Early in its lifespan, my Mt. Rushmore series asked which four great songs prominently featured in a film you would enshrine on your mountain. I'm re-visiting this concept only because the one comment I got back in April 2013 - which I recently had cause to re-read - reminded me that there is much more to explore here. Construction specifications:
* No great songs featured in any musical, please. Movies like Singing in the Rain, West Side Story, and The Sound of Music simply have too many great songs.
* No great songs from films that are "about" music in any significant fashion, including musical biopics. Much as I loved The Commitments, The Fabulous Baker Boys, & Ray, using great songs from those kinds of movies is just too easy. I myself cheated this way back in 2013 when I picked Michelle Pfeiffer's steamy rendition of Making Whoopee (from the second film above) as one of my four.
* No film performances of great songs by an accomplished singer, no matter the subject matter of the movie. Again, I took the easy route back in 2013 enshrining Whitney Houston and Meryl Streep from The Preacher's Wife & Postcards from the Edge, respectively.
What's left you ask? Oh, there are so many. I'll start with my impeccable four - including one repeat from my Mt. Rushmore #10 - and then it's your turn. Remember: Great song that cannot be separated from the film in which it was featured, even if the film was less than great. Although my monument is alphabetical by song title, order yours however you like.
1.) Chain Of Fools from a little seen 1996 movie where John Travolta, playing a dissolute angel named Michael, dances (surprise!) in a bar. Wisely, Director Nora Ephron used Aretha Franklin's original version of the tune, without doubt the greatest one chord song ever written.
2.) Rhapsody in Blue played during the opening shot of Manhattan. one of Woody Allen's earliest and best films. Say what you will about Woody; I won't disagree. But he has impeccable - albeit highly conservative - musical tastes.
3.) Twist and Shout played during a closing scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. No doubt I'm showing my white Baby Boomer bias by saying I'm glad Ferris lip synced the Beatles version of this Isely Brothers tune while atop that float.
4.) Unchained Melody from the cheesy but wildly popular Ghost. Much as most of the film makes me cringe, I cannot deny that choosing this undeniably great song is now inextricably linked to the film and its over-the-top romantic story. Who can argue with Bobby Hatfield's magnificent tenor being introduced to a new generation of music lovers, silly movie aside?