Both of the songs for today’s chapter of my 1000 Minutes project were featured on soundtracks in the late nineties, and are the only exposure I’ve had to the artists. While that may be a poor reflection on me as a music lover, it’s really more of a reflection on the amount of money I had in 1996 and 1998, when I was 17/19 – which is to say, not much at all.
When it came out, Great Expectations (the Ethan Hawke/Gwyneth Paltrow one) wasn’t particularly well received, but I was fascinated by it. The trappings of social mobility, the intense, unrequited love between Finn and Estella, and the bond of family (even when it’s not by blood) all combined to captivate me.
The soundtrack, like the movie, was just as engrossing. From Tori Amos to Duncan Sheik, it’s filled with excellent music. The song that I’m still drawn to most, even after more than a decade – David Garza’s “Slave” – reads like a letter from the songwriter to the person he loves more than even his own life. And while it’s a bit campy and over-the-top lyrically, it’s that unbridled passion that makes it all the more endearing in the end.
I remember specifically seeing Romeo + Juliet in the theatre not because I particularly enjoyed the movie – although I do own it and watch it annually – but because my friend went to the emergency room to get his appendix removed that night. And I own the soundtrack because everyone did.
In an earlier post for this project, I talked about the Radiohead song “Talk Show Host” that was used in the film as well, but today’s song has a decidedly lighter mood to it. At 17, every relationship is much more concentrated while everyone figures out that life doesn’t end at 25 – and The Wannadies’ “You and Me Song” played a substantial role in my relationship at that time. Despite our complete inability to process things in an adult manner, we thought we were much more serious than we actually were. Maybe that’s why we all spoke to each other in mix tapes – because we couldn’t think for ourselves. Why, really, did we need to when other people’s thoughts were catchy as hell?