Friday Night Videos
70's movie soundtracks
What were the artists of the 60's to do after making some of the most original, memorable, tripped out music of the rock and roll era? Make original, memorable, tripped out movies. Introduced in the 50's, well acquainted in the 60's, in love by the 70's. The marriage of pop music and cinema was made official with movies like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tommy, Saturday Night Fever, and Grease.
The first video, the Fifth Dimension's "Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," is a late 60's tune from the late 60's Broadway hit "Hair." Though the movie wasn't actually released until 1979, it was the popularity of the stage production that helped influence theater and pop music.
Here's the intro to the 1979 flick where you'll hear a slightly longer and funkier version of "Aquarius."
The Who's Tommy was another 60's creation reborn in the 70's. The first video is a 1969 TV performance where they do "Tommy's Holiday Camp," "We're Not Gonna Take It," and "See Me, Feel Me."
The scene from Tommy with Tina Turner as the Acid Queen.
From the Who's lesser known rock opera made to movie, Quadrophenia, here's the scene for the tune "5:15."
From the 1971 oddity 200 motels, Frank Zappa (with Flo and Eddie, and the Mothers of Invention) with "Magic Fingers."
A three minute intro to the movie - crazy even by Zappa standards.
From the 1973 movie Deliverance, "Dueling Banjos."
From the same year, Carl Anderson performing "Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Phantom of the Paradise was a 1974 release that brought together Paul Williams' music, Brian De Palma's directing, and 70's cutie Jessica Harper - a cult movie formula if there ever was one. Here she is with "Special to Me" and "Old Souls"
From the movie's coolest scene, rock theatre macabre with the Undead's "Somebody Super Like You" and Beef's "Life at Last."
With full on glam rock and a similar flair for the absurd, the next year would see the release of the most popular cult movie of all time: the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Here's "There's a Light," "Time Warp," and "Sweet Transvestite."
You know I didn't really want to include this, but the song is just that popular. "You Light Up My Life" was the theme song to the 1977 movie of the same name. The movie scene has actress Didi Conn lip-synching Kasey Cisyk's version of the song, though it would be Debbie Boone's version that would become the most familiar.
It's no surprise that during the 70's John Travolta was known by so many names: Vinnie Barbarino, Danny Zuko, Tony Manero. On the big screen or small he had the Midas touch. The soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever would become one of the biggest selling albums of all time thanks to the Bee Gees and the memories of his moves to songs like "You Should Be Dancing."
One of the more popular songs from the movie, the Bee Gees' "Night Fever."
The most endearing of all movie soundtracks, Grease is one of those rarities that
has been popular with each new generation. Despite its 50's hot-rod greaser image and pure 70's pop songs, the movie's playful treatment of high school archetypes singing and dancing away their problems makes the movie timeless. Here's some more Travolta moves with the scene from the school dance-off.
Not so much Travolta dancing, more Travolta posing: "Greased Lightnin'"
Two of the most popular songs from the movie, "Summer Nights" and "You're the One that I Want."
Arguably the best song of the movie, Olivia Newton-John with "Hopelessly Devoted to You."
And one of my underrated favs, Frankie Avalon with "Beauty School Dropout."
A little more high school fun to finish it off. From their 1979 film, the Ramones with "Rock'n'Roll High School" and "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker."