Movie Review: Easy Rider (1969)

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If you have a motorcycle you’d most likely want to get your motor runnin’ and head out on the highway. You will be lookin’ for adventure in whatever comes your way. Yeah darlin’, you’re gonna make it happen if you take the world in a love embrace.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Easy Rider”.

So in this movie we follow drug dealers/bikers Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper, R.I.P). After having scored some money after re-selling some cocaine they set out on a road trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras. And despite the premise being as simple as it can get, thanks to the excellent writing the story really fired all of it’s guns and exploded into space. The presentation of this road trip is excellent, having our “heroes” running into some interesting characters along the way, including the lawyer named George (Jack Nicholson). The story was great.

The characters in this movie are all very colorful and entertaining. None of them feel dull or out of place in the slightest. Peter Fonda is excellent as the more rational of the two main guys. Dennis Hopper is also very good as the more fun and care-free of the two. And then we have the supporting character George played by Jack Nicholson. Was there ever any doubt? He’s Jack Fuckin’ Nicholson, he was terrific in this movie as the alcoholic lawyer our “heroes” pick up along the way. Every actor in this movie was in fact great despite very few of them actually getting any real screen time.

This is an early example of a movie using only licensed tracks instead of an original score. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the mix of tracks they used for this movie fit perfectly into every part they were used in. And like a true nature’s child I enjoyed listening to the music in general.

This movie was directed by Dennis Hopper, who also stars in the movie. And he did an excellent job directing it with a lot of energy and with a very fun style that perfectly fit the movie. There is one scene in the movie in particular that was especially great, I’m not gonna say more about than that it appears near the end. In this scene the direction in combination with the editing makes the scene terrific and makes it feel like we were born, born to be wild. Also, in the scenes when the characters smoke marijuana, the actors actually smoked mairjuana. While science and research has proven that it hasn’t caused any deaths, it still makes me climb so high because I never wanna die.

This movie has bee nvery well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and has it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting Actors (Nicholson) and Best Original Screenplay. 

“Easy Rider” is a simple movie with a lot of good storytelling going on in combination with excellent performances, great music and great direction/editing. Time for my final score. *Vroom Vroom*. My final score for “Easy Rider” is a 9,88/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.Seal of Approval

“Easy Rider” is now reviewed.

BORN TO BE WIIIIIILD!

 

My Top 20 Favorite Songs

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How’s it going, guys? I hope you are having a good time doing whatever you are currently doing. I am here to give you another list/countdown/opinion-pile. And this time it is for my personal Top 20 Favorite Songs. You’re probably thinking “Wow, “Top 20 Favorite Songs”, something special must’ve happened!”. And the nswer to that is “No”, nothing special has happened, I just couldn’t figure out anything else to use for today’s list… yeah. So, let’s stop standing here and let’s get the rules.

Rule #1: As I always put as rule number 1 on my lists… this is my list therefore you can’t bitch about anything if you don’t agree with it. Every spot on this list is purely based on my opinion and I don’t mean to say that I give you an objective truth. So no bitching!

Rule #2: This list will probably alter a fair amount over the coming weeks/months, so this is just how I feel at this time. Also, every spot on this list (except for the Top 2) are put kind of willy-nilly.

Rule #3: I’m gonna put some emphasis on the fact that the picks for this list aren’t the objectively best songs in the world, these are just the songs I love listening to the most…ish.

Rule #4: I have kept it to one song per artist/band, because otherwise this list would be about 95% AC/DC songs.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… My Top 20 Favorite Songs!

Number 20: I am Kloot – Avenue of Hope.

A calm and relaxing song that I actually discovered fairly recently. I head it for the first time when I watched the 2007 sci-fi movie “Sunshine” (Sidenote: Go watch “Sunshine” is you haven’t, it’s fucking great). The lyrics are mysterious yet soothing, the guitar is slow and methodical and that freaking saxophone is just magical. It all culminates into a great song.

Number 19: Andy Williams – Speak Softly, Love.

Next up we have a beautiful love song from a fantastic movie. It is what is usually considered the main theme of Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia masterpiece “The Godfather”. I know, there is a bit of a running theme here with songs first being heard in movies, but that’s just purely coincidental. Anyway, this is a beautiful song with powerful instrumentals and terrific singing from the magic voice of Andy Williams. It is overall fantastic and I think you should listen to it.

Number 18: The Jeff Healey Band – Confidence Man.

Next up on the list is a cool song from the blind blues-rocker Jeff Healey (R.I.P). From Healey’s blues voice to the terrific guitar to the overall cool vibe, this is a pretty great song. Listen to it. Also, when making this list and putting this song in it I remembered that Healey was in “Road House”… strange how life works.

Number 17: Johnny Cash – Hurt.

