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Random Songs from Winona Ryder films June 23, 2009

Posted by Patrick in Cinematics, Muzak.
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Heathers - Big Fun

Following on from my Heathers post the other day, I have finally located the full version of “Teenage Suicide (Don’t Do It)” from the film Heathers, by the fictional band Big Fun. The song, however, is actually the work of musician Don Dixon.

In an interview with Popdose, Dixon talked about how the track came about.

What they wanted me to do was help them license and pick out a bunch of songs and do a “Pretty in Pink” thing, where they had a contemporary soundtrack that sort of flowed in and out of the movie. And after seeing the movie, I said, “If you do that, you bolt this movie into time in a way that maybe isn’t a good idea for it down the road.” It’s kind of a stylized look, and they had purposely kept it from being too ‘80s, although if you look at it now, there’s some painfully ‘80s hair. (Laughs) The only song you really have to have is the song that they talk about, where he shoots the stereo and all that kind of stuff. You’ve gotta have a song for that, and I can give you a song for that. But my advice is just to go with the soundtrack you have.” As it turned out, it was by David Newman, who has gone on to be part of a long line of cinema composers and done really well. But I said, “Just let me write that song for you. That’s all you need.” So that was fun. I made that song up, Mitch (Easter) and I recorded it, and Marti and Mitch’s then-wife (Angie Carlson) sang on it. We were on a real time schedule, and I remember they were all passed out, asleep on couches of stuff, and I was finishing it up at about 5 AM while they were snoring away because we’d been working on it all day.

The full version is below, thanks to a helpful YouTube user, hoodfan89. (download)

Another song which caught my attention recently was “Downtown”, which is featured in another Winona Ryder film, “Girl, Interrupted”. Not the Petula Clark original however, which is played over the movie’s closing credits, but the impromptu acoustic version by Winona Ryder and Angelina Jolie played to cheer up a fellow patient in Claymoore Hospital. It’s not exactly pitch-perfect by any means, but it’s a very different take on a classic song. (download)

Okay, I promise, that’s enough about Winona now.