Jasper Jams: The Art of the Movie Soundtrack

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Great movies have great soundtracks. Terrible movies with good soundtracks become bearable. It’s undeniable that music impacts the viewer’s experience but often, viewers don’t realize or appreciate it. For this week’s Jasper Jams, I decided to pull some tracks from movies – recent and old – that are iconic, scene or film defining or are simply just great tunes that enhance the film and pop culture.

Bellbottoms – Jon Spencer Blues Explosion from Baby Driver

I had a tough time picking a song from this movie, considering just how instrumental music was to the flow of the film. This song plays during the very opening scene which introduces the viewer to Baby, the life of crime and the importance of the getaway matching up with the song he’s listening to.

Young & Beautiful – Lana Del Rey from The Great Gatsby (2013)

Whether or not you liked this version of The Great Gatsby, you cannot deny that this song perfectly captures the essence of the characters and the world they live in. The song is sad with an empty longing and addresses the shallow nature of the characters.

Kiss Me – Sixpence None The Richer from She’s All That

This movie, though released in 1999, feels as if it is the definition of “chick flick” and all of the associated tropes. This song plays during the reveal of the “new, not improved” Laney, which is just Laney wearing some makeup, a dress, and contacts for the night, but you know, it makes Freddie realize she’s beautiful as she is and it’s a movie moment.

Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin from Thor: Ragnarok

This song plays during Thor’s battle with Surtur at the very beginning of the movie. This is honestly one of my favorite uses of music during a “battle” scene because it was dramatic and matched the beats of the fight, but it was fun and different.

Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová from Once

Though I have never actually seen Once, I still know the movie by this song and this song by the movie. This song has transcended the boundaries the film set for it and has become a part of the general body of music that people listen to. Members of Manhattan College’s Music Ministry even sang this song during mass a few weekends ago.

Cherry Bomb – The Runaways from Guardians of the Galaxy

I didn’t think I’d be putting two Marvel movies on a playlist of songs from movies but here we are. The soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy is full of amazing songs so it was hard to just pick one, which is again, something I didn’t think I’d say about a Marvel movie.

Footloose – Kenny Loggins from Footloose

All of the music from this movie is iconic but this song is the title song and by far, the most iconic scene. Everyone thinks they know the dance to this song, but odds are, you’ll have to watch a step-by-step video to actually learn it; I’m definitely not speaking from personal experience.

(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes from Dirty Dancing

Nobody puts baby in the corner. This song, scene and movie are simply iconic and by my guess, you’ve probably attempted the infamous lift with someone at some point in your life.

Hero – Regina Spektor from (500 Days of Summer)

My favorite quote from this entire movie – and quite frankly the point of the entire movie – is “Just because she likes the same bizarro crap that you do, doesn’t mean she’s your soulmate.” This quote is clearly defined by the characters’ relationship with music and each other throughout the movie; the Spektor song falls outside of their shared taste in music and rather defines the whole movie’s sentiment.

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole from The Parent Trap

I know this song plays at the very end of the movie, but it’s just such a bop. It’s also the only song I actually associate with the movie, despite all the other songs that play throughout the film.