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Old 01-01-2019, 01:05 AM
dstarfire dstarfire is offline
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Why did the Highlander movie use so many Queen songs?

Just finished rewatching Highlander and almost every song was by Queen. They even included the title of a Queen song as Rachael and the Highlander's touch phrase.

I know Queen was huge back then, but isn't it unusual to focus so heavily on a single band for a movie's soundtrack? Queen did some great stuff, but it gave the entire movie a very melancholy air.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2019, 02:20 AM
blue infinity blue infinity is offline
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These weren't just any random Queen songs they found. They were written specifically for the movie, and include lines from it. If they are melancholy - it's because that's the mood they were going for.

It's like asking why Inception is full of Hans Zimmer music. That's just the creative decision they took.
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Old 01-01-2019, 02:32 AM
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Might as well ask why flash Gordon only used queen songs.
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by blue infinity View Post
These weren't just any random Queen songs they found. They were written specifically for the movie, and include lines from it. If they are melancholy - it's because that's the mood they were going for.
This. A Kind of Magic is the Highlander soundtrack in all but name.
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Old 01-01-2019, 04:48 AM
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I think one of them was actually an unused song from Flash Gordon. I will check on that before I post...

Oh, I remember. "Who Wants To Live Forever" was a line of dialogue from Flash Gordon spoken by Brian Blessed.
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Old 01-01-2019, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by dstarfire View Post
Queen did some great stuff, but it gave the entire movie a very melancholy air.
If we follow the adjacent thread carefully, it may turn out that the Queen can be removed by the government.

Last edited by Riemann; 01-01-2019 at 04:56 AM.
  #7  
Old 01-01-2019, 05:08 AM
Go_Arachnid_Laser Go_Arachnid_Laser is offline
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If we follow the adjacent thread carefully, it may turn out that the Queen can be removed by the government.
If we're talking the Adam Lambert Queen, I'm all for a preemptive strike.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:55 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
This. A Kind of Magic is the Highlander soundtrack in all but name.
Which makes it the real question, "Why did Queen write a soundtrack, and give it their own title, instead of the movie title?" David Lynch's Dune has, in big bold letters, Soundtrack by Toto. Why didn't Toto put out the whole soundtrack with an offbeat name?

Last edited by Arkcon; 01-01-2019 at 12:57 PM.
  #9  
Old 01-01-2019, 01:54 PM
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Which makes it the real question, "Why did Queen write a soundtrack, and give it their own title, instead of the movie title?"
My guess is naming rights (which Queen may not have had). There *was* also a traditional orchestral score for the film (by noted soundtrack composer Michael Kamen), though it looks like the actual soundtrack was never released as an album.
  #10  
Old 01-01-2019, 06:34 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamino Neko View Post
This. A Kind of Magic is the Highlander soundtrack in all but name.
That is true. Funny to think of it because I always thought of that album as the Highlander soundtrack in name, too. I mean, it is that movie to me.


I'll ask what I thought the OP was asking.

How did it come to be that Highlander ended up with Queen songs throughout? At what point was this considered by the movie-makers and studio? How did they get them? Why them?
  #11  
Old 01-01-2019, 07:38 PM
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How did it come to be that Highlander ended up with Queen songs throughout? At what point was this considered by the movie-makers and studio? How did they get them? Why them?
Because Marillion backed out.

It's a movie about immortals decapitating each other one by one in a kind of compulsive cultural mass suicide, eliminating the only people that can ever truly relate to their lonely lives until only one remains. Sure that guy can now cast lightning bolts or what not - but to what end? Why shouldn't that downer of a premise be melancholy ?
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:16 PM
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ThereĒs probably a lot of other movies that had soundtracks done a single artist.
Cat Stevenís songs were used in Harold & Maude.
The Graduate had mainly Simon & Garfunkel songs.
Tim Burtonís Batman had an original score by Danny Elfman but also had a soundtrack done by Prince.
  #13  
Old 01-01-2019, 10:19 PM
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Because Marillion backed out.
I would have loved to have heard that.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:30 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuanoLad View Post
I think one of them was actually an unused song from Flash Gordon. I will check on that before I post...

Oh, I remember. "Who Wants To Live Forever" was a line of dialogue from Flash Gordon spoken by Brian Blessed.
Well, that last is true. Vultan did say that in Flash. But it had nothing to do with the song for Highlander. The movie needed a love song and the concept makes sense given the context of the movie.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
Because Marillion backed out.

It's a movie about immortals decapitating each other one by one in a kind of compulsive cultural mass suicide, eliminating the only people that can ever truly relate to their lonely lives until only one remains. Sure that guy can now cast lightning bolts or what not - but to what end? Why shouldn't that downer of a premise be melancholy ?
You should write a screenplay.
  #16  
Old 01-02-2019, 11:38 AM
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Freddie singing 'This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us' chokes me up every time.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
It's a movie about immortals decapitating each other one by one in a kind of compulsive cultural mass suicide, eliminating the only people that can ever truly relate to their lonely lives until only one remains. Sure that guy can now cast lightning bolts or what not - but to what end? Why shouldn't that downer of a premise be melancholy ?
Why does the sun come up?
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:08 PM
dstarfire dstarfire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
I'll ask what I thought the OP was asking.

How did it come to be that Highlander ended up with Queen songs throughout? At what point was this considered by the movie-makers and studio? How did they get them? Why them?
Thank you. Yes, that's very much what I was going for. The music and movie fit together so well, it seems like at some point the movie was adapted to fit the music.

