by Adam Riske
Song: “Soul to Squeeze”
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
This song immediately takes me back to the Summer of 1993 when I was spending most of my day playing baseball, going to the pool, watching movies, and listening to all the grunge/alternative music I could get my hands on. It’s random that this song is in Coneheads (they feel like they have different vibes) but it’s also a great Red Hot Chili Peppers tune so who am I to complain? I kinda want to rewatch Coneheads now, mainly for Chris Farley (who cameos in this music video…if that’s a thing…can you cameo in a music video?) and his reaction when Michelle Burke eats a CGI Subway sandwich really fast. I think that was the trailer moment that got me all “Yep. I’m seeing Coneheads in the theaters!”
Song: “The Dragon’s Heartbeat”
From: Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
Artist: Randy Edelman
This is a little bit of a cheat since it’s music from the score and not a song with lyrics, but holy hell is this soaring and wonderful and great. You hear this once and your life is turned around immediately for the better. In fact, it’s so good that cuts from it were used in the trailers for Cinderella Man, Cradle Will Rock, Forrest Gump, Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain, The Paper, The Quest, Radio, Return to Paradise, and The Truman Show. Playing this song should be mandatory when you get your engagement photos, or your child is born, or you have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.
Song: “Keep on Smilin’”
From: Free Willy
Artist: New Kids on the Block (as NKOTB)
In the early '90s it wasn’t cool for a grade school boy to like New Kids on the Block so I wasn’t on board then with their hits or even this single from my beloved Free Willy. In 2023, this song’s pretty slammin’. I’m pretty sure the music supervisors for Free Willy saw this song’s title and didn’t give it much more thought before adding it to the album. I say this because the last words said in the song are “And make love to me” which in the context of Free Willy’s plot are at best nonsensical and at worst deeply problematic. That ain’t what Free Willy’s about, yo!
Song: “Get It Up”
From: Poetic Justice
The Poetic Justice soundtrack has a lot of great music (like “Again” by Janet Jackson, which I’m pretty sure I featured in one of these columns already) but I love TLC so I’m going to highlight this jam which is about boners. Fun fact: I almost saw TLC in concert when I was in high school. They were the headliner, and an up-and-coming Christina Aguilera was the opener. The concert got canceled but I ended up seeing Aguilera open (I had a huge crush on her, I wanted to take her to prom) for Destiny’s Child. After seeing Destiny’s Child, I was like “Christina who?” because Beyonce is somehow twice as gorgeous in person as she is on television and she worked up a sweat and I needed a fainting couch. Fun fact 2: I get to see Poetic Justice on 35mm Labor Day weekend at the Music Box. I’m excited. Fun Fact 3: TLC are going to be guests at '90s Con so hopefully I can meet Chili and T-Boz one day soon. RIP Left Eye…you were the best.
Song: “There She Goes”
From: So I Married an Axe Murderer
Artist: The Boo Radleys
I used to love So I Married an Axe Murderer (I still like it now, but I’ve developed a Mike Myers allergy over the years) and can’t hear this song without remembering it plays over the opening credits where we see a giant cappuccino being made (they barely wash the cup after someone else uses it but that’s for another column). It’s kind of incredible. It’s not as good as the tracking shot through the nightclub in Goodfellas but it’s up there. The song is great too btw (those horns!)
Song: “You Know How We Do It”
From: Surf Ninjas
Artist: Pandemonium (featuring Marky Mark)
I’ll always have fond memories of Surf Ninjas because it was the first movie I saw with my friends in theaters without our parents with us. This song is soooo 1993. It’s like “Hey! Let’s go to the pool and don’t forget to bring the Super Soakers!” Now I spend my summers in front of Microsoft Excel. The Surf Ninjas posited a way of life that I’ve not lived up to. This is when music was music. I don’t know if this song needed to be almost 6 minutes long, but I guess when you’re feeling it, it can be hard to stop. Marky Mark doesn’t even show up until 3:25 in.
Song: “Blame It on Your Heart”
From: The Thing Called Love
Artist: River Phoenix and Samantha Mathis
I don’t like country music (not that there’s anything wrong with it) but I love this song from The Thing Called Love. Maybe I just need actors to sing country music for me to like it. This tracks because I checked out the Walk the Line soundtrack from the library one time. I miss River Phoenix (I never noticed before how much he looked like Kevin Bacon combined with Leonardo DiCaprio) and how great is Samantha Mathis? Is it weird that I immediately go to Broken Arrow and Super Mario Bros when I think about her career? Super Mario Bros is underrated. I don’t remember if The Thing Called Love is.
Song: “I Don’t Wanna Fight”
From: What’s Love Got to Do with It
Artist: Tina Turner
First, it’s very sad that Tina Turner passed away this year. If you haven’t seen her biopic (What’s Love Got to Do with It), I would recommend it. The performances by Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne are both great. I think my favorite part of the whole movie was this single that came out to coincide with the film’s release. I used to hope it would pop up on the radio back in 1993 because I wasn’t going to spend my allowance on the What’s Love Got to Do with It soundtrack. No offense Tina. This song is ennui and sunshine all in one which is an irresistible package.