You’ll have to excuse me. I was out with old friends from BT days on Friday (we get together on an occasional basis having worked as a small project team during the Rugby World Cup in 1999) and although it was a low turn out – just C, P and me – I had a blast and one or two drinks. Then last night we had dinner and a lot more drinks at old friends J & D and lovely daughter A . I think we finished around 5am which is outrageous but we were having a laugh at a video D shot of my 40th birthday do, which I haven’t seen in 20+ years. I have to say we had some fab parties at our old place in Buckingham and this was a prime example. Seeing family and old friends 20 years younger dancing away to ZZ Top is a real hoot, especially after one or twenty glasses of wine.

Happy days but today I’m in a reflective, ahem, mood inspired by the bearded ones.  So have you done that soundtrack to your life thing? No, me neither but I have toyed with the thought of it at idle moments alongside how I’d spend a big lottery win – with great fun, ha! But, I’ve also worked out that with 3 daughters and their two husbands, 3 grandsons, not forgetting my wife of course, my dad, bro’s and sis, in-laws, some very good friends and the house in Italy and the banks etc, a win of £1m would be just hopelessly inadequate. I’d have like £28 left for indulging, well, me. So if anybody from Camelot’s reading this can you please try and ensure that my big cheque is for at least £4m please. Many thanks.

Anyway back to the music. I have to be a bit careful here because every frigging time I do a posting about some recording artist I get swamped with hate mail from his/her devoted fans. I don’t really mind because my deepest friends know how thick my skin is; ‘juicy fat pork belly’ is how it’s usually described. But I did become a little bit rattled by the ‘die fat bald bast*rd die’ stormtroopers for Ray Davies when I dared to suggest he’d probably not better ‘All the day and all of the night’, ‘You really got me’ and ‘Waterloo Sunset’ etc in terms of current Top 20 appeal. But what do I know pop pickers?

Anyway (again) did you see this week that British Airways in association with the Rooftop Film Club (don’t ask me) have conducted some research to find the most memorable/favourite songs on movie soundtracks.   I have to say that the songs the 3000 people who were surveyed came up with are a bit bloody predictable and pretty dull. The Top 10 countdown goes…

At number 10 it’s Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees which featured in Saturday Night fever of course. It’s not a bad song to be honest but a bit ironic (Alanis pease note) given that it’s something almost all the BeeGees have failed to do since it was recorded. Sorry that’s just off-colour in so many ways.

At number 9 it’s Stuck in the Middle With You by Steelers Wheel which featured in Reservoir Dogs. I actually like this selection because it’s a proper film and all Tarrantino’s soundtracks are fabulous.

At number 8 it’s My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion which is from Titanic of course. This is almost my least favourite song of all time (see number 6 pop pickers). Just horrible.

At number 7 it’s Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen from the film Shaun of the Dead. Not their only entry in the top 10 and I bet you can’t guess what other song is there…not.

At number 6 it’s the worst song ever recorded from a pretty awful film; Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler from the film Beaches. I’d rather have chemotherapy than watch this filmic paean to best girl friends forever.

At number 5 we have Time of My Life sung by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes in the worst film of all time, Dirty Dancing. Actually I quite like this song because it means I only have to endure about another 5 minutes of this grim movie which all my family – all girls of course – seem to love and can watch time after time.

At number 4 it’s I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston from The Bodyguard. Another stinker. Do you get the impression the majority of 3000 people surveyed were women?

Just to confirm that thought at number 3 it’s Unchained Melody by the brilliant Righteous Brothers from the ultimate chick flick Ghost. Painful.

At number 2 it’s Eye of the Tiger by Survivor from Rocky III.  Very cheesey.

And at number 1 pop pickers it’s Queen’s second entry with the anthemic Bohemian Rhapsody from Wayne’s World. Quelle surprise.

So there you have it dear readers, a bit uninspiring don’t you think? I cannot believe that Pretty Woman from the film of the same name isn’t on the list to be honest. If the researchers had bumped into my family it sure would have been. And to be fair it’s a great song albeit in a rubbish film.  So I had a think about coming up with an altogether better list of music/films and here’s my selection:


10.  First up it’s party time back at the Leonards with ZZ Top and the classic Gimme All Your Loving from the film The Santa Clause. I couldn’t find a suitable clip from the film which did the song justice so here’s the official video. The portrayal of women is prehistoric, I know, but this is back in the olden days when I was 40, and if this doesn’t get you tapping your feet and playing on that air guitar, then nothing will……

9. Next up a film starring a personal hero of mine, Paul Newman, about rough house ice hockey, Slap Shot. It’s a brilliant movie starring the bespectacled Hanson brothers who play a type of hockey only seen in Glasgow on a Saturday night. Best of all the film features the brilliant song Right Back Where We Started From by Maxine Nightingale. Have a look at the Hanson lads in action first then enjoy the song……

8. Now the greatest film ever made, The Godfather. As much as I love the haunting theme music I particularly like the opening wedding scene scene where Mama Corleone and Don Stracci duet a rude little Italian folk ditty called A luna mezzo ‘o mare. It’s so evocative of our time in Italy and I had to include it….. 

7. Next up the great British movie, The Full Monty. You know the clip I’m going to play; it’s the scene in the job centre where the lads get inspired by Donna Summer singing Hot Stuff. Just priceless….

6. A flood of Hollywood movies now, starting with Easy Rider which features one of the the great ‘road’ songs Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf  in the film’s opening credits…..

5. A doozie of a film next, Goodfellas, which is a proper fellas movie. None of this nancy boy girly BFF stuff. It also features some great blokey music on the soundtrack including something tasty from the old bones, Gimme Shelter, oh yes…. 

4. I’m not a big fan of Tom Crusie but he makes it into my top 10 list thanks to some great music. I was invited to the UK premiere with my daughter E to see his sports agent movie Jerry Maguire. The film’s OK but this track just makes it for me Fleetwood Mac playing Oh Well….. 

3. Now a great opening sequence; it’s the film Layer Cake and the music’s by The Cult. It’s She Sells Sanctuary of course….

2. I mentioned his films earlier and I had to include a Tarrantino film in this selection. I could have 10 songs from his movies alone but have decided upon the film Pulp Fiction because I was lucky enough to walk down the red carpet with all the cast when it was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. In the foyer I was bumped into by Catherine Deneuve who apologised to me ever so nicely. The sexiest woman in the world. Those were the days eh. Anyway when I heard this track for the first time I thought it was sensational. It’s Dick Dale’s surf rock masterpiece Misirlou which opened the film. Be warned the language is a bit salty at the start ….

1. Another classic British film now which we saw with our top friends M&J; it’s Brassed Off featuring lots of brass band music which I don’t normally like. But I love this bit from the film featuring the incomparable Pete Postlethwaite and the quite loverly Tara Fitzgerald playing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez – Orange Juice to you. If this doesn’t give you goosebumps you must be made of stone. It’s no 1, it’s Top of my Pops, and it’s not wobbly at all Andy lad…..

Now that’s a soundtrack list.


This entry was posted in ASSORTED RANTS/LIKES, music and tagged , , by Paul. Bookmark the permalink.

About Paul

Having decided on a change of life by moving home from the UK to Italy, this is the story and thoughts of a man on a personal journey from the Blackpool Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, in search of la dolce vita. After several olive harvests he's now back in London but en route he shares his very personal perspectives on life.

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