Thursday, August 1, 2013

Riske Business: Songs From Movies That I Love but Probably Shouldn't (Vol. 1)

This is going to get ugly.

On the heels of writing a piece with Mark Ahn about music in movies, I stumbled upon a gem of a song that I openly made fun of for years but secretly love when no one was looking (it kicks off my list). Then I realized I have a ton of songs from movies that I feel this way about. Am I crazy for liking these?

Song: “Come With Me”
Artist: Puff Daddy Featuring Jimmy Page

From: Godzilla (1998)





This song is great because someone heard “Kashmir” by Led Zepplin and thought “Pretty good, but could use rapping.” In all seriousness, this is by far the most enjoyable thing to come out of Roland Emmerich’s calamity of a Godzilla entry because Puff Daddy does what he does best – make anything, in this case NYC under the attack of a giant lizard, about himself. Moments I love include the lyrics “I wanna fight you, I’ll flippin’ bite you, can’t stand nobody like you” and the closing moment where Puffy and G.Zilla stare each other down before Puffy shows him who’s HBIC (Head Bitch In Charge) and TURNS HIS BACK ON GODZILLA. Uh, huh. Yeh!

Song: “Hero”

Artist: Chad Kroeger Featuring Josey Scott

From: Spider-Man (2002)





All irony aside, I think this is a legitimately kick-ass song. I could have done without the up-the-building crotch shot of Mr. Avril Lavigne, but the rest of the video and the song are so earnest! Chad and Josey are not phoning this in at all. They really want to know where this hero is that will save us. They’re guessing he’s above them because these guys are always looking up.

Song: “Deepest Bluest (Shark’s Fin)”

Artist: LL Cool J

From:  Deep Blue Sea (1999)





Where do I begin? This song and video are perfect. I’m thinking one day LL had a swimming cap on and a friend said “That hat looks like a shark’s fin” and LL said “Call the orchestra and the girls and have them at the pool in 20 minutes.” This song is chock full of golden nuggets, like when LL says he will not only be “eating your whole fam” but also “ate your ancestors.” More impressive? He tells you that he’ll be “getting a lapdance when I smash through your boat.” How is that even possible? The video closes impressively as LL’s Deep Blue Sea cast mates observe him swimming at them as if he were a shark and then TURNS INTO A SHARK.

Song: “On Our Own”

Artist: Bobby Brown

From: Ghostbusters II (1989) 




Apparently they marketed the shit out of Ghostbusters II in New York City, mostly on moving billboards. Bobby Brown not only has crazy eyes through the whole video, but he might have the craziest eyes. That aside, this song is killer. It hits my sweet spot of late '80s-early '90s hip hop. Go back and check out the Ghostbusters II soundtrack. It’s so good. Also, 10 points to Bobby Brown for working proton packs into a rap and still retaining his street cred.

Song: “Turtle Power”

Artist: Partners in Kryme

From: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)




Come for the great music, stay for the shenanigans. I love how literal this song is; apparently any lyric that was not completely on the nose was removed. I do have a few questions, though. Why is the group called Partners in Kryme when there is only one guy? Why are Leonardo and Michelangelo staring at the rapper for such a long time? Are they racist? If you’re a mutated man-sized turtle can you afford to be intolerant? But most importantly, why in a song for a kids movie do two chicks flash their asses at the 2:16 mark to reveal they have ‘Turtle Power’ written on their underpants? Are they property of the heroes with a half shell? I thought they waited until Secret of the Ooze to run a train.

Song: “It’s Probably Me”

Artist: Sting, Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen

From: Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)





So I have a theory. Sting, Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen were tasked with writing the single for Lethal Weapon 3 and couldn’t come up with anything. They took a break and went out for lunch, probably Thai food. Even after lunch, they couldn’t think of anything for the song. Then Sting farted but wouldn’t admit it. After 15 minutes of Sting denying it was him with the ‘he who smelt it dealt it’ defense, he conceded “it’s probably me” and Clapton rushed to the guitar and Kamen ran to the keys.

Song: “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman”

Artist: Bryan Adams

From: Don Juan DeMarco




I will know if a woman will be my future wife when I ask myself the question "Is she worthy of 'Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman’?" This song is the most romantic thing that has ever happened. It makes me want to learn Spanish guitar just so I can play it. Only four women have been worthy of this song: my 7th grade crush Jenny Dziabajinski, Anck Su Namun from The Mummy, Aunt Becky on Full House and Laura Dern. The video also reveals Bryan Adams’ failed bid to Johnny Depp to play The Lone Ranger. It was directed by Anton Corbijn, who has made some great movies including the Joy Division biopic Control and the George Clooney thriller The American. You should watch both.

Song: “King of Wishful Thinking”

Artist: Go West

From: Pretty Woman (1990)




If you do not get over your past love after watching this video there is no hope for you. Go West tries everything – hockey, elephants, boats, and a cameo by the literal King of Wishful Thinking. This song is super catchy, which is good for Go West because as evidenced by this video they probably never would have gotten laid if they weren’t musicians. BTW…I love the shot of the film strip for Pretty Woman. Keep 35mm alive boys!

What are some songs from movies that you love but have been too embarrassed to admit to anyone?

28 comments:

  1. Here's how big of a piece of SHIT I am. Not only do I like that Spider-Man Nickelback, but I actually got amped up to the version of the song they released that featured clips of W. Bush speeches from the heat of the Afghanistan campaign talking tough to the Taliban during the soaring guitar solos. It gave me a raging USA boner. I'm not proud. In my defense that was the war that was SUPER TERRIBLE of the two GWB skirmishes.

