The movie Twister is 21 years old. Old enough to drink. I have to admit that it is one of my all-time favorite popcorn movies and is still in heavy rotation on channels such as TNT. The reason is simple. The acting is good enough and offers up an ensemble cast of characters who were both established, up and coming, that guy, and comeback? Actors like Helen Hunt in her first big role outside of Mad About You, Bill Paxton in his maybe fourth best role after Aliens, Titanic, and Weird Science. There was Phillip Seymour Hoffman in an early role, Cary Elwes (Wait? What?), Cameron from Ferris and that guy from The Single Guy. And who could forget Jami Gertz, brat packer and deliverer of the iconic line; “I can’t talk now, we got cows!” The movie had action, it had romance, it had Dorothy the tornado seeking robot. I love it!
I have to admit, what I love more than the movie is its near perfect soundtrack. If there ever was a 90s soundtrack this was it. Chock-full of original music from both up and coming and established artists it mirrored the movie in every way. The songs, as one would do in the 90s were featured throughout the movie but really this soundtrack can stand on its own. Here is a link to it on Spotify:
The soundtrack opens with a late Van Hagar track Human Beings and it is solid late 80s OU812 VH. Sammy Hagar is yelling, Eddie Van Halen is guitaring like he always does and it just sets the album on fire.
The second song is Virtual Reality by Rusted Root. This song not only featured the it hippie act of the day, Rusted Root of Send Me On My Way fame but also was a song about a thing we thought was going to take over the world at the time (it didn’t) certainly after Demi Moore just killed the idea in the trash movie Disclosure. While that movie was 1994, we still had some sense that was still a think in 1996.
Tori Amos gave the album maturity and 90s ballad sensibility with her song Talula. She was the soundtrack “it” girl of the 90s.
Perhaps my favorite song on the album was Moments Like This by Allison Krauss. It is a beautiful song about living in the moment and not letting go that introduced me to this amazing talent. It is the one song I cherish most that likely does not belong on this soundtrack because it is too good.
Darling Pretty by Mark Knopfler was great and a huge break from his Dire Straits music. He was coming into his solo own at the time and this was a great artifact of that. It sounded like Irish Dance music.
Not sure many of us remember how big Soul Asylum was for like a year but in 1996 they had a string of hits and their song, Miss This was vintage Soul Asylum. It was all parts Runaway Train and if oft forgotten and it shouldn’t be.
The other really “it” band of the time was the group Belly. Their hit Feed The Tree had gone to the top of the alternative charts and their song on the soundtrack Broken was slower but had the same bones.
The other song that did not belong on this Soundtrack was K.D. Lang’s Love Affair. Bottomline, this girl can sing! She has this vocal range and softness that you rarely find and the song is just beautiful sadness. I love this song so much.
The soundtrack just keeps going and going. There is new stuff that sounds like the old stuff by the Goo Goo Dolls (who, by the way, I went to see in Carbondale, Illinois in 1996. Bush and No Doubt were also on the bill.) The Red Hot Chili Peppers made a sold addition, Shania Twain did her thing, and even Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham added a song.
I will close this post by giving a shout out to Lisa Loeb. I truly think she is vastly underrated and this song is proof. How is beautiful and sweet and makes me smile. I just love this album. Take a listen, watch the movie, pop some popcorn and enjoy. It is so 90s you will freak out.