Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Hey There Mr. Blue!

Think you know movies? I'm going to stump you right...now!

What do the following three films have in common:

* Look Who's Talking

* Mr. Deeds (2003 Version)

* Along Came Polly

Nope, nothing to do with the actors. You can stop trying to recall the plotlines (or lack thereof) as well.

Answer: They all feature Pete Townshend's timeless "Let My Love Open The Door" over the closing credits.

Ever notice how certain songs seem to appear over and over again in the same movies, trailers, TV shows and commercials? What's interesting is that the list seems to have no rhyme or reason. There is nothing especially significant about Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill," a 1977 single that didn't even hit the Top-40 at the time. Neither did Melissa Etheridge's "Dance Without Sleeping," or George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone," two of the more over-used tunes in movie trailiers and television commercials respectively.

It would be too easy to blame this repetitiveness solely on a handful of lazy copy-cating producers. In some cases, there are songs that just bring out certain moods or emotions (like "Solsbury Hill") in ways that no other tune can. A couple of years ago, I talking to my friend Janet about a number of "lost" classic rock tunes. Songs that seemed on their way to immortality but in recent years had faded into irrelevancy (this conversation actually took place within the context of compiling a list of songs that, to the best of our knowledge, had never been aranged a capella, but ought to be). One song that I put on the list was ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky," a song that DID hit the Top-40...barely (peaked at #35 in August of '78). Well no sooner had I labeled it a lost classic that the song started popping up in trailers (Adaptation; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and commercials (Volkswagen). Now I've come to learn that the tune serves as the theme song for the new NBC drama LAX (still haven't seen it....but now I have a reason to check it out besides Heather). I almost have to wonder who it was that overheard my conversation because now there is absolutely no escaping the pulsating keyboards and the falsetto voices shriekings "Hey, there, Mr. Blue, we're so pleased to be with you." Perhaps I should have gone into advertising after all.

So tell me, what over-used tunes have I left out? E-mail me with your best and I'll try to list the best in a future post. Until then, be thankful that most of the tunes we're overusing seem to at least be decent ones. We COULD be forced to listen to "I've Never Been to Me."