It's that time again to look back at some Movies, TV shows and video games and to see how different they could have been musically. We have brought you Volumes I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X before, but with so many musical changes out there, it's time for the eleventh installment.
And we begin with...
1. THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH
Starring the late, great David Bowie, The Man Who Fell To Earth tells the story of an alien coming to Earth to save his planet. The music, an important mood setter, was done by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, putting in a bunch of instrumentals, along with the odd licensed track:
However the original plan was for Bowie himself to do the music, mostly instrumentals. But his contract kicked in, forbidding him from doing any of the music. What he did get done can still be heard, which is a huge part of his album Low.
If not for a contract clause, THAT would have been the movie's soundtrack.
2. GTA IV
In 2008, Grand Theft Auto burst on a new Generation with GTA IV. Following Niko Bellic, a Serbian coming to New York, the game instilled the usual in-game radio stations. One, Liberty Rock Radio, was filled with tons of classic rock like Godley and Creme with Cry:
And Elton John's Street Kids:
Originally there was supposed to way more songs. Songs by The Rolling Stones and Nazareth were to be on here setting the mood along with Tubeway Army's Bombers
New York Dolls and Private World
And even Lou Reed getting a song with Vicious
With so many songs already in game, these needed to be cut, but like all the others included, the fit the optimistic/tragic/lonely/slightly downbeat filled soundtrack that GTA games are still known for.
Even if you've never seen a Bond film, the opening of 'Goldfinger' by Shirley Bassey has been parodied so much that you had to have at least heard of it in some capacity:
Originally it wasn't bassey though. Singer Anthony Newley sang the original version in a whispery like fashion that didn't feel out of place in the early 60's:
While Newley was good, it didn't quite fit in with the movie, and Bassey was brought in for a more grander version. Even today, her version of Goldfinger is the gold standard for a Bond opening, influencing everyone from Sheryl Crowe to Adele.
4. THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE
One of the goofiest movies in Disney to date, The Emperor's New Groove had David Spade, talking llamas, Peru, 50's Diners, Earth Kitt.....it's hard to explain. Still, one of the constants in the film is the jaunty, Tropicana-nightclub like soundtrack:
The entire movie was actually re-purposed. It was originally called Empire of the Sun, and featured a plot to cover the sun to take over the empire, instead of turning the emperor into a llama. Earth Kitt even had a song in this version called Snuff out the Light:
But after it was decided to go in a different direction, it went from a musical to more of a slapstick comedy, putting in Patrick Warburton and Eartha Kitt in instead of musical numbers.
5. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
One of the classics of Sci-Fi, Close Encounters of the Third Kind made believers of UFOs out of many. It's ending, featuring the spaceship departing Earth with Richard Dreyfuss, still has one of the grandest score's ever made. And of course it was by John Williams:
But that was only an afterthought. Steven Spielberg, the director, wanted If You Wish Upon a Star as the ending and had to keep being talked down. At one point he wanted the original from Pinocchio, but a compromise was made where Williams made an instrumental of it:
Still, with Williams already having the more grander, less Disney one already recorded, a ton of pressure was put on Spielberg to use that one, and he finally relented, nearly ruining the ending of the movie. It's not always easy to say how much they affected their movie or game.
In some cases it can be a slight change of mood, in others, it could have ruined the entire movie. As long as we keep in mind what could have been, they'll remain as lessons for future movies on what songs to pick. And maybe not repurpose Disney songs.