Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What Would Paul Westerberg Do?

On Monday, I received an e-mail from our friends at Google telling me that my Saturday, August 8, post on John Hughes Movie Soundtracks "infringes upon the copyrights of others." Specifically, the tracks "If You Leave" by OMD and "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds were violating some copyright somewhere. I found this "infringement" sort of odd as both songs are over 20 years old, and non of the other songs got pulled even though they were on the same soundtrack. And, I am in Canada where distribution of digital media for personal use is still legal (or hasn't been definitively ruled on yet). But I do use a Google service (blogger) which is based in the US, so I gotta play by their rules.

Anyway, since I am still on my Replacements bender, it got me thinking, what would Paul Westerberg do in this situation? Westy sort of got himself in hot water last year when he self-released his seventh solo album 49:00 on Amazon for the bargain price of $0.49. This "Mesterpiece," consisting of a single 43 minute MP3 track, was posted on Amazon on June 21, 2008, and was taken down a few days later due to potential copyright issues on the closing medley which included samples from The Beatles, Hank William, and Alice Cooper, among others. Westerberg is quoted on as saying, "Ten publishers came after us immediately 'cause I used all these snippets of songs that I recorded. It was either pay up or pull the thing."

I have decided to repost my love for John Hughes and his kick-ass musical tastes here, with the offending links removed.

John Hughes Move Soundtracks

Let us take a break from my Replacements bender to celebrate the legacy of John Hughes. Hughes passed away suddenly at age 59 on Thursday, August 6, from an apparent heart attack. To me, and many of my generation, Hughes had more of an affect on our lives than that of Michael Jackson. I remember seeing Pretty in Pink and Ferris Bueller's Day Off in the theatre. And my mom taped The Breakfast Club off of HBO, and I watched it over and over and over again. Not to mention the National Lampoon's Vacation series, which I did not realize that Hughes wrote until I read an online tribute. Jeez, my nut-ball family lived Christmas Vacation one year. And who doesn't get choked up when Neal (Steve Martin) invites Del (John Candy) to his home for Thanksgiving in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Speaking of "Automobile???" is there a more non-PC or fucking hysterical character than Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles? "No more yanky my wanky. The Donger need food!" Ha ha ha ha! Yeah, full of terrible stereotypes, but its was the 80s, the Reagan era, and half of Hollywood was on blow.

Many of Hughes' movies also have tremendous soundtracks. I am going to focus on two in particular, which I listened to non-stop on cassette on my Sony Walkman in the 1980s. First, the soundtrack to Pretty in Pink. I literally just repurchased this one on CD earlier this year. I found it in a 2/$15 bin at HMV. This entire soundtrack is so amazing. First, you have your pop hit with OMD's "If You Leave" featured in the film's penultimate prom scene. Plus some unbelievable 80's alternative artists in The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen. Some dance-pop with New Order, and the incredibly poignant "Left of Center" by Suzanne Vega featuring Joe Jackson on piano. The Psychedelic Furs remade their 1981 college radio hit "Pretty in Pink" for this film; they added horns and very glossy production. Not a bad song on this soundtrack. Oh the 80s nostalgia!

This is not on the soundtrack, but how can you not love Duckie (played by John Cryer) lip-syncing Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" right before Andie breaks his heart.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - If You Leave.mp3
Suzanne Vega and Joe Jackson - Left of Center.mp3
The Psychedelic Furs - Pretty in Pink.mp3
Buy: Pretty In Pink: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1986)

Next, the soundtrack that contained the anthem to many disillusioned 1980s teenagers. The Breakfast Club soundtrack is not nearly as consistent as the above album, but it still contains a few gems. In particular, Simple Minds "Don't You (Forget About Me)" was such a powerful song on the adolescent mind. And I always like "Fire in the Twilight" by Wang Chung, and "We are Not Alone" by Karla DeVito. I apparently don't have and/or can't find the CD, so I am including a bonus track that was not on the soundtrack. At the beginning of the movie you see these words before the screen "shatters" to a shot of Shermer High School in the fictional Shermer, Illinois.

"And these children that you spit on, as they try to change their worlds, are immune to your consultations, they're quite aware of what they're going through." - David Bowie, "Changes"

Simple Minds - Don't You (Forget About Me).mp3
Buy: The Breakfast Club: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1985)

David Bowie - Changes.mp3
Buy (MP3 only): ChangesBowie (1990)The CD is apparently out of print. Huh?

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