Various Artists – Now That’s What I Call Movies (review)

Various Artists – Now That’s What I Call Movies (Sony Legacy) review

An Ipod Shuffle through Tinsel Town’s biggest tunes

Bruno Mars sharing the same disc with Van Morrison?  How about Pharrell Williams and the Beach Boys?  Anna Kendrick and Queen?  The hugely successful Now series, known for compiling the latest hits, turns its attention to film soundtracks for Now That’s What I Call Movies, and the result is a collection that just about anyone will enjoy.

The only commonality here is that all of these songs helped define the movies that they were featured in.  Almost 50 years of music is covered, from the Morrison 1967 pop classic, “Brown Eyed Girl” (from Born on the Fourth of July), to Williams’ effervescent “Happy,” which came out last year (and was included on Despicable Me 2).

Many of these songs became as big as the movies they accompanied – like the Bee Gees’ slow disco “How Deep is Your Love,” from Saturday Night Fever; Whitney Houston’s bombastic “I Will Always Love You,” featured in the Bodyguard; and Celine Dion’s sweeping “My Heart Will Go On,” from Titanic.  The Eighties are well-represented with Kenny Loggins’ robotic “Danger Zone” (from Top Gun), the fist-pumping “Eye of the Tiger” from Survivor (from Rocky III), and the power ballad “Almost Paradise” from Mike Reno & Ann Wilson (from Footloose).

There are also older songs that were given new life by being featured in more recent movies – Blue Swede’s goofy “Hooked on a Feeling” played a major role in the recent Guardians of the Galaxy, while who could forget the head banging scene in Wayne’s World which included Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”?

Now Movies also features some surprises – the majestic “God Only Knows” from the Beach Boys is taken from the British film Love Actually, while “Tiny Dancer” from Elton John was a part of the Almost Famous soundtrack.

There’s still enough recent music for the kiddos to enjoy – from Anna Kendrick’s “Cups” (from Pitch Perfect) to Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain” (from the Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn part one).  Seal’s “Kiss From a Rose” (off of Batman Forever) really stands out in this setting, while “A Man of Constant Sorrow” from the Soggy Bottom Boys (featured in O Brother Where Are Thou) may be the strangest choice.

Of course, they’ve barely scratched the surface here, so this is begging for a sequel (there’s an import version of Now Movies which has three discs).  18 tracks that span almost 50 years – this would make an excellent road trip CD – there is literally something here for everyone.  —Tony Peters