Friday, April 18, 2008

Have Pity On The City

iTunes has made me giddy. The other night, whilst having set it to shuffle, what should pop on but Snow Patrol's 'Signal Fire'. Now, I'm the first to admit that it's an insipid, schmaltzy (although catchy) pop song, but it got me thinking...

'Signal Fire' was also the big promo release for the film Spider-Man 3, and when I first saw the music video I was so excited for the film I ignored the blandness of the song and just got silly in anticipation. Even now I listen to the song and all I can think about is those months leading up the film's release, and actually feel excited again even though the film came out a year ago.

And there's so many bad songs attached to big films that I still love, the question is this; Does nostalgia for a certain time in your life make a bad song better? Obviously, for some people that song could be a first dance, or wedding, or passing an exam. But I'm a film geek, so that's what I'm going with.

The first awful movie song I remember getting hyped for was Bobby Brown's 'On Our Own' from Ghostbusters II. The song is dreadful, but I love it because it makes me think about being 10 years old and seeing the video for the first time on telly, seeing those new ghosts, and Slimer, and being so happy. Ditto for Partners In Kryme's 'T.U.R.T.L.E Power'.

And who can forget Prince's 'Batdance', Siouxie Sioux's 'Face To Face', or U2's 'Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me'? That last one was a case of the song actually being better than the film! ZZ Top did a song for Back To The Future pt.III - I can't remember the song, but I bought it on vinyl and I'm positive it was fantastic.

But it seems to be a dying art. Spider-Man 3 is the last example I can think of where a song was used as mainstream promotion. And yes, the song is normally awful, but if you're excited for whatever it's selling and can remember how great it was feeling like that, then mostly you block out anything apart from that feeling.

How else do you explain Madonna's 'I'm Breathless' album?