Friday, 4 July 2008

Soundtrack Staples: The Kinks

Another new feature over here at TFSS, I thought I'd look at those artists who are so common in modern soundtracks that a film is missing something without them. The first band in question have been on pretty much every soundtrack made since they formed, and as result are a perfect band to start with.

I'm still not sure at what point The Kinks became vital to my musical life. I remember being made to play Waterloo Sunset on the recorder in year seven music class, and not realising it was actually a pop song. I thought it was something from Victorian times back then, but that was probably just the recorders ruining it for me.

When the 25th anniversary edition of The Village Preservation Society came out, something compelled me to buy it. I'm pretty sure it was the fantastic packaging, but the title track appearing on a free Q magazine CD around that time certainly helped. I paid extra for the three disc edition, featuring the album in both stereo and mono, and a bonus songs disc. Why a sixteen year old boy required not one but two versions of a quarter-century old album is still a question I cannot answer, but regardless the album led me into a deep pit of fantastic music.

In recent years it really has seemed that every respectable film - or respectable indie film, at least - features at least one Davies-penned song. Hot Fuzz, Britain's non-too-serious answer to Bad Boys featured a duo of songs from the aforementioned Village Green LP, with possibly the best utilisation of The Kinks in modern cinema. The nature of the songs fitted perfectly with the film's small-town (read: village) action, and further cemented the ridiculously British nature that made Hot Fuzz so great.

This year's uber-indie Juno featured the wonderful A Well Respected Man, a 1966 single that also featured over the end credits of The Life And Death of Peter Sellers in 2004. One of my favourite films, High Fidelity, featured 'Everybody's Gonna Be Happy', another fantastic track from the mid-sixties.

Perhaps the best recent example of The Kinks in modern film was in last year's The Darjeeling Limited, a film by long-time Kinks fan Wes Anderson. The soundtrack featured three Kinks songs, all from 1970's 'Lola vs Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One', and helped give the film it's distinct character. Enjoy 'Strangers' from said soundtrack...

mp3: 'Strangers' by The Kinks

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