Of course you need a song by “The Man in Black” in your list, question is though which one you will use. Should you go with the ever so popular “Ring of Fire” or maybe go to jil with the “Folsom Prison Blues”? Well in my case we go with his incredibly powerful cover of Nine Inch Nails’ 1994 song. Fun fact: When Reznor saw the music video for this song, it made him cry, and I don’t blame him… it made me tear up a little bit. Every time I watch it I feel like I just lost a friend. That is how powerful this song (and video) is.

Number 16: Beastie Boys – No Sleep Till Brooklyn.

Going from extremely depressing to extremely fun we have the mid-80’s hit by the white hip-hop trio that actually succeeded at being a white hip-hop trio. Also, I think I know why they have such a guitar/rock-based soung despite the lyrical parts being hip-hop; It turns out they started out as punk band but that didn’t really work so they changed to hip-hop and that worked for them. Anyway, one thing’s for sure: It all worked out for them and they have a unique sound that I fucking love. Also, R.I.P. Adam Yauch (In other words MCA), you are missed.

Number 15: Frank Turner – Peggy Sang the Blues.

Here we have a song from musician Frank Turner who has gotten a little bit of recognition these past few years, especially for his song “I Still Believe” which I also love. But for this list I using his song “Peggy Sang the Blues” which jsut like “I Still Believe” is featured on Turner’s album “England Keep My Bones”. I think this song really says what most people want to believe in through the phrase “It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you go“. I intrepret it as that you background doesn’t matter, but please do something about your life, don’t all mundane, do something with your life! I don’t know, I might be really wrong on that, but until someone comes with a better argument I am keeping by it! But this song hold up thanks to excellent lyrics, great instruments (particularly the guitar) and Frank Turner’s fantastic voice.

Number 14: Toto – Africa.

Here we have the classic synth-rock song “Africa” from synth-rock band Toto. Fun fact: keyboardist Steve Porcaro has been keeping busy these past few years, providing the soundtrack for the TV-show “Justified” (Sidenote: Go watch it). But this spot isn’t really about “Justified”, but much rather about this amazing song from Toto. It just has a classic and overall great feel that I just love. The lyrics are pretty great too, being kind of powerful in the chorus. Go listen to it, it’s great.

Number 13: Green Day – Good Riddance (Time of your Life).

Next up is a great song by punk/pop/rock band Green Day. I was originally gonna go with “Warning” for this spot, but then I thought “Nope, Good Riddance is a much better song, let’s use that!”. And I used it. It may be short, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t leave an impact… because to me this song had a huge impact. A song that can interpreted as “Life can and will suck at times, so have as much fun as possible when you can”. Not in a “fuck the police” kind of way, but rather in a “Go out right now and have fun because you might not get a second chance!”. And that is one of the many reasons that it works.

Number 12: Muse – Knights of Cydonia.

As you probably know by now after I have talked about it about 659,4 times, I am a huge fan of westerns. And this song kind of reminds me of westerns, or at least cowboys. In the style of it and also because there are some horses neighing in the beginning of the song. But this song boasts a feel and a surprisingly badass style that I fucking love. I first discovered it when playing “Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock”. And to this day I still can’t beat it on hard difficulty… *sigh*. Song’s great though.

Number 11: Metallica – One.

This might have been one of the more difficult choices for this list seeing as I love Metallica as much as I do. I love most of their songs, not that many on the album “Death Magnetic”, but that’s an entirely different story. But choosing which Metallica song to use was a big challenge, but finally I settled on “One” the song about a soldier… I think. If you look at parts of the lyrics it suggests that and if you look at the video it used clips from the movie “Johnny Got His Gun” which I haven’t seen but want to. Anyway, this is a great song with some excellent guitar, fantastic drumming and the always awesome voice of James Hetfield.

Number 10: The Green Car Motel – Asi Sera.

Time to bring out the motherfucking hipster music. And by that I mean, I don’t think the majority of the world has even heard of this song or even of this band. Which is a sad fact because not only is this song itself great, but the band has made some overall really good tracks that you should listen to some day. A beautiful ballad in spanish filled with excellent/beautiful guitar playing, a great rhythm and by god, that freaking trumpet is fantastic. Oh yeah, the singer’s great too. The entire song is great, listen to it.

Number 9: Steppenwolf – Born to Be Wild.

Get your motor running, head out on the highway! Lookin’ for adventure, in whatever comes our way! Those first few words really what describe what “Born to Be Wild” is all about… freedom. Freedom on the highway. BORN TO BE WIIIIIILD!!!

Number 8: Clint Mansell – Memories (Someone We’ll Never Know).

I never said songs from a movie’s original score was banned from this list! Any song is eligible for this list as long as I write which version of the song I’ve chosen for the list and also that I never use the same artist/band twice. With that said, this is to me (and anyone else who loves this amazing movies) a very emotional song. Hell, I think it might be emotional for anyone who hears it since it is in general a beautiful piece of music. The slow and beautiful piano, the magnificent strings (especially the cello, that shit’s pure magic) and the overall feeling of loneliness and abandonment makes this one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard.

