Fire and Water Records: Soundtrack Selections 1

Soundtrack Selections volume 1 kicks off a brand new series from the Motion Picture Soundtrack to Fire and Water RecordsRyan Daly welcomes guest Sean Ross from the Pulp 2 Pixel Network to share some of their favorite songs that debuted on movie soundtracks. Sean's selections lean toward the bleak and super-depressing Phil Collins and Gary Jules, so Ryan counter-programs with sappy pop-rock hits from Bryan Adams and Huey Lewis. Also, Prince and Kermit the Frog!

Track list

  1. "The Beautiful Ones" by Prince from Purple Rain
  2. "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Byran Adams from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  3. "Stay (I Missed You)" by Lisa Loeb from Reality Bites
  4. "A Kiss At the End of the Rainbow" by Mitch & Mickey from A Mighty Wind
  5. "Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now)" by Phil Collins from Against All Odds
  6. "Who Did That to You" by John Legend from Django Unchained
  7. "Wise Up" by Aimee Mann from Magnolia
  8. "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News from Back to the Future
  9. "Mad World" by Gary Jules from Donnie Darko
  10. "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds from The Breakfast Club
  11. "Rainbow Connection" by Kermit the Frog from The Muppet Movie

Additional music by Ray Parker, Jr.; The Soggy Bottom Boys; Whitney Houston; Prince; Will Smith; Madonna; Seal; Irena Cara.

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Thanks for listening!

21 responses to “Fire and Water Records: Soundtrack Selections 1

  1. Fun show! Enjoyed it. I got some love for 80s movie hits. Another thing about The Rainbow Connection is that it has these jazz chords and a challenging vocal melody. But like you say it’s so sweet that it ties together in pop approachability.

    I’d like to shout out, if I may, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from The Life of Brian. I have that emotional connection to it that you guys talk about. It sees life as it is and stands for something anyway. Great melody. Thank you Eric Idle! And also Fight the Power from Do the Right Thing. Like real punk rock, it’s a dangerous song. Great beats and legendary vocals. As a kid from poor white trash Kentucky, Public Enemy was my first education in black culture.

    PS Enjoyed the Film and Water Magnolia episode too. Thanks guys!

  2. I really enjoyed this episode of Fire and Records! what a great idea. Movie soundtracks can be very moving or feel very contrived and it was great that you guys celebrated the songs that you enjoyed. I remember seeing a bunch of these movies and how those songs made me feel.

    For me, all those Prince songs from the Batman soundtrack are soured for me. When I was a kid and saw the movie, I was completely moved by Danny Elfman’s score. So I went to the record store (remember those, kids?) and asked for the album with the music from Batman and was handed the Prince album, not realizing what I got. Let me tell you, when someone wants to hear doom-pah music and gets the Bat Dance instead, it sours that someone on the music.

    For me, there are so many great songs in A Mighty Wind. Some of them are great send ups of ’60’s folk songs and some of them are truly touching, like “A Kiss At the End of the Rainbow”. What I liked so much about that song is the entire lead up to the final performance of Mitch and Mickey. I felt like it meant more knowing the characters more. So good. I’m still kicking myself I didn’t the cast when they toured as the characters from A Mighty Wind performing those songs.

    Two thumbs up for that episode of Futurama. It’s right up there with the one with Fry’s dog.

    The funny thing about all the “sad” songs that Sean chose, it was Rainbow Connection that makes me cry every time. I agree with them that, while it’s a nice, sweet song, there’s a certain melancholy behind it that breaks my heart every time I hear it. I love it so much.

    Well done on this great idea for a show, gentlemen! Keep up the great work!

      1. I agree. When a certain Prince song came on (like “The Future” or “Trust”), there was a thrill to remember it was from Batman. Man, I can still picture Joker throwing money off that float and “Trust” pops into my head.

  3. Great episode, kids! Sean’s insight and analysis makes me fear for my own job security on this site! Luckily, I’ve got a pretty solid “in” that kinda protects me! But I loved both of your selections if not for the songs themselves, then for your emotional connection or symbolic placement of each track in said film. As a songwriter, I’ll never get tired of hearing people connect to the words and meaning of music. Fun walk down memory lane!

    But Sean, seriously disappointed that you didn’t do your Kermit impression! You can’t drop that little nugget of info on us and then move on!

    Also, Ryan, I can’t believe how you strategically glossed over the fact that you couldn’t actually pronounce Huey Lewis at that young age. He will forever be known to our family as “Yooey Whoolis!”

