Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekend Listomania (Special The Spy With the Biggest Penis You Ever Saw in Your Life!* Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental lotus blossom for hire Fah Lo Suee and I are off to the lovely Cayman Islands, where we're going to try to find the off-shore tax haven/blind trust where presidential hopeful Willard "Mitt" Romney is reported to have stashed his manhood.

That being the case, and because it will be preternaturally quiet around here for a couple of days (unless I miss my guess) here's a fun little project to help us fill the aching void in what passes for our shriveled souls:

Best or Worst Use of a Pop/Rock/Soul Song in Either a Credit Sequence or Non-Musical Scene in a Film Drama or Comedy!!!

No arbitrary rules, except -- of course -- no concert films, documentaries, or features starring The Beatles need apply.

And my totally top of my head Top Five is...

5. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross -- "The Immigrant Song" (as heard in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)

I didn't care for the opening montage that accompanies it, but Mr. Nine Inch Nails' remake of the Led Zep song, which sets up the tone of the subsequent film perfectly, is just one of many reasons that David Fincher's Hollywood adaptation of TGWTDT is light years better than the Swedish, hippo-root sucking, original.

4. Van Morrison -- "Into the Mystic" (as heard in Panic in Needle Park)

I dunno if Van was thinking "heroin" when he wrote it, but the scene with Al Pacino and Kitty Winn (whatever the hell happened to her, BTW?) shooting up to to its slightly melancholy strains is one of the most indelible images in American films of the 70s. IMHO.

3. Herman's Hermits -- "I'm Into Something Good" (as heard in The Naked Gun)

Okay, it's a remake, but it is Peter Noone singing. I should add that the scene from the montage where Nielsen and Presley come out of Platoon laughing hysterically never fails to crack me up.

2. Gary Glitter -- "Rock and Roll" (as heard in Moolight Mile)

I was gonna nominate the film's Rolling Stones title tune, which is beautifully used, but it dawned on me that the Glitter track, from earlier in the same scene, is actually surprisingly effective despite being about as massively over-familiar as anything can be. Fun fact: After Robert Plant saw the film, he called up Mick Jagger to tell him how much he had liked "Moonlight Mile" (the song) and asked him what album it was on and when it had originally been released. I am not making this up.

And the Numero Uno not so hot they're-gonna-put-me-in-the-movies tune of all time simply has to be...

1. Alica Keys and Jack White -- "Another Way to Die" (as heard in Quantum of Solace)

I have no problem with either Keys or White, but I think we can all agree that this one is pretty unmemorable as James Bond theme songs go. Or maybe it just seems that way knowing that it was supposed to be Amy Winehouse.

Alrighty, then -- what would your choices be?


*[Hey, don't blame me -- "The Spy With the Biggest Penis You Ever Saw in Your Life" was an actual parody poster in the February 1977 issue of the National Lampoon. If you ask me nicely, I'll scan it and put it up one of these days....]


Sal Nunziato said...


"I Got You, (I Feel Good)"- James Brown

Movie? All of them. You know...

"He's a single dad who's a little league coach by day and a CIA agent by night. She's a runaway ex-con with a body that kills and smile to match. What happens when life brings them together?"



steve simels said...


TMink said...

I just don't think men should sing James Bond theme songs. Witness Thunderball by Tom Jones.

The prosecution rests.


steve simels said...

I hadn't thought of that, but your absolutely right.

Although I think one of the early ones was sung by Matt Monro, who was sort of the English Sinatra, and it wasn't bad.

I actually have a James Bonds Greatest Hits CD at home, which I think has all the title tracks through the first Daniel Craig. I'll check later today....

Shriner said...

Oh, come on -- "Live and Let Die" is a classic. And I have a soft spot for "A View To A Kill" (except the chorus falls flat for me...)

Hey, Steve -- here's a topic for a future listomania:

Songs that have memorable verse melodies, but shitty choruses.

steve simels said...

Could be, could be...

TMink said...

Shriner, I stand corrected. Live and Let Die is a fine Bond song. I am just not as familiar with the post-Connery Bond films.

But, I mean really, here is Thunderball.

Shirley Bassey would have owned this. Etta James would have made it a single. But Tom Jones? Great singer, horrible casting from my chair.


DB said...

Re: Kitty Winn -- She quit acting to raise a family.

FD13NYC said...

What's wrong with Thuderball?? I think it a fine Bond theme song. Tom Jones nails it perfectly. C'mon.

Lee said...

Alfie. Not the version by Cher that closed the original film (at least the UK prints) - altho it's one of her better interpretations.

Or the version by Dionne Warwick, which is awesome.

This one, by Cilla Black.

(This clip is part of a longer doco about Abbey Road studios - if you can find it, it takes you through the rigors of recording with Burt - but what a result!)

cthulhu said...

For best, how about the Fugs' "CIA Man" over the trailing credits for the Coen brothers' black comedy Burn After Reading?

pete said...

The fade out in "Rushmore," where everybody's dancing to the Faces' "Ooh La La."

Or Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon dancing to "60 Minute Man" in "Bull Durham."

Or the montage in "Goodfellas" with the coda to "Layla."

Or "Baby, You're a Rich Man" in the fade out of "Social Network." One of my favorite songs made even better.

Or that other montage in "Goodfellas" that you posted a few weeks ago, with that Harry Nilsson tune.

Or Townes Van Zandt doing "Dead Flowers" at the end of "The Big Lebowski."

Libby Spencer said...

I'm such a dork. If we're talking James Bond, confess I liked Nobody Does it Better from the Spy Who Loved Me.

And I'm not good remembering soundtracks as related to where they were in the film, but loved the entire soundtrack of Until the End of the World. Thought it worked throughout the movie.

ms. rosa aka gordy said...

Best: ...And speaking of Goodfellas, it's not even *possible* for me to hear the piano outtro to "Layla" without thinking of meat hooks.

Anonymous said...

it's an election year, hard to ignore politics but have enjoyed your postings more without the weekly reference to your most-hated at the moment politician, er...Republican.

Just remember they're all phonies and crooks (you might even stumble upon Charlie Rangel's homage to Adam Clayton Powell when you're down there along with the Clinton's in the DR).

опера мини 6. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Uncle Smokes said...

Since Bond has been brought up a lot, I ought to toss in a favorite moment from what is mostly a trainwreck of a film, the 1967 comedy Casino Royal--the luscious slow-motion sequence with Ursula Andress and Peter Sellers moving behind an aquarium while we hear Dusty Springfield singing "The Look of Love" exquisitely.

I enjoyed the use of the climax to The Who's "A Quick One While He's Away" for the revenge montage in Rushmore. I'm also thankful to Wes Anderson for turning me onto Nico's "These Days" in The Royal Tenenbaums, as well as Elliott Smith's "Needle in the Hay."

A highlight from The Highlander is Queen's beautiful "Who Want To Live Forever." Freddie Mercury's singing sometimes gives me goosebumps.

steve simels said...

Uncle Smokes!!