Author: Becky Thompson

Ten Best Songs From A Star Is Born (part 1)

Undoubtedly one of the best movies from 2019, A Star Is Born was an exceptionally emotional journey that audiences couldn’t help but fall in love with. Bradley Cooper directed, starred in, and helped write this remake of the 1937 film; it’s now clear there was no one better for the job. After receiving incredible critical success, A Star Is Born was nominated for and won several impressive awards.

The emotional core of the movie is presented through music. Main characters Jack, played by Cooper and Ally, played by Lady Gaga, both speak the truth through their songs. Out of the many beautiful songs written for the movie, here are the top ten.

10. Is that alright?

One of Ally’s self-written singles, “Is That Alright?” is essentially Ally’s proclamation of her love for Jackson. The up and coming singer really seems to put her heart into every verse, adding to the emotion of the lyrics themselves.

We are given quite a few songs where Jackson describes his love for Ally. This love song, written from her perspective, gives audiences another glimpse at what makes their relationship truly special.

9. Alibi

Ally is extremely trepidacious about accepting Jackson’s invitation to attend his concert. Eventually, she relents, and upon arriving is treated to Jackson singing what might have been one of his more popular songs.

Alibi seemed like a true rock song that only a big star would be able to pull off. Seeing Jackson performing live for the first time, it was fitting that Ally watched him sing such a cool tune with even cooler lyrics.

8. Diggin’ my grave

At the peak of Jackson and Ally’s success as a duo, they performed Diggin’ My Grave for the first time in front of a large audience. Not only does the song sound simply sound great, but it also holds within it a heavy dose of foreshadowing for the end of the film.

The song speaks about death and the loved ones left behind that will have to bury the singer once he/she is gone. At the end of the movie, after Jackson tragically decides to take his own life, it’s Ally who ends up wearing black and, in a sense, digging his grave.

Swedish company building hubs Space to Open Stockholm Gaming and Music Center in 2021

Space, a Swedish company building hubs for music, gaming, and content creation, has announced its first location in the public square of Stockholm, Sergels Torg. The 7,500 sq. m (80,729. sq. ft.), seven-floor area will feature the largest permanent esports venue in Europe, music recording studios, and co-working spaces. It is expected to open in the first half of 2021.

The company is co-founded by Gustav Käll; currently head of the esports music label Enter Records, Lars Bloomberg; chairman and partner of the center’s architecture partner DAP Group, and Per Sundin; former managing director of Universal Music Sweden. Sundin is CEO of Pop House Sweden—majority-owned by ABBA member Björn Ulvaeus and EQT founder Conni Jonsson – which has invested an undisclosed amount into Space.

Käll worked with Sundin when he joined Universal Music in 2016, after leaving Clutch Entertainment. He told The Esports Observer that a gaming center had been an idea of his for the last five years. Käll said, “I have seen the gaming center as not the puzzle’s final piece, but a very important part in the growth of esports.” , “It makes it accessible for everything – not everyone can buy high-end computers today. It just enables esports and gaming to become more mainstream.”

Space Stockholm is planned to be fitted with 500 high-end PC gaming spaces, and areas for console and VR gaming. The company is expecting 5,000 visitors a day and is currently developing an app for customers to pay by the hour to use its facilities. A membership program will also grant visitors access to the hub’s three floors of co-working spaces, gym, Space Club (with a 23 year age limit), and free hours for the gaming machines.

As well as its music studios, the center will also feature video and podcast production facilities. Käll said he would like to operate Enter Records from Space Stockholm, though this is not confirmed yet. “I don’t want to create tension by saying this, but if Elon can do it, anyone can do it,” he said. “I’m very fortunate to have extremely talented colleagues around me. At this moment, I see no issue doing both.”

Sweden’s recent landmarks in gaming, music, and tech include the late electronic musician and songwriter Avicii, streaming platforms Soundcloud and Spotify, and game developers King and Mojang. Swedish media firm Modern Times Group, which owns the digital festival company DreamHack, is also a majority owner of ESL. Next year, the city of Stockholm will host The International, the biggest Dota 2 tournament of 2020.

Anna König Jerlmyr, mayor of Stockholm said, “Space Stockholm, with its unique location at the heart of Sweden’s capital, is poised to become a cultural landmark – not only for the city, but for the entire country.” “It promises a bright future for Sergels Torg by creating a modern, progressive hub for digital culture.”

Four Sports Movie Songs Getting You Fired Up

Sports movie songs is a great way to fire up a team, an event, or yourself. There are many sports movie songs that have appeared in films over the years. Some are just thrown into an overall soundtrack, but here are the top four sports movie songs that can get you fire up.