  4. Hey, no throwing off on Bryan Adams. You can admit you like him. There’s no shame. I love Bryan Adams, I’ve seen him in concert twice. And this is MINE and Cindy’s song. It came out the summer we started dating and it still fits.

    Carry on. I’m still listening.


  5. Okay, that was a lot of fun. Sean always surprises me because his voice is so upbeat and cheery, but his entertainment preferences are pretty dark. I mean, the guy covered Secret Wars II…on purpose!

    But seriously, great list fellas. Big props for including “Rainbow Connection”. I can’t hear that song without thinking about my Mom. The Muppets was something we enjoyed together, and I still recall being in the kitchen with her when this song came on the radio, and her telling me she was going to take me to see the movie, which she did. I get a bit misty eyed every time I hear it.

    Oh, and besides Bryan Adams, don’t apologize for liking Huey Lewis. Hell, don’t apologize for liking anything. But I remember in 1991, MTV did a big 10th anniversary thing, and in a retrospective, they mocked the fact that they once played a lot of Huey Lewis. This made me realize MTV was just run by a bunch of fad chasing suits, who were trying to steer into what kids thought was hip, and ditch what wasn’t, with no loyalty to who helped get them there. A good chunk of that network was built on Huey’s videos and his back, and just a few years later they were basically burning him in effigy. It honestly turned me against MTV a bit.


    1. I remember MTV (and the Canadian equivalent Much Music) playing a whole lot of Huey Lewis! His video for “If This Is It” is stuck in my head for all the women in bikinis and the band members’ heads sticking out of the sand.

      I agree that MTV devolved into whatever they thought would be the next big thing and didn’t care about all the hits from past years. So much that it felt like the VJ’s were secretly accusing me, “Are you still listening to that popular song from last month? What a square.”

      Are music videos even a thing anymore?

    2. “Rainbow Connection” always gets me a bit misty too. Thanks for sharing the story about your mom. It’s a special song and movie.


  6. Great show guys, and thanks for plugging the “Magnolia” episode of FILM AND WATER. Not only do we cover the movie, but the show ends with “Wise Up” sung by the Fire and Water Network!

  7. Still listening to the episode, making a mental list of obscurities for my own turn.

    It wouldn’t be a comment from me without arch contrarianism: I watched Purple Rain once and wasn’t impressed. A nine track OST with three songs I could take or leave all in a row and frontloaded to boot is disqualified from top ten status for me, regardless of how good the rest are. In fact, because of “Take Me with U” through “Computer Blue,” it isn’t even a favorite Prince album. I know a lot of people adore “The Beautiful Ones,” some even ranking it among Prince’s best tracks, but I’m mostly indifferent to it.

    ’80s raspy-voiced power balladeers weren’t my jam either, but middle-age is a trip. When you’re a kid defining yourself through things like your musical tastes, hating on Byran Adams would be a natural stance. Once half your life is behind you, that contempt melts away to comforting familiarity. To my knowledge, I don’t own a copy of “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” and it is definitely highly processed cheese. However, after hearing it 9,911 times on the radio and learning most of the words without my express consent, I could easily find myself singing along with it at the grocery store today. Also, I saw Prince of Thieves
    theatrically, at least in part for my man-fatuation with Christian Slater ( I went in hoping his Will Scarlet would be the Gambit of the team), and thought it was alright.

  8. I enjoyed the playlist you gentlemen put together for this episode. It included some old favorites (both movies and songs), some songs that I’d forgotten were from movie soundtracks, and some songs and movies I’d never heard of before. To top it all off, hearing the clip of “Rainbow Connection” had me singing to myself, while grinning from ear to ear, for the rest of the morning.

  9. This was absolutely brilliant and I’m looking forward to more installments in future.

    Sean – For me, Rainbow Connection fit in perfectly with your melancholy throughline, as I haven’t been able to hear it without crying since Jim Henson died. Ditto “It’s Not Easy Being Green. It’s equally sad and sweet when Paul Williams sings it, as he did in an episode of Picket Fences. (Series 3, “Cold Spell”. He sang it as a tribute at a funeral.) Also, I haven’t gotten around to seeing Donnie Darko, so I appreciate that version of Mad World without the connection.

    Ryan – Very nice choices. I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying Huey Lewis unironically. And you’ve got me wanting to go watch A Mighty Wind – I sometimes forget how wonderful Christopher Guest & co. are.
    As a side note, since I don’t feel like going back and commenting on the Xmas episode, for you (and Neil):
    Blitzkrieg Bop
    Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
    I Wanna Be Sedated
    Rock & Roll High School
    Rockaway Beach
    Do You Remember Rock And Roll Radio?

