We all know how integral music was to the whole ML phenomena. It has taken so long for the show to be out on DVD because of all the copyright issues over songs. I have read elsewhere that people were adamant that they didn't want ML sans songs. I believe they underscore the emotion of many a scene and enhance our understanding of how characters are thinking/feeling. I thought it might be interesting to look at the songs used and consider why they were so appropriate to the scene.
This is a great idea! The music kind of says what they are afraid of saying to eachother in actual words. The first that comes to my mind is "I´ve been waiting" from The Man Who Cried Wife.. aaah. Maddie seems to really miss David but would never ever admit it. And when he comes in, he didn´t seem to have missed her or even thought about her, and there she goes, all upset again. Another could-have-been-a-wonderful moment is ruined.
I think I thought of this music/scene first because it was unexpected. The expected would have been if she had just gone home angry and come back the next day acting like it never happened.
Good points, Cindy. I love the use of Patti Labelle in 'Brother' too.
My favourite song of all time was used in the ML episode 'Knowing Her'. I am of course referring to This Old Heart of Mine. This was such a great use of a song to underscore David's thoughts. It has that great use of strings so prevalent in Motown songs which give the song a wistful quality reflecting David's longing to rekindle what he had with Gillian.
Then there's the lines:
'Always with half a kiss you remind me of what I miss. Though I try to control myself, like a fool I start grinning 'cos my head starts spinning'.
Remember this song is used when David and Gillian meet up in the park. She has just killed her husband in cold blood and is about to use David as her alibi when she 'kills' him for the second time. She is in total control of the situation. David gently pulls her to him but half a kiss is all he gets before she breaks away and then pretends that she is seeing her husband across the park for the first time. David is in his own words "too love-sick to see anything straight".
There's another line that says "The way your're treating me leaves me incomplete You're here for a day and gone for a week". This reflects Gillian's tendency to run hot and cold with her affections.
We all know that David Addison is a huge Motown fan so it makes sense that he would be sentimental enough to play this song to say in music what he won't say in words. "Still allergic to a straight answer." Of course the song is really about a woman who is fundamentally not to be trusted so it is very appropriate on another level too!
Post by haddie mayes on May 11, 2006 17:00:10 GMT -5
I think all the songs chosen were perfect for each scene , but if i had to choose one it would be `Someone To Watch Over Me` i have been playing this one quite a bit lately ( i tend to go through phases of playing certain moonlighting songs alot and then going onto the next one - because i`ve managed to download them all , even Psychadelic Shack) anyway back to why i have chosen SOTWOM. Even the title says alot about Maddies feelings , it`s like she wants someone to quite literally watch over her! She is confused over her feelings for both Sam and David and is sorta `lost`because of this . Does she go for Mr Dependable and handsome but maybe a bit dull or Mr Excitement and drop dead sexy! but somewhat undependable.For example take this particular verse in the song-
"Although he may not be the man some girls think of as handsome , to my heart he carries the key"
-This to me symbolises the fact that even though David may not be the ideal mate , he has still managed to get under Maddies skin and break through to her heart .Then if you continue with that verse , it goes on to say
"Won`t you tell him please to put on some speed , oh how i need someone to watch over me "
This also has an underlining meaning , it`s like Maddie wants David to hurry up and tell her how he feels about her before it`s too late. Maddie wants David to embrace her and make all the confusion go away and tell her everything is going to be ok. This is such a beautiful song too and i never tire of listening to it. This song has so much depth and hidden meanings to tie in with David and Maddie situation. Well anyway there you have ,thats me all talked out for now. Catch you later.
Ooh! Good points Lauraa. I suppose up until now I had never considered the points you made. I always associate this song with Sam - isn't it playing when Maddie comes home late from the McLafferty case? I like the song (I'm a Linda Ronstadt fan) but always felt that it was a subtle way of Sam suggesting to Maddie that she really needed someone to 'take care' of her. This puts him in the more dominant role in the relationship as opposed to David and Maddie where it is more equal.
I like your analysis of the lyrics and it has given me something to think about. You're right. The subtext of the song is about Maddie's unspoken thoughts. I'll have to go and watch the episode now - oh well it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it!
Post by bluemooner on May 11, 2006 20:47:19 GMT -5
Ooh! I'll have to go and watch the episode now - oh well it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it!
this is a great thread!
I love "If Only You Knew too." The way music was used in ML always gets to me. I love it. It was always so perfect. I even like the way For the Love of Money is used in Brother. I love when Richie opens the brief case and it starts. And in Those Lips, when Take Time to Know Her is playing. Ooh, how about in "Yuk," when You Must have Been a Beautiful Baby is playing, and David busts the speaker. I thought that was great too. You really felt David's pain.
