still have somewhere...

    John Williams made some great tracks in the awful "prequels" of 'Star Wars' like 'Duel of the Fates' and 'Anakin Vs. Obi-wan'.. the second movie didn't have much though.