For example the line "it's a kind of magic" when Connor and Rachael meet during WWII. And the the lyrics of 'one year of love' capture the mood of the movie perfectly.

I've not encountered any other movies where one band did most of the songs. Usually, a movie will have one, maybe two songs that end up as sort of theme songs for the movie (e.g. Titanic, The Bodyguard), but Highlander ended up with an entire album.
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Last edited by dstarfire; 01-03-2019 at 03:12 PM.
  #18  
Old 01-03-2019, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarfire View Post
I've not encountered any other movies where one band did most of the songs.
Hampshire actually listed several in post #12, though you may not have seen those films, or remember the heavy use of songs by one artist:

Harold and Maude
lists nine songs by Cat Stevens on its soundtrack.
The Graduate lists fourteen songs by Simon and Garfunkel on its soundtrack.
Batman lists six songs by Prince on its soundtrack.

And, as snfaulkner notes, Queen had already done the Flash Gordon soundtrack, too.

A few others that come to my mind:
Xanadu has five songs by Electric Light Orchestra, including a duet with Olivia Newton-John (who also performed on six songs, though she was the movie's star; ELO never actually appears in the film).
The Magic Christian has three songs by Badfinger.
Tron: Legacy's soundtrack was done by Daft Punk.

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-03-2019 at 03:30 PM.
  #19  
Old 01-03-2019, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstarfire View Post
The music and movie fit together so well, it seems like at some point the movie was adapted to fit the music.
Well, that sort of is the point of writing music for a movie - that it fits. It's possible that the movie was modified a bit if someone thought a particular song was apropos, but I'd bet that the movie was mostly written before the music was composed.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:22 PM
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At least partially filmed, too, as I understand it. Who Wants to Live Forever was apparently written after watching the scene it ended up playing behind.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:16 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Hampshire actually listed several in post #12, though you may not have seen those films, or remember the heavy use of songs by one artist:

Harold and Maude
lists nine songs by Cat Stevens on its soundtrack.
The Graduate lists fourteen songs by Simon and Garfunkel on its soundtrack.
Batman lists six songs by Prince on its soundtrack.

And, as snfaulkner notes, Queen had already done the Flash Gordon soundtrack, too.

A few others that come to my mind:
Xanadu has five songs by Electric Light Orchestra, including a duet with Olivia Newton-John (who also performed on six songs, though she was the movie's star; ELO never actually appears in the film).
The Magic Christian has three songs by Badfinger.
Tron: Legacy's soundtrack was done by Daft Punk.

Away We Go featured a lot of songs by singer songwriter Alexi Murdoch.
Maximum Overdrive's redeeming quality is it's AC/DC soundtrack.
  #22  
Old 01-03-2019, 09:38 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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At least partially filmed, too, as I understand it. Who Wants to Live Forever was apparently written after watching the scene it ended up playing behind.
Yes, indeed. The band got to see rough cuts of scenes to write songs to. They were able to take cues from the movie in writing the songs.
  #23  
Old 01-09-2019, 08:51 PM
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Which makes it the real question, "Why did Queen write a soundtrack, and give it their own title, instead of the movie title?"
Because, strictly speaking, it wasn't exclusively or entirely the Highlander soundtrack.

One Vision was originally used in Iron Eagles* On the bootleg copy of Highlander that I used to have, it's playing behind the closing credits.

Hammer to Fall was an original off Queen II and is playing on the Merc's cassette stereo when he goes out looking for trouble.

Pain is so Close to Pleasure was referenced in One Year of Love as sort-of a sideways joke, but was never used in a scene in Highlander (not even the Directors Cuts). One Year of Love is playing on the jukebox in the bar scene.

and, conversely,

New York New York was used in the movie but never included on any published recordings. In fact, the official word (as of January 2019) is that the recording was lost. It's the closing music to the scene where The Kurgan is driving like a maniac.

And then there's Forever, which is a beautiful instrumental piece that is clearly inspired by Who Wants To Live Forever but just seems to be a lovely filler on the album. I'm glad it was included; it gives me chills more than its inspirational piece.


---G!
* A young pilot-as-hero movie that played at the theater where I worked. I always thought looked like it was cobbled together from remnants of the Top Gun blockbuster.
  #24  
Old 01-09-2019, 09:57 PM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grestarian View Post
Because, strictly speaking, it wasn't exclusively or entirely the Highlander soundtrack.

One Vision was originally used in Iron Eagles* On the bootleg copy of Highlander that I used to have, it's playing behind the closing credits.

Hammer to Fall was an original off Queen II and is playing on the Merc's cassette stereo when he goes out looking for trouble.

Pain is so Close to Pleasure was referenced in One Year of Love as sort-of a sideways joke, but was never used in a scene in Highlander (not even the Directors Cuts). One Year of Love is playing on the jukebox in the bar scene.

and, conversely,

New York New York was used in the movie but never included on any published recordings. In fact, the official word (as of January 2019) is that the recording was lost. It's the closing music to the scene where The Kurgan is driving like a maniac.

And then there's Forever, which is a beautiful instrumental piece that is clearly inspired by Who Wants To Live Forever but just seems to be a lovely filler on the album. I'm glad it was included; it gives me chills more than its inspirational piece.


---G!
* A young pilot-as-hero movie that played at the theater where I worked. I always thought looked like it was cobbled together from remnants of the Top Gun blockbuster.
Well, Hammer to Fall was on The Works from 1984. Queen II was ten years before that. And One Vision was written post-Live Aid and included in the Iron Eagle soundtrack opportunistically rather than commissioned for the movie.
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