Number 7: Ted Gärdestad – Himlen Är Oskyldigt Blå.

Hey look, a song from my home country! On a quick sidenote: For those of you who don’t know, I am from Sweden. Now that I got the sidenote out of the way, I love this song so much! Not only is this one of my favorite songs of all time, Ted Gärdestad(R.I.P) is also one of my favorite musicians of all time. This song got everything; Beautiful piano, great intrumental play in general, a great feel and also a fantastic voice to hold it up. There is nothing I dislike about this movie, I love absolutely everything about it!

Number 6: Deep Purple – Smoke on the Water.

Despite this song only being at number 6, it has still had a larger impact on me than any other song on this list. It was the first song I ever played and beat on “Guitar Hero”, it is a song that stuck easily in my mind and it is one of the few songs I actually know the full lyrics to (I recite the lyrics in my spare time a lot). Anyway, I think the main reason everybody knows this song and can recognize it easily is because of that classic guitar riff. A simple layout with a simple execution turned into a worldwide phenomenon. My love of this song go beyond the riff however, I personally love everything about the song. Like I said, the impact it had on me me is massive. I know the lyrics, I know the backstory behind it, I have listened to this song probably more than 500 times throughout my life (which might sound like a little to some, but is actually a huge amount) and I just overall love exactly everything about it.

Number 5: Brad Paisley – You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.

Hey look, a country song! And a pretty amazing one at that. It is a song with excellent guitar playing, excellent use of all intruments and it also has Brad Paisley’s smooth voice. It also tells a story of Harlan County’s coal industry and how it began. Those are things that make the song as great as it is (to me). Here is how I discovered the song: I was watching “Justified” (Sidenote: Again, go watch it!) and when I got to the season 1 finale this song started playing and I went “Wow, this song’s great, I have to look it up!”. So I looked it up, found out which song it was and I have listened to it and loved it ever since. It is a great song that deserves all the love it gets!

Number 4: Bruce Springsteen – Streets of Philadelphia.

Once again, a song that I got introduced to through a movie (Sidenote: The movie for those of you who don’t know is “Philadelphia”). And boy, am I glad the movie introduced me to this song because it is just beautiful! The drumming is soothing, Springsteen’s voice is soothing and the lyrics some of the most poetic and beautiful I have ever heard. This is one of the few songs that can make me close to tearing up because of beautiful it is. This is a song that I hope will touch so many more people. Even though it is pretty much about gay people who get aids and start dying (go to songmeanings.com and you will understand).

Number 3: Skillet – American Noise.

This is a song that just hit me as soon as I heard it. It comments on society, it has powerful lyrics that resonated with me it is jsut straight up beautiful. Whenever I hear this magnificent song I just want to yell out “I GOT A VOICE!” and then jsut burst into song to make the world a happier place. I remember chatting with my best friend on facebook one day, sending a link to this song to him and he just fell in love with it. I guess that is exactly what this song is… Love. Anyway, even if it for some reason turned out to not actually be love but instead be something else I can for sure say that it is an amazing song.

Number 2: AC/DC – Hells Bells.

This spot might come as a shock for some people since I have stated many times, both here on wordpress and in real life that AC/DC is my favorite band. And holy shit, it was so shocking I gave Jeff a heart attack. Someone call 911. Anyway, uhm… yeah. You’d think that if AC/DC is my favorite band then I’d put one of their songs at number 1, but I am kind of ironic in that sense because I put them at number 2. But despite it not being on number 1, I still fucking love this song (and AC/DC). This is honestly my favorite AC/DC song, I don’t know why it is my favorite by them, it just is. It is pretty amazing in my opinion.

Before we reach number 1, let’s just throw out one honorable mention because I am a dick like that! And that honorable mention will go to “Paradise City” by Guns ‘n’ Roses. Great rock song, fun to listen to, honorable mention over.

NUMBER 1: Ennio Morricone – The Ecstasy of Gold!

THIS. SONG. IS. FUCKING. AMAZING. CAN’T. SPEAK. PROPERLY. But in all seriousness, this song really is a masterpiece. Written and conducted by Ennio Morricone for “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” (Sidenote: MY third favorite movie of all time), it is an epic song that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. The intro piano/oboe, the gradually increasing sounds, the woman who sings in it, the brass the… EVERYTHING! This is a song I can just put on repeat at any time and just have a great time with because it is big, epic and brings me so many memories of big and epic westerns. And that is why this is my all time favorite song.

Now that has been my Top 20 Favorite Songs. Let me know in the comments what your favorite song is. I hope you an enjoyable time reading this and listening to the great music.

Have a good one!