    /end of all politics.

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    1. I am shocked (not so much awed) Mr. Lawson!

      Also, I really, really hate that song and anyone who likes it is a terrible person. Sorry but it's a scientific fact.

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    2. Alex, put that on your resume for Fox News.

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  2. Isn't it weird that sometimes songs like these have a longer life than the movies that they appeared in? I still occasionally hear some of these on Sirius (most recently was Come With Me from Godzilla) and I'm right back to where I was in the late 90s. I have blond tips in my hair and a soul patch. For most of the choices you shared above, I have stronger memories of the songs than the movies.

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    1. Me hearing Come with Me on Sirius was what mostly inspired this column :-)

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  3. I love "King of Wishful Thinking" so much. I can't hear it without immediately wanting to watch Pretty Woman. I don't have the same reaction when I hear that song "Pretty Woman."

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    1. Must Have Been Love by Roxette is also pretty great and makes me want to watch PW.

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  4. I'm not especially proud to say it, but I'm pretty sure I owned both the Godzilla and Spider-Man soundtracks when I was younger. You're right that Puff Daddy's song is the best thing about Godzilla, and that's not exactly a compliment, but I sure do remember enjoying it and the accompanying music video for some reason...Then I discovered the real Led Zeppelin (Side note: I also feel like I remember hearing and enjoying a reworked version of Brain Stew by Green Day on that soundtrack).

    I'll also admit to enjoying the Nickelback song.

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    1. Can we all stop pretending that The Wallflowers' cover of "Heroes" doesn't exist?

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    2. Ah, yes, that rings a bell, too. It doesn't stick out in my mind as clearly as the other aformentioned songs, but I'll certainly acknowledge its existance.

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    3. I'm HALF joking. I just like that song/video better than the Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/Diddy/Samuel Clemens one.

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    4. As much as I remember the Puff Daddy song more, I went and listened to a snipit of the Wallflowers song and will agree with your statement. It's better.

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    5. I...I wish I could swim. Like a dolphin. Like dolphins can swim.

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  5. My favorite song from a movie that I am ashamed to admit I like is "Iris" from the Goo Goo Dolls off the City of Angels (1998) soundtrack. People can criticize this film all they want for not being a faithful retelling of Wings of Desire, yet I can't help but see ordinary human Meg Ryan falling for angel Nicolas Cage underneath where the Dolls would blast this late 90s classic in the background.

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    1. Good choice. I really like the Alanis Morissette song from that movie too.

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  6. "What If" by Creed(Scream 3)
    "I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You" by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena(The Mask of Zorro)
    "Mouth" by Bush(An American Werewolf in Paris)
    "Kissed From a Rose" by Seal(Batman Forever) though why the fuck does a Batman movie have a ballad?!
    "Elevation" by U2(Lara Croft: Tomb Raider)
    "What I've Done" by Linkin Park(Transformers)
    "Rock Until You Drop" and "The Monster Squad" by Michael Sembello(The Monster Squad)

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    1. Dance until your feet fall off.

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    2. Yes! I remember that playing in my head incessantly when I was like 10!

      Also, big yes to "Kiss From a Rose"!

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    3. I also say yes to "Kiss From a Rose." I forgot that it was in a movie, but I just loved that song in general as a kid.

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    4. I thought about including Kiss From a Rose but I thought it was generally accepted as being good. It's kind of the best. Because you're worth it, Dr. Chase Meridian.

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  7. Wow, did I ever not think I'd be telling this story here, but a couple months ago I had my first real lap-dance at a stripclub (my friends paid for it OK?!) and as she's sitting on my lap waiting for the start of the next song and my official dance, "Come with Me" was playing. She asked me if I liked that song and I LIED TO A STRIPPER (I know, a perfectly lovely fellow human being but still) and said (awkwardly), "No, not really, the original song its based on is a lot better." I actually really like that stupid song, but so deep is my shame I couldn't even be honest with the naked young woman on my knee who probably already thought I was a shitbag.

    I still remember all of the lyrics to Turtle Power but I'd never seen that video - that IS a wildly inappropriate double ass-shot at 2:16 (got that Doug?)!

    And man, "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?" really spoke to my romantic side then when I first heard it and still does - one of my all-time favourite love songs. Makes me want to learn Spanish guitar AND smoke 3 packs a day to get that raspy voice.

    Really struggling to come up with my own answer here but all I can think of is one from a TV show - "Breathe Me" at the end of Six Feet Under is such a chicky kinda song but I just love it for some reason. Oh, here's a bit of a spoiler-y one - stop reading if you haven't seen This is the End - "Backstreet's Back" - alright!

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    1. You got a lapdance to "Come with Me"...there's like two jokes there minimum.

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    2. Heheh - no that was the awkward part - she just sat there and made small talk until "Come with Me" was over. You pay by the song and you get a whole song - efficiency not their strong suit I guess!

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  8. "On Our Own" and "King of Wishful Thinking" - YES!!!

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    1. I think Halle Berry is a background dancer in the On Our Own video. Not sure....

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  9. Every musical moment in Miami Connection ("Friends" if I had to pick 1). Also is it bad form to put Miami Connection on my top 10 for 2013? It is certainly one of my favorite movie experiences of the year. I think it could legitimately be in my top 10 by the end of the year.

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    1. I completely agree with everything you're saying. Having Miami Connection come into my life is one of my favorite movie happenings this year :-)

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  10. I am going to go with "Meet me Halfway" by Kenny Loggins from Over the Top, I am not saying the movie is great but damn the soundtrack is like the double down of 80's.

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