1. "Sky High" by Jigsaw
The Man from Hong Kong (1975)
The Man from Hong Kong isn't exactly one of the best known films of all time. Its notoriety stems mainly from it being a rare example of an Australian Kung Fu movie. It's got George Lazenby, muscle cars, martial arts, chicks on hang-gliders, and one more thing... "Sky High" as its theme song.
The song, recorded by Jigsaw, became an international hit - scoring big in the UK, Japan and making to #3 in the US. The song was a particularly big hit in Mexico due to its use as theme music for a famous Mexican wrestler called Mil Mascaras. My first exposure to "Sky High" was on a K-tel record, and it was just catchy and snappy enough for a five or six year old to love. I'm not sure how well the song holds up - I've too many pleasant recollections of the tune to not let memories get in the way of an unbiased opinion.
Many consider Jigsaw a woefully underrated and overlooked band. One of these days I'll have to check out their catalog and see if that's true myself. The Pop Culture Petri Dish obviously was pleasantly surprised by the quality of their music - and I quote "my expectations were snake-belly low... two months and dozens of listens later, I'm ready to eat some crow--and loudly sing some praises."
2. "Early Morning Love" by Sammy Johns
The Van (1977)
I've written about this film and its soundtrack before (Sex, Drugs and Custom Vans), so I'll spare you the detailed analysis. I'll simply say that The Van and its soundtrack epitomize the free lovin' vibe of the seventies better than any other example I can think of.
Of course, the break out hit from the film was Johns' brilliant soft rock classic, "Chevy Van"; a song about picking up a young lady by the side of the road, making sweet love, and then waving bye-bye. "Early Morning Love" spreads a little more of that 1970s laid back sexual groove - you could say that Sammy Johns was sort of a white man's Barry White.
3. "FM (No Static At All)" by Steely Dan
I have to admit that I've never had a chance to watch the film FM. Based on the horrible reviews it is unlikely I ever will - it sounds like an intensely boring movie which was created primarily as a vehicle for a great soundtrack (not unlike Thank God, It's Friday), and it was one of the worst box office disasters of that year.
As a rock snob, I think it is impossible to not like Steely Dan (at least not in public); however, a lot of their music never received the popularity it deserved. For example, "Any Major Dude" should have been a number one hit - it has the hook, the melody... everything; yet, it never got anywhere near the success of "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" or "Do It Again".
"FM" is a great song from a lame forgettable movie, there can be no doubt. Maybe if Steely Dan hadn't associated it with this crap film it would have done better. Who knows?