Thursday, August 4, 2011

Every Soundtrack Ever (and some memories)


In my family growing up, renting movies and going to the movies was a sport and a pastime, and always a treat. Sometimes when my mom was out of town, my dad would let us watch TWO movies in one night (omg), and to this day, my family always goes to see a movie when we're all in same the city long enough to squeeze it in. It may sound like a lazy or anti-social family activity, but we always got a lot of joy out of the whole process – from finding the newspaper and picking a movie we could all agree on (or piling in the car to go to the rental store), to talking about our favorite bits after the credits rolled, my "family movie night" memories are happy ones. 

My dad and I are both slightly musically-obsessed/fixated, and have a lot of the same taste. If we particularly liked the music in a movie, we would often go by the Music Millenium on Burnside to get the soundtrack on the way home from the theater. All the soundtracks above are ones that I own on either cassette or CD (that I can remember). Some of these were obvious hits during their time (you know you own the Garden State soundtrack, fess up), others maybe only had a few winning tracks and were otherwise largely forgettable (Free Willy, obviously). The Saint soundtrack remains one of my favorite records ever ("Six Underground" by Sneaker Pimps, anyone?), and I know for a fact that my dad still listens to the Romeo Must Die soundtrack in his car.

One of the things that I love so much about soundtracks as they used to be, before you could pick and choose which songs you wanted to download from iTunes, is that they're essentially a grab-bag. Charlie's Angels introduced me to "Brandy" by Looking Glass. The Dr. Dolittle soundtrack has this amazing song called "Your Dress" by an RnB group called Playa that drifted into obscurity after only a few singles and an album that peaked at 86 on the Billboard charts – and I still know all the words! The Money Talks album was a little weak, but Next Friday (the only ST I own from the Friday series, bizarrely) has some major slaps.

I still buy CDs sometimes, but usually only when I'm in Portland, and I can't remember the last time I bought a soundtrack – which is too bad. I sort of miss the experience of listening to a new soundtrack all the way through and feeling excited to be surprised by a song or artist I'd never heard before.

***Note. I was 10 when Waiting to Exhale came out – I have still never seen it. But I loved "Shoop" so much and the music video where they were blowing out candles that I bought the cassette.

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