Somewhere over the rainbow...
June 24, 2004 10:55 AM   Subscribe

The American Film Institute (a.k.a. "The Listmakers Who Just Won't Quit") have announced their long-awaited ground-breaking top 100 movie songs of all time.
posted by ChrisTN (19 comments total)
My ears are bleedings just to realize that Celine Dion made it as high as #14. God help us all.
posted by ChrisTN at 10:55 AM on June 24, 2004

What, nothing from this?

posted by jonmc at 11:04 AM on June 24, 2004

Seems a pretty typical and dull AFI list. I was glad to see "Make 'em Laugh" on there though. That is a wonderful song.

I agree re: Celine, and was a bit miffed at two Bette Midler songs.

Obligatory songs missing:
Jon Brion's song from Punch Drunk Love
Take your pick from one of Quentin Tarantino's movies
posted by shotsy at 11:06 AM on June 24, 2004

I despise the AFI.

My notable ommissions:

In Dreams - Blue Velvet
Blue Velvet - Blue Velvet
In Heaven - Eraserhead
Bohemian Rhapsody - Wayne's World
Wig In A Box - Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Llorando (Crying) - Mulholland Drive
More Than This - Lost in Translation
If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out - Harold and Maude
Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta - Office Space
Eye of the Tiger - Rocky
When Doves Cry - Purple Rain
Don't You (Forget About Me) - The Breakfast Club
Caught In the Middle With You - Resevoir Dogs
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - Kill Bill
Misirlou - Pulp Fiction
These Days - The Royal Tennanbaums
In Your Eyes - Say Anything
Man of Constant Sorrow - O' Brother Where Art Thou
Pressure Drop - The Harder They Come
Time Warp - Rocky Horror Picture Show
Mean Green Mother from Outerspace - Little Shop of Horrors
Dueling Banjos - Deliverance
Rock and Roll High School - Rock and Roll High School
posted by corpse at 11:07 AM on June 24, 2004

posted by Quartermass at 11:16 AM on June 24, 2004

I was disappointed they didn't include instrumentals. Surely the Pink Panther and Star Wars themes (among others) deserved mention.

Interesting to see the preliminary list of 400, and see (by omission) what wasn't even considered.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:21 AM on June 24, 2004

Chariots of Fire is British... AFI only lists American films. (see criteria at bottom of page.)
posted by ALongDecember at 11:35 AM on June 24, 2004

I nominate Corpse to the Mefi 100. Excellent list!

AFI should've limited its list to songs that are actually performed on-screen (as opposed to soundtrack, a la "Mrs. Robinson").
posted by sixpack at 11:41 AM on June 24, 2004

The list was made by geezers. Most of this list could've been made 30 years ago. (Although the few post-1970s selections are pretty lame.) And where are the themes from Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark? And "Rhapsody in Blue" is the perfect intro song in Manhattan.

The criteria says to consider "music and lyrics featured in an American film that set a tone or mood, define character, advance plot[,] and/or express the film's themes." In other words, the songs aren't necessarily good songs, they're appropriate to the movies they're in. Their top 3 is hard to argue with, but given the criteria I'd put "Up Where We Belong," "Theme from Shaft," and "Old Time Rock and Roll" much higher. "Theme from New York, New York" is famous as a Frank Sinatra signature song, but I bet most people don't even know it's from a movie. And of course the Gene Wilder/Peter Boyle "Puttin' on the Ritz" should be in the Top 10.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:47 AM on June 24, 2004

So much Streisand. Ugh.

How could Evergreen, from her Star Is Born remake, beat out The Man That Got Away, from Judy Garland's Star Is Born remake?

I know they're all mainstream-happy, (they didn't put Blue Velvet on their greatest films list, but Forrest Gump made the cut, for instance - they really don't seem to like David Lynch - didn't he make Eraserhead or something with their grant money?), which is why most of Corpse's songs wouldn't be on their list, but I can't understand why "Man of Constant Sorrow" isn't there.
posted by SoftRain at 11:51 AM on June 24, 2004

Favorite recent use of music in a film:

"Just Like Honey" (Jesus & Mary Chain) from Lost in Translation

*lump forms in throat*
posted by dhoyt at 11:53 AM on June 24, 2004

re "what the fuck?!" type selections:

They're always there. There has to be some controversy, otherwise people wouldn't discuss it. The worst thing in marketing is to be ignored.
posted by Miles Long at 12:06 PM on June 24, 2004

Too much from Moulin Rouge. Am I the only person who truly, madly, deeply hates that movie?
posted by jennyb at 12:27 PM on June 24, 2004

Thanks, Corpse. Truly, the AFI's lameness is unmasked by the exclusion of Dueling Banjos. And Time Warp is one of the best movie songs ever. I was singing it to my 7-year-old son at bedtime last night.
posted by Holden at 1:42 PM on June 24, 2004

Too much from Moulin Rouge. Am I the only person who truly, madly, deeply hates that movie?

Yes...but then, my inner screaming flaming show tune queen comes roaring out at questions like this, so don't mind me.
posted by ChrisTN at 1:51 PM on June 24, 2004

There was one song from Moulin Rouge, and it was #85. That's too much?
posted by smackfu at 2:20 PM on June 24, 2004

Yes. I would argue that one song from that movie at #85 was too much. And then they juxtaposed Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge with Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman Prefer Blonds for "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend". And then I blacked out.
posted by jennyb at 3:01 PM on June 24, 2004

I watched the broadcast, and I was impressed by one thing. At one point an AFI executive came on screen and said that the whole point of the list was to get people talking about it--"If you don't agree with us, then discuss it!" Which of course is the point of all such lists, but most don't admit it so frankly.

"Puttin' on the Ritz" was the other song which was recognized for two different movies.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:42 PM on June 24, 2004

Could AFI not find enough room on the internet to include the names of the PERFORMERS or COMPOSERS of these songs? Not even on the dogdamned PDFs? Pardon, but that just right cheeses me off.
posted by obloquy at 12:14 AM on June 25, 2004

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