1. Wildthing (Major League)

In 1989, the Cubs had won the division for a second time in a decade, which at the time (and still today) is pretty unheard of. One of the star players on that team was Mitch Williams, or known by his nickname, Wild Thing. In the same year, the movie Major League opened in April at the start of the baseball season, and the character Rick Vaughn of Charlie Sheen was nicknamed, Wild Thing. Each enjoyed hearing The Runaways version of the song blaring through the loud speakers. FYI there are a couple F bombs in this movie clip.

2. Fight to Survive (Bloodsport)

Jean Claude Van Damn was a pretty awesome fighter before he became a household name, and before he became old and wrinkled. Bloodsport is one of the best demonstrations of his skills. Accompanying the martial arts montage is the first album title track Fight to Survive of the band White Lion.

3. Centerfield (Bull Durham)

The fun boys of summer song Centerfield by John Fogerty are always a great anthem for baseball. And Bull Durham encapsulates this song in the film. Baseball is meant to fun, carefree, and loose. The song Wild Thing fits the tough, intimidating pitcher; however, Centerfield embraces the fun of going to a ballgame, and the joy of baseball.

4. Eye of the Tiger (Rocky III)

Rocky series has some potential songs that can have made the cut for this list. The biggest hit of the six movies was Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger. It was the theme of the entire film, and one that can be heard in high school locker rooms and gymnasiums everywhere.

Joker’s soundtrack couldn’t resist going full Batman movie

The Joker score is straight out of a Batman movie. That may be an obvious option for a DC villain standalone movie; however, Todd Phillips, the writer-director of the movie, made one thing clear in the lead up to release: he did not set out to make a comic book movie.

But by the end, Joker takes a hard left into Batman territory, as if pushed there by the booming orchestra of Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir. The choice speaks to the conundrum faced by Todd Phillips’ referential drama, and future imitators that hope to have their massive win at the box office: what a prestige comic book movie sounds like?

Until the climax, the score of Joker leans on drawn-out strings in order to build a sense of dread. Although a few lilts up and down provide the barest thread of a melody, the music comes across as a drone. Because the unfolding events reach a critical mass, these almost formless sounds give way to a rhythmic echo and beat that bears a striking resemblance to the theme for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy that also tried to bill itself as anything but a comic book movie.

James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer concocted the first sounds for the caped crusader of Nolan in 2005’s Batman Begins, departing from the motifs and themes that defined the work of Danny Elfman in the 1989 Batman with a more operatic sound. They reinvented the sound of the Joker three years later with Zimmer composing a theme that was built around just two notes which defied any sense of melody for over a full minute.

The callback is all the stranger given that there are movies which Joker is trying to emulate that seem to have been ignored when it comes to musical influence. The jazzy score to Taxi Driver of Herrmann is nowhere to be heard, as is the sparseness of the music in The King of Comedy. The music plays almost like a parody of Zimmer’s work, aping his most famous scores by peeling out the loud, sustained noises and simple themes.

Trying to shy away from more obviously melodic themes, Joker reminds the viewers of its origins in comics as well as the history of Batman on screen. When Batman is inserted hamfistedly into Arthur Fleck’s story, it is no surprise – the soundtrack has been signaled the inevitable from the very first note.

Soundtracks that were just as awesome or even better than the movies

A great soundtrack can make the worst film out there a little more tolerable. There are times when a soundtrack can stand toe-to-toe in greatness with a movie.

Here’s our take on the movies featuring soundtracks as good or even more successful than the films that they’re associated with.

The Graduate (1968)

Considered as one of the greatest movies of all time, The Graduate boasts a soundtrack that is hard to beat. It’s loaded with some of Simon & Garfunkel’s most famous tunes like “The Sound of Silence” (used 3 times in the movie). Song placement is also critical to the movie and direction used by Mike Nichols, the Academy Award-winning director.

Cooley High (1975)

This bittersweet movie of black youth in Chicago paved the way for television hits of the same ilk such as “What’s Happening!!” and “Good Times”. From a soundtrack standpoint, it get nothing much better. It’s a Motown mix tape that features the likes of Diana Ross & The Supremes and the Four Tops (“Reach Out I’ll Be There”). Maybe the movie’s most poignant moment is led in by “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” of G.C. Cameron.

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

The disco-themed film was a huge commercial smash that made John Travolta an international star. It also produced the second-best-selling soundtrack in the history with more than $50 million units of the double-album soundtrack being sold. Moreover, it won a Grammy for Album of the Year. Composed, produced and mostly performed by the Bee Gees, the movie is noted for the group’s lasting disco classics such as “Jive Talkin,”” Stayin’ Alive,”  and “Night Fever.”

