I tore myself away from "Hit List" long enough to make myself play the "Bombshell" soundtrack I checked out of the library, so now that I'm back to Marilyn music for a bit, can I just talk about all the songs that make me giddy in that one?
Specifically, the ones that are new and/or that I did not fully appreciate last year:
I don't even remember this, but apparently it's the ridiculous number where all the girls strutted around Mr. Zanuck. I just love its sultry bluesy-jazz tempo.
2. Never Give All the Heart
I always thought this was too slow, even though I love the title, but I finally got around to listening to the lyrics and latched on to the "Mr. Yeats" part of the lyrics to go quoi?? I don't know my poetry, OK! And that got me to listen to the rest, which is just really lovely stuff. Plus her voice sounds so delicate. NOW I get why Derek was so angry when it was turned into an uptempo version and destroyed the song's intent.
3. The National Pastime
I deemed this one forgettable, but it's been working its way back in, just because I love her vocal affections, especially the alternate squealing and huskiness on "peanuts! hot dogs! Cracker Jacks - I don't care, I don't care if I ever get back!"
4. I Never Met A Wolf Who Didn't Love To Howl
This has always been one of the most recognizable songs, and I was disappointed that I just didn't really like it, between its excessively big-band jazzy sound and the fakey wolf howls. But once I really start paying attention, the lyrics are really clever, and I absolutely LOVE the extra-breathy baby-voice Marilyn take that Ivy does. And -- WOW. I didn't realize Karen's original version was so different. Besides its massively different verses, her voice, while still nice and an acceptable alternative, just doesn't have nearly the warmth and depth.
5. On Lexington & 52nd Street
I didn't care about this before because GROSS, MICHAEL SWIFT. But now that he's long gone, I can actually appreciate the character of Joe in fictional context only. I love Reporter Sam standing off to the side and narrating the action, I love the choreography of Marilyn being swept around and away by the crowd, and the swell of anger and bitterness in Joe's voice, as well as the faint echoes of "Joe? Where's Joe?" Catchy dramatic music, too.
6. Cut, Print...Moving On
I dunno how I missed this the first time around - oh that's right, I was mad about the montage instead of any immediate payoff on Ivy's implied suicide attempt or in fact any follow-up at all - but upon reflection, it takes some pretty impressive lyrical magic to make a song that perfectly transposes as both a song in the musical that makes sense for Marilyn's life and an introductory song for “Hi, I'm a recently overhauled TV show named Smash and these are the opening minutes of our brand-new second season!"
7. Public Relations
I DID highlight this one the first time around, but let's do it again! As much as I have made of Ivy's take on Marilyn's voice so far in this post, I wouldn't trade Karen for anything in this one. Sometimes I like the clearer, softer version of her inflections ("well, that's not quite true, I kept the radio on!"). Also, besides the incessant yet hilariously cute double entendres, TOM'S FACE IN VARIOUS GETUPS CRACKS ME UP.
8. Dig Deep
I had absolutely no memory of this existing in season 1. It's SO TERRIBLE in comparison to Ivy, whose Marilyn voice is just spectacular - it obviously works better in its new position in the musical. Still, I love the lyrics either way. ("Now a NEW Monroe Doctrine is in effect!)
9. They Just Keep Moving The Line
It is REALLY slow, and features absolutely everything I normally don't like about big-voiced women, so it is my least favorite here. But I like it as part of the CD playlist because somehow once I let it get going, it actually does blow me away. She knows how to emphasize all the right words with just the right amount of force every single time.
I left Let Me Be Your Star and Don't Forget Me off this list, but I think it goes without saying that those are my favorites. I'm also listening to Let's Be Bad and my ultimate favorite, 20th Century Fox Mambo, as part of this list. Which I've played roughly 40 times at this point, it just so thoroughly envelopes me in the Marilyn world. [edit: and that's what I did for roughly the next month, listening to almost nothing else]
Lastly, I've been listening to "Tangled Up" and "Undiscovered," a lot lately, which is making me twitchy that the library doesn't have Life Unexpected on DVD.
The library also does not have Off the Map or either season of Smash on DVD. Why does the library hate my favorites?? I can't go around buying DVDs all retail priced and whatnot, that just won't fly. I'm also too lazy to look for streaming links because those are much more difficult than VLC player as far as skipping forward and jumping around to certain scenes. Anyway, the point is, I just really, really miss the Eric/Lux scenes past this point. Undiscovered played when they were dancing during the wedding, and Tangled Up was their big surge of a reunion kiss after Lux decided once and for all she was going to make him stay. You only hear tiny clips of either one in the show, and I've played them enough on their own that I appreciate them as individual songs - especially the second one, the better song anyway, whose lyrics get reflective by the end and make me think about this relationship more in past tense - but sometimes the nostalgia hits hard.
And the thing is, the more I watch Under the Dome, the more Lux slips away from me and is replaced by 20-something Angie, since Britt Robertson appears not to have aged a day and plays both with similar characteristics but is decidedly more hardened in UtD, and it's sad. I don't think about Eric/Lux too much, only because it was such a wonderful heart-thrilling ship and it's almost like a precious metal, I'm afraid to spoil the memory if I take it out too often. But it was really, really sweet and wonderful while it lasted. (that also appears to have been the end of my fervent student/teacher shippin' days*, so there's nostalgia for when that was my favorite trope, too - now I've gone back into the innocent-teenagers realm where you both figure out how to do everything in love for the first time together)
[*edit: give it time. it's a cyclical interest and it will always come back around, eventually.]
Julia, at least, is similar enough to Ryan that it's almost like having her back, and the differences that exist only serve to make me like Julia and her compassionate nature that much more. I haven't looked at Off the Map lately either, because that was just a dizzying hurt/comfort ship of epic proportions, but sometimes I do miss Martin Henderson's face.
[ETA/Memo from 2018 You: if you're talking about The Moment then I have news for you: it is gonna be the extreme opposite of terrible. Well, maybe not extreme opposite, but you won't notice because you'll be so busy being dazzled and enchanted by his face instead.]
This post got so far away from me I don't even know why I started writing the second part. 'Night!