    I’m still compiling a list of my faves, so hopefully that’ll be ready to share on a future comment. Thanks again for the new show!

  10. I’ve got several Lisa Loeb stories, one of which I already referenced on Twitter, and I’ll probably combine them into a future segment of One Song Each while they’re fresh in my mind. Overall agree with your assessment, and while Reality Bites < Singles, its setting still guarantees it a soft spot in a Houstonian's heart. One of the times Shag visited me, I took him to the House of Pies on Westheimer that was a filming location.

    I've never seen any of Christopher Guest's films.

    Phil Collins was a pretty immediate punchline in the '80s because he was such an atypical pop star. I won't dwell on his appearance, but when he was selling in a class with Michael Jackson and Madonna, he looked more like their dad than their contemporary. He was never cool, and he had seriously schmaltzy taste, but I could never bring myself to hate him as so many do. For starters, I had "Follow You Follow Me" on one of those compilation LPs of "safe" pop songs for kids, and while Peter Gabriel may have more respect from critics, Collins is the clear audience favorite. "In the Air Tonight" was an instant classic that I was introduced to via the Miami Vice pilot, and he's got a slew of other excellent break-up songs like “Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now),” "I Don't Care Anymore," "One More Night," and "I Wish It Would Rain Down" that reveal depths of want and reserves of anger that would be beyond him if he were truly vacuous. Obviously he was everywhere in the '80s and early '90s, so "Philtigue" was for real, and he's so resolutely white and middlebrow that he'll probably have to die before he'll ever get his kwan. He can dry his tears with hundred pound notes from Michelob.

    I don't tend to remember “Who Did That to You” as strongly as other tracks from Django Unchained, probably because its modernity stood out, but it's a cool track from one of Tarantino's very best movies (second only to Pulp Fiction in my estimation.)

    I have yet to see Magnolia, but a friendly co-worker of mine introduced "Save Me" on a mix-CD I ended up with, and that one very much resonated with me. I collected most of Aimee Mann's other tacks from that soundtrack, including “Wise Up,” but without the movie as context I much prefer the former.

    I tend to favor "Back in Time" because of the silly SNL skit from a Michael J. Fox-hosted episode, as well as the '50s classics on the soundtrack, but still enjoy “The Power of Love.” Huey Lewis & The News were one of the big acts from the mid '80s that managed to cross over into my consciousness when I was still relatively immersed in country and oldies. Like Collins, I think they're mistreated for their commercial success and lack of coolness or sex appeal. Very much a Joe Sixpack band, with a lot of corny singles, but I think "I Want a New Drug" and "Heart and Soul" hold up. Also in both cases, I miss horns in pop music.

    Despite Tears For Fears being a radio favorite, I've never really dug past the singles, and so was introduced to “Mad World” via Donnie Darko. Sparse slowed-down covers have become a tedious cottage industry for advertising, especially in trailers, but they're also a testament to Gary Jules superb interpretation. Definitely one of the best scores/sourced soundtracks of any film, to the point where I'm not sure the movie would work without them. Kerowen, do see Donnie Darko, but never bother with the Director's Cut or any commentary tracks. Maybe avoid all bonus materials, even. It's a clear case of a masterful production made in spite of the writer/director's intentions rather than because of them. Also, never see anything else by Richard Kelly.

    “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” is imminently singable and the best song on a swell soundtrack from a cornerstone movie of my generation. Bender's fist in the air.

    I used to do a decent Kermit the Frog impression as well, though probably infused with too much Muppet Babies. I was a devout Sesame Street watcher as a kid, and saw The Muppet Movie theatrically. My family got a cheap/free newspaper subscription sometime around 1990, and I still have a clipping on Jim Henson's untimely death where I wrote something like “He's found the Rainbow Connection.”

  11. Okay, I’m not going to be mean and snarky, and I already teased Sean on Twitter, but you guys can rest easy knowing that I am never going to ask to borrow your records! As I was listening to this fine conversation, I was reflecting on the movie soundtracks that I listened to a lot in my formative years. Years which were long before these movies were released! When I was a wee lad, the soundtracks from “Dr. Zhivago” and “The Music Man” got a lot of spins on the family record player. In my early teens, I frequently played “Singing’ In the Rain,” “The Bandwagon,” and “High Society.” In college I was learning songs from “Repo Man,” and “Valley Girl.” But even where our tastes overlap, i.e., “The Muppet Movie,” we don’t agree. There are at least three songs on that record that I like much more that Rainbow Connection! Dr. Teeth rules!

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