The Last American Virgin (1982)

Although this early-1980s flick tends to get lost in the shuffle among more famous teen vehicles of the time, it is surprisingly poignant in spite of the overall theme of trying to score. For adolescent males, equally relatable. A stellar early-1980s soundtrack courtesy lends credibility to the picture. Other 1980s classics such as REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You” and Journey’s “Open Arms” also give the film a boost.

The most inspiring sports-movie soundtracks up to now (part 2)

7. ‘Miracle’ (Mark Isham, 2004)

The music by Mark Isham for the 2004 Hollywoodization of the Miracle on Ice in 1980 is a slow build, but offers a big payoff. It is heavy on warmth but not overly manipulative, and the large orchestral climax seems to be a bit restrained for the genre. However, the full unveiling of the main theme in the song “The Miracle” is enough to give you the chills. Amazingly, Isham’s “Miracle” track was also used to score the ending to “Rocky Balboa” found on that movie’s DVD.

Miracle

6. ‘Chariots of Fire’ (Vangelis, 1981)

These days, although the Oscar-winning score of Vangelis is almost always used as parody, it was a groundbreaker in 1981 and the iconic main theme remains quite an inspiring piece. Besides the famous main theme, Vangelis’ other themes for the movie are also moving and offer evidence of the emotional range that electronic music can provide. The electronic approach to a sports drama has been the antithesis of convention. It works and has transcended the movie to log in the greater conscience of pop culture, inspiring would-be runners 34 years later.

5. ‘Hoosiers’ (Jerry Goldsmith, 1986)

The beloved period basketball drama offered a great opportunity for a composer to enhance the Americana through music with Jerry Goldsmith pulling it off through an usually effective mix of electronic supplements and warm orchestral arrangements, including the sound of a bouncing basketball as a percussion component. Jerry Goldsmith’s main trumpet theme for the town of Hickory is nostalgic and hopeful, meanwhile his scoring of the basketball sequences mirrors the intensity and energy of competition. The score sets up to the stirring and triumphant cue “The Finals,” where all themes are heard in their goosebump-inducing glory. In spite of its sometimes dated sound, Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated score still offers a lot of appeal.

4. ‘Rocky’ (Bill Conti, 1976)

The iconic score of Bill Conti to the 1976 Best Picture winner ‘Rocky’ still feels omnipresent even after 43 years. From the well-known opening brass fanfare to the ‘1970s-heavy “Gonna Fly Now,” the music of the film has endured wannabe athletes and inspired athletes for decades. Although “Gonna Fly Now” is the signature piece from the soundtrack, the cue “Going the Distance” might be the best.

Guns N’ Roses Rumored to Have New Song in upcoming movie Terminator: Dark Fate

Do you remember that all of the instances this year where the members of the group Guns N’ Roses hinted that their new music was in the works? One fan might have figured it out – Guns N’ Roses are rumored to have a new song that is featured in the upcoming movie Terminator: Dark Fate.

Guns N’ Roses fan page Guns Over Oz in Australia initially posted the rumor on their Facebook account. “A source that was working on Terminator: Dark Fate has informed that four members of Guns Over Oz took part in a private viewing of a rough copy of the upcoming sequel movie of Arnold Schwarzenegger to see whether they want to put a song on the soundtrack. Meanwhile, Slash was at Axls house in order to record overdubs on a song for the rush release. Although at that point the song name is unknown, yes 100 percent verified. Guns N’ Roses new music.”

Guns N’ Roses Rumored to Have New Song in upcoming movie Terminator: Dark Fate

Over the last months, multiple sources announced that Slash had been spending some time at Axl Rose’s home, which insinuated that they were laying down guitar tracks for new music. Then Kruise Kontrol Amplification posted a since-deleted photo of an amp which the guitarist supposedly used to record new material in Rose’s home studio.

If these rumors are true, this will be the first new release from the original Guns N’ Roses trio of Slash, Rose, and Duff McKagan since their 1993 The Spaghetti Incident?. It also won’t be the first time they have had involvement with Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Terminator franchise because the Use Your Illusion II track “You Could Be Mine” was placed on the soundtrack for Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Guns N’ Roses also included the song “Oh My God” in End of Days, another Schwarzenegger flick.

The upcoming sequel movie is due for release Oct. 23, and Guns N’ Roses will kick off the next leg of their Not in This Lifetime tour on Sept. 25 in Charlotte, North Carolina, the United States.

Five Movies with The Beatles Music Being The Major Selling Point (part 2)

3. Give My Regards To Broad Street

In this maligned 1980s star vehicle, Paul McCartney performs some Beatles tracks, re-recorded with original producer George Martin.

After years toiling away in obscurity, McCartney has finally made it as a major recording artist. So he’s been offered a movie, in which he plays himself.

The Beatles were massive and McCartney was trading on those former glories. If there is anyone that should be allowed to cash in on The Beatles success, McCartney should be high on the list.

