The Soundtrack of Our Lives: Flicks of the 70’s

Feb, 2008


Just like songs, some movies didn’t go bigtime both critically and commercially but somehow earned for themselves a momentary cult following inspite of these being out of critics favor.
In some cases, the cult following was caused not by the movie per se but by the soundtrack associated with it.
Piqued by our interest upon hearing these songs on the radio, we troop down to the moviehouse to catch the flick. But it also works the other way around. I remember rushing to the nearest record bar after watching One on One to get hold of that Seals and Croft soundtrack

For us children of the 70’s, the following are just but a few of these movies whose songs have become part of the soundtrack of our lives.

Michelle’s Song

No one’s going to find us
No matter how they try,
No one’s going to find us.
It’s wonderful, so wild
Beneath the sky

“Stow-away”, a term used then to denote running away from home is the basic theme of this movie. Two young adolescents “stowing-away” and living as husband and wife. Nothing much to say about the film. In fact, I already forgot how this ended. But the soundtrack is something else. Exemplifying the genius of Elton John, the poetic lyrics of Bernie Taupin, and topped off by the musical majesty of Paul Buckmaster’s arrangement, this movie score reveals why this triumvirate was responsible for the critical successes of the early Elton John albums.


One Tin Soldier


The Legend of Billy Jack was about a Kung Fu kicking cowboy out to clean the community’s cruelty. Action-packed (for the 70’s at least), this movie runs along the line of the likes of Dirty Harry and Death Wish. But this is a perfect case of the score overshadowing the scene. There won’t be any trumpets blowing for this movie which is quite forgettable but One Tin Soldier has been a regular of one-hit-wonders compilations up to now.


Suicide is Painless

A brave man once requested me,
To answer questions that are key
‘is it to be or not to be”
And I replied, “oh why ask me?

Hawkeye, Trapper, Hotlips, Radar, Klinger. Back in the 70’s, if you’re not familiar with these names and the rest of the 4077th , then you must’ve grown up with Charlton Heston in The Planet of the Apes. MASH was so popular that it gave birth to a TV series with the same title. (Trapper John MD was an offshoot of the Mash TV series). But unlike Billy Jack, the movie was just as prominent as the song. This Johnny Mandel original has been covered by Paul Desmond, Bill Evans, The Ventures, Ahmad Jamal etc..
I remember making it a point to catch the beginning of each show just to watch the choppers hover over the camp while listening to Suicide.


While we’re into TV shows, I’d like to insert this series whose soundtrack is another favorite of mine.
But before that, isa munang patalastas (let’s break for a commercial).

I’d Like To teach The World To Sing

One of the songs closely identified with a product and vice versa is the Coca Cola/I’d Like to Teach the World tandem. Originally intended as a commercial jingle, this song was later reworked to remove references to the product. This new incarnation eventually became a major radio hit.

I just love this Lalo Shifrin Original. I finally got hold of the full version and it is twice as good.
I’m also sure you guys appreciate the part when the girl swings around allowing her skirt to fly up. :D

Ok, back to the movies –


The Morning After

There’s got to be a morning after
We’re moving closer to the shore
I know we’ll be there by tomorrow
And we’ll escape the darkness
We won’t be searching anymore

Poseidon Adventure

Another example of song/movie of equal prominence. Morning After and Poseidon Adventure is like a shoe and sock. One can’t help thinking of one and not remembering the other. The movie and eventually the song paved the way for Maureen Mcgovern’s career.

Trying to catch a glimpse of of what was under Carol Linley’s skirt as she was climbing up that ladder was Poseidon’s major bonus. :)


Living Together

Start with a man and you have one
Add on a woman, and then you have two
Add on a child, and what have you got?
You’ve got more than three,
You’ve got what they call a family

Lost Horizon
According to the CD’s liner notes, this movie bombed.
Likewise, the soundtrack initially received harsh reviews.
Because of this, the rift between Bacharach and Hal David widened which led to their eventual breakup. Whether this is true or not, luckily, they left us with the legacy that is Lost Horizon. The soundtrack is filled with Bacharach classics (at least for me) later on covered by the Fifth Dimension and Herb Alpert.

Ok, so the movie bombed. But just to have seen Olivia Hussey is good enough for me. :wink:


Saving the best for last:

Nothing to Lose

What can we lose, we know the score
Let’s wait before we talk of forever more
One day we may
Nothing to lose but much to gain
If love decides to stay

The Party
“Birdie Num Num”. Just typing those three words starts to tickle my funny bone.
The Party is classic comedy period. Hrundi Bakshi (Peter Sellers) and that memorable toilet scene is I think the precursor to his bungling Inspector Clouseau of the Pink Panther series. But amid all the slapstick, the movie manages to insert this hypnotically beautiful song by Claudine Longet. Seems like a “fluke” considering the film’s theme. I call it a hidden gem.

Yes Virginia, we had Woodstock, Easy Rider, Mad Dogs and other drug-oriented flicks, but in between the Zeps and Sabbaths, those long-haired, jean-clad, joint-toting teens did have their moments of schmaltzy sentimentality to be part of the soundtrack of their lives.

2 Responses to “The Soundtrack of Our Lives: Flicks of the 70’s”
  1. Nonoy Bonzon says:

    I know all the songs except for Nothing to lose. Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s best years were the 1970s. Their best albums were Tumbleweed connection, Goodbye yellow brick road. (their magnum opus in my opinion), Honky chateau, and Dont shoot me, I’m only the piano player. thankfully the locally made albums carried the liners notes and lyrics. which helped me a lot to appreciate these classic albums.

    yes Mannix. I learned to play this on the piano when it was featured on Jingle keys. but wait Mannix was from the 1960s, nevermind. To hear composers like Schifrin (Mission imposible, Mannix and Enter the dragon), , Mancini (Peter gun, Moon river, Pink panther theme) Bacharach (Bond street, April fools, Casino Royale) Legrand (The summer knows, Windmills of your mind, Brian’s theme) and come out with their body of work from the 1960s and for me to discover this in the 1970’s as a teenager was a musical education without going to music school.

    hmm Olivia Hussy was stunning in Romeo and Juliet. I wasnt able to see Lost Horizon.

    “but in between the Zeps and Sabbaths, these long-haired, jean-clad, joint-toting teens did have their moments of schmaltzy sentimentality to be part of the soundtrack of their lives.” love it. guilty pleasures ba?

    • bb3 says:

      Hey lurker!
      60s ba Mannix? I remember catching it on the tube during early HS.
      Anyway, you’re probably right – your memory has always been better than mine :).

      BTW, I have all 9 ready to post on your quiz but song number 1 has really got me stumped.

      Thanks for swinging by the blog, amigo!

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