This Friday marks the release of Aloha, the highly-anticipated new movie from Cameron Crowe, with the world wondering if he got his mojo back. The movie has maybe his best cast ever, a murderer’s row of A-list actors: Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, the list goes on. My guess based on the trailers alone, is it’s probably going to be a heap of garbage, but I’m certainly hoping we get another great Cameron Crowe movie. For those unfamiliar, Cameron Crowe is a Rolling Stone music critic turned acclaimed director, mostly known for his 90’s and early 00’s movies (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Say Anything). As would be expected from a former music writer, his movies are full of iconic music moments, and for that, we salute him with our ten favorite Cameron Crowe music moments. (Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the clips for all of these, but I tried my best. Enjoy!)
10. Pearl Jam – “State of Love and Trust” – Singles
Singles defined the grunge era in cinema, and also cemented Crowe’s love of Pearl Jam. In fact, he loved them so much he directed Pearl Jam Twenty, the 2011 documentary on the band’s 20 years.
9. My Morning Jacket – “Freebird” – Elizabethtown
Elizabethtown is far from a perfect movie (even if it’s Todd’s favorite), but it does have a wedding reception falling apart while My Morning Jacket shreds “Freebird”. Hard to say it’s a total loss when that happens.
8. Cat Stevens – “The Wind” – Almost Famous
Almost Famous is Cameron Crowe’s masterpiece, a semi-autobiographical film about his years as a young budding music critic. In fact, most of the moments in the movie are taken directly from his personal experience. This graceful scene of Kate Hudson’s Penny Lane dancing to “The Wind” is one of its most memorable.
7. “Here Comes the Sun” “English Girls Approximately” – Elizabethtown
The ending road trip for Elizabethtown almost makes up for having to watch Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom for two hours, with a dose of the Beatles and Ryan Adams.
6. Tom Petty – “Free Falling” – Jerry Maguire
A Cameron Crow movie wouldn’t be a Cameron Crowe movie without a Tom Petty song, clearly one of his favorite artists. Gotta love the ridiculousness of Tom singing Tom.
5. Sigur Ros “The Nothing Song” – Vanilla Sky
While Vanilla Sky is another far from perfect movie, Tom Cruise’s climb up the elevator in the sky to Sigur Ros is perfect scored movie moment.
4. Stevie Wonder – “My Cherie Amour” – Almost Famous
This is certainly one of the most humorous music moments, and actually feels more like a Tarantino move than a Crowe move. But the ironic use of “My Cherie Amour” while Penny Lane gets her stomach pumped of drugs is just an amazing use of audio.
3. Todd Rundgren – “Can We Still Be Friends” – Vanilla Sky
Similar to his use of “My Cherie Amour”, Todd Rundgren’s cheery “Can We Still Be Friends” offers up the perfect piece of irony after Cruise suffocates his beloved.
2. Peter Gabriel – “In Your Eyes” – Say Anything
This certainly could be number one on most lists, but Lloyd Dobler holding that boombox over his head playing “In Your Eyes” is one of the most iconic moments in romantic comedy history.
1. Elton John – “Tiny Dancer” – Almost Famous
This was such an iconic moment, it gave “Tiny Dancer” a second life and is maybe the only movie singalong that actually works.
Wes – Jonsi – “Go Do” – We Bought a Zoo
Because I love Jonsi, Matt Damon, and zoo animals.
Todd – Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations” – Vanilla Sky
The big freakout before the ecstasy ending, “Good Vibrations” works as a great soundtrack to Cruise’s panic.
Austin – Bruce Springsteen – “Secret Garden” – Jerry Maguire
Because Austin had you at hello.