However, it would be hard to argue that our world really needed these new versions of Good Day Sunshine, The long and winding Road, or Eleanor Rigby without his erstwhile bandmates.

4. Across The Universe

Across The Universe has an attempt to twist the music of The Beatles into one long narrative musical style. It’s like Mamma Mia albeit bleaker in tone.

While the music of ABBA found success in a romance set on a picturesque island, Across The Universe covers death, conscription, deportation, and shell-shocked soldiers returning from Vietnam.

There is also space for some lighter stuff such as Eddie Izzard as trippy spiritual guru Mr. Kite. In addition to the leads are charming as various artists in the orbit of a 1960s New York City apartment owned by a suitably sexy Sadie.

The movie’s script finds room for all the Beatle references that you could ask for and find time to veer into the surreal territory in the final third.

The songs are given interesting arrangements that breath new life into old classics. Moreover, they’re all competently sung.

5. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Another jukebox musical, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is based on an off-broadway stage show. This fantasy was produced by rock manager Robert Stigwood, who also cast his own band The Bee Gees as leads, alongside Peter Frampton.

The movie uses most songs from the Beatle album of the same name as well as most of the tracks from Abbey Road and some from other albums.

One mystery, given how many Beatle songs that are given actual names of the women like Michelle, Elanor Rigby, Julia, etc…, is why this movie’s love interest is called Strawberry Fields.

The most inspiring sports-movie soundtracks up to now (part 1)

An inspiring movie usually owes a lot of thanks to a similarly inspiring soundtrack. Especially in sports movies, the right music matched well with the images of competition can elevate a scene to greatness, stick in our heads forever, and remain in our memory to be replayed whenever we accomplish something special in our life.

Here is a list of the most inspiring sports-movie soundtracks up to now.

1. ‘Rocky IV’ (Vince DiCola, 1985)

Director Sylvester Stallone of the “Rocky IV” installment wanted a different musical sound and chose composer Vince DiCola over franchise staple Bill Conti. The result was a 1980s blend of synthesizers and drum machines, creating the perfect accompaniment for Cold War-inspired training montages. In spite of the dated approach, the music remains a fun listen with standout tracks “Training Montage” and “War.”

2. ‘Tin Cup’ (William Ross, 1996)

Although William Ross’ score to the Ron Shelton-directed golf film is an eclectic mix of musical styles, during the movie’s final act, the music with old-fashioned orchestral bombast gives the action a boost. Brass fanfares lead the way, helping provide momentum as the finale plays out. The standout track is “Master of the Game,” scoring the historic final hole in the dramatic and uplifting fashion of Roy McAvoy.

3. ‘Remember the Titans’ (Trevor Rabin, 2000)

The football drama ‘Remember the Titans‘ is inspired by a true story. Up to now, it remains a favorite among many sports fans 19 years after its release. A big reason is Trevor Rabin’s orchestral-rock score which adds to the movie’s emotional resonance. The music of Trevor Rabin is high on energy, adding to the uplifting nature of the film. It is also noteworthy for its inclusion in the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in 2008. Trevor Rabin’s one contribution to the CD soundtrack is the cut “Titans Spirit,” actually a suite of his music that was culled from various points in the film; however,  the seven-minute piece hits all the right highlights.

Five Movies with The Beatles Music Being The Major Selling Point (part 1)

In 1964, people tried to convert the popularity of The Beatles’ music into box office success for the first time. With A Hard Days Night, United Artists attempted to cash in on the four lads from Liverpool as well as their “Mersey sound” before the bubble burst. As the decade wore on with Beatlemania refusing to become a passing fad, The Beatles were given some more star vehicles, the last of which was 1970’s Let It Be, which then won an Oscar for its soundtrack. Here I have created a list of films that rely on the enduring quality and popularity of Beatle music.

1. I Am Sam

”Major selling point” maybe a little unfair to such a touching, custody-battle movie like I Am Sam. Although The Beatles aren’t the film’s main focus, they run right through it like the name through a stick of rock.

I Am Sam was directed and edited with a Beatles soundtrack in mind. As director Jessie Nelson said, “I was so naive writing the script that I thought, ‘Oh, this wonderful. I will get 12 Beatles songs and we will just have them run through the movie’.”

Due to failing to secure the rights, he settled for covers instead. However, there wasn’t much space for the artists to experiment on their tracks. The film was already edited, so bands had to record to a click track to make their covers match the tempo of the originals.

2. All This And World War II

All This And World War Two is a collage of World War 2 newsreel footage and clips from old war movies. The visuals of the movie are backed by a collection of The Beatles covers, helping the film provide an anti-war message. The songs in All This And World War Two was intended to convey a commentary on the events onscreen.

Although the film has never been released on video or DVD, the soundtrack itself was released as a vinyl album.