Mr. Holland’s Opus

Now, before you go thinking I’ve messed up and posted tomorrow morning’s Film [Soundtrack] Festival post this afternoon, fear not. I have not lost my marbles completely (yet). No, this soundtrack is the first of my finds at Sonic Boom during my foray into the wild of Taranna with Mike. I got this disc for $0.99. Yep, I raided their sale bin and found a whole pile of treasures… Here we go!

The 5th Annual Toronto Expedition Series, Part 14 (CD)

Shawn Stockman’s Visions Of A Sunset starts us off with an r&b ballad worthy of elevators, hold music and doctor’s offices everywhere. Next! Len Barry 1-2-3 is that old Motown sound and you know it well. Classic. The Toys are next, with their tune A Lover’s Concerto, which keeps that classic sound going. It’s made doubly-catchy by using Petzold’s Minuet In G major as it’s melody line.

Spencer Davis Group’s Keep On Running is a fun, fuzzy pop-rock tune in that same oldies vein. You know it well. Join in on the hand-claps! And then we get the legend that is Stevie Wonder doing his classic Uptight (Everything’s Alright). Yes! NOw, given the film, it makes sense that John Lennon is on here, and his Imagine is one that needs no further comment.

We make a nice transition from that into Jackson Browne’s The Pretender, a big tune for him and it’s easy to hear why. Fits the mood of the soundtrack well. Julia Fordham’s Someone To Watch Over Me takes us into late night jazz club territory. Oooo I loved this one! What a voice. It reminds me, at times, of a Nina Simone mixed with a BIllie Holiday sound, yet still totally her own. And as if we aren’t already melted, here’s Ray Charles doing I Got A Woman. As you were.

Integral to the film, the next tune is John Lennon And Yoko Ono’s trippy Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy). Do you need me to tell you about it? Of course not. So why not follow it with Julian Lennon doing Cole’s Song, also a big part of the film. Without that connection, I’d say it was a fairly maudlin ballad, but there ya go. And finally, the London Metropolitan Orchestra does An American Symphony (Mr. Holland’s Opus), which is perfect soundtrack music. It’s huge, uplifting and rousing, and the trumpets soar over top (I always cheer for the trumpets!)… I love the drums best, though. They’re relentless, pounding and swinging too… Best word for this one: huge. Cool tune.

In Sum:

This is a great soundtrack that ties into the film perfectly. A lot of thought went into the music for this one, and the songs are well-chosen and handled with aplomb. Awesome.

Posted on 2016-11-10, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I love the movie but hate the opus. Just something Michael Kamen threw together. So generic so awful! You’re waiting the whole movie to finally hear his opus…and it’s that? Talk about anticlimax.


  2. Very clever! You’ve merged your two themes. Probably won’t seek this one out – all a bit predictable I’m afraid. Still, excellent price and ya can’t go past a bargain!


    • Total happenstance! I bought the CD in Taranna, so it’s part of my Trip With Mike series. But it could have equally been a part of your Festival series too! So many soundtracks…

      Predictable? Definitely if you’ve seen the movie. As a stand-alone mix it works, too. And you’re right, hard to argue with $1!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Always loved Someone to watch over me, lovely tune – and 2 series themes colliding in the best of ways!


  4. I always loved this movie, possibly due to the soundtrack.

    I haven’t seen it in years, but I still recall the line comparing finding out about his wife’s pregnancy to falling in love with Coltrane. And the line where he tells the young clarinet player to “play the sunset”. Good stuff.


    • Thanks for your comment sourgirlohio! The music is indeed integral to the film (I was going to say of course, given his character’s career). I’d forgotten the pregnancy bit, so I found it on the tubes of you. I’d say he almost failed completely on this one! Haha… It’s from 4:12 – 8:10:


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