Post by queensgirl on May 16, 2006 10:40:13 GMT -5
It's interesting to see how playing with the amount of the song used, even in the case of incidental music, can have great effect. Witness the legendary closing scene of Blonde on Blonde, where the piano loop begins as soon as David gets out of the cop car and repeats at a fairly high volume--simultaneously numbing and disturbing--until the very end when the door is shut and he turns to walk down the pathway in defeat. The full song doesn't actually kick in 'til then; we realize what we've been hearing up to now is part of its initial line. The loop as played signals to the viewer, Uh-oh, something's coming up here; yet as the rest of the record starts to play, we understand it was supposed to show a unity of that disastrous feeling--to let us know David was doomed from the moment he got out of the cruiser.
Even though not everyone's into this episode, I thought the use of the snippet of the exact same five seconds of 'Devil With a Blue Dress' in Camille was pretty funny. Every time she appears at the beginning of a scene, that's what they go to.
I've said this before, but the show's repeating sample of sad piano music that plays whenever somebody walks into a room and something really awful's about to happen was one of my favorites. I don't care that it takes only a few seconds, it works. I believe it's a bar or two out of the theme music, but slowed to a crawl, so that you can't help tearing up. If memory serves me right, they play it at times like when Maddie picks up the hockey stick in I Am Curious, as well as in other similar low moments. It's much too short to fit as its own song on any soundtrack, but I always liked it, and I'd love to have it on a track today.
I like your thoughts Queensgirl. I also like the use of 'incidental' music throughout the show. I think Alf Clausen deserves a great deal of credit. At the end of "Blonde on Blonde" I always feel as though the music is 'marking time' - pretty much reflecting David's inaction, up to this point, over his feelings for Maddie. Then the music bursts forth with the lyrics showing such deep emotion.
On your other point, when "Camille" aired I really liked the use of 'Devil in a Blue Dress' the same refrain each time there was a new scene. It made me laugh back then and it still does today.
By the way - when does Maddie pick up the hockey stick in IACM? I can't place that scene.
Last Edit: May 16, 2006 20:11:04 GMT -5 by funkycat
I think it is when she is looking around David's office that he has trashed. He has smashed his ice hockey stick into about 3 pieces....guess that's how he felt too. Poor old dave Hope that's the bit you meant Queensgirl!
Post by queensgirl on May 17, 2006 12:09:51 GMT -5
The songs chosen for key scenes nearly always had a meaning that spoke directly to the characters. Witness this snippet from 'Watch Out' by Patrice Rushen, which plays while Maddie is in the bar in I Am Curious:
'All you really have to do is…
Give in to this thing you say you don’t want
Take my advice I’m sure you won’t regret
You’ll find your love is always strong
Just a warning, love is gonna get you
When it does, you better watch out!'
(I don't have a copy of the lyric sheet; I played a sample off a music store website. Still, I'm pretty sure it's accurate.)
It sounds like a come-on from a woman to her lover, which is probably the way it was written, but in this context it takes on an all-new meaning...doesn't it!
'All you really have to do is/ Give in to this thing you say you don’t want.../ Just a warning, love is gonna get you / When it does, you better watch out!'
If that isn't prescient about Maddie, I don't know what is. ;D
Yes I was just going to say that it's not only the emotions that the music evokes and complements so well, but also the lyrics of the songs are so appropriate to the context. I'm thinking of songs like: Be My Baby (Oh, since the day I saw you/I have been waiting for you/You know I will adore you/Till eternity so won't you please....) All the lyrics of Big Man, so appropriate to David! Since I Fell For You (Well, it's too bad and it's too sad/That I'm in love with you/Well, you love me and then you snub me/But what can I do ..... I'm still in love with you/I guess I'll never see the light/I get these blues most every night/Since I fell for you).
And tons of others but I need to go to work now.... (or more like )
One other episode where I love the use of opposing pieces of music is Every Daughter's Father is a Virgin. When David is following Mr Hayes he is (predictably) playing a Motown track while Mr Hayes is playing a classical piece.
We have this great juxtaposition between 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone' and 'Love is a Many Splendored Thing'. David's music implies that Mr Hayes is indeed cheating on his wife. The song lyrics suggest a serial adulterer (which we learn is not the case) who has let down his family (which from Maddie's point of view is the case).
Mr Hayes choice of music on the other hand suggests that this a grand passion which transcends his vow of fidelity to his wife. Of course it is nothing of the sort. It is just a sordid affair but maybe it makes Maddie's Dad feel better about his cheating if he can kid himself that this is something out of the ordinary.
Yet another great choice of music which enhances the scene where it is used.