Feature

The soundtracks of John Hughes

How the late director used music in his films and became a "pop culture trend-setter"

"If the Boomers had Woodstock," said Todd Martens in the Chicago Tribune, "Generation X had John Hughes." The director, who died last Thursday, fully understood the "isolation, awkwardness," and "general distrust of authority" that accompanies "teen angst," and he "was one to carefully sculpt mix tapes to accompany his pictures." Hughes' movies could "comfortably jump from the melodrama of The Smiths to the electro-fierceness of New Order," and "no prom from 1986 to 1994 was worth attending if it didn't feature Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's 'If You Leave.'" (listen to "If You Leave")

Hughes also had a talent for "discovering new music," said Bryan Borzykowski in Metro Canada. When he included the song "Don't You Forget About Me" by "little known U.K." band Simple Minds (watch the video) in his movie The Breakfast Club, "it made waves through the music and movie communities" and "transformed Hughes from a talented director to pop culture trend-setter." It could also be argued that he was "responsible for making new wave the soundtrack to the '80s."

"But Hughes went beyond the '80s and utilized other decades too," said Liza Woods in Examiner.com, "using artists like Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke as well." And some of the songs he used "were just as memorable as the famous scenes they were used in." Who can forget Matthew Broderick's rendition of the Beatles' "Twist and Shout" at the end of Ferris Bueller's Day Off? (watch) John Hughes may be gone, but he left the world many "gifts."

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