Category Archives: Music History

Cultural Osmosis: Movie Melodies

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Well, here we are again with my second look at the tunes that have permeated our modern society; sticking in our ears like so much wax.  But unlike video games, where the industry has only just matured within the past decade to the point of a truly mainstream activity, films have had about a century to wow us, albeit we didn’t have “talkies” until Al Jolson’s 1927 film The Jazz Singer.  (That, incidentally, is a film you’re probably better off only watching in a film studies context, much like Birth of a Nation.)  Well… as I backpedal away from the lingering edge of controversy allow me to bring up my main premise.  Films are diverse and a relatively mature medium.  And as films in general are far more “mainstream” than games, it can be a little tricky to pick out what themes are truly part of the culture and which only exist in your own bubble.   I find that the ones that I can immediately pick out have some key characteristics:  the themes are catchy, the source material is beloved – and often parodied, and the films are meant for general audiences.  All of these are fairly obvious reasons why something might become a part of our worlds individually, but combined create a wonderful triple threat.

So let’s take a look at some classic movie themes that have stuck with us – yes this is not as good a hook as I usually write.  

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The Last Temptation of Cooper – An Analysis of the Album and Comic

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Another week, another story from my high school day.  Sure we ran out of comic books with the collapse of CrossGen Comics (for more on that see my previous article) but we still had plenty of graphic novels and manga.  I’ll never understand why my school library carried so many of these, including the first two Akira volumes, but I am glad they did.  One particular graphic novel that caught my interest was a story called The Last Temptation, another recommendation by Mr. Walton.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it wasn’t until several years later that I realized this was based upon an album of the same name.  Now, when you write for a website called Music and Comics, there can be no bigger boon than an album that inspired a graphic novel.

Especially when the album is by the legendary Alice Cooper and the novel is penned by the counterculture icon Neil Gaiman.

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