So this is one of those blogs you see once in a while, the kind I try to avoid writing. It's filled with suppositions and possibilities, the nature of which I have not investigated, nor do I have any intention to. They're just some thoughts that filled my head, and I wanted to throw them out.
I normally hate blogs like this, yet now I'm going to write one. Feel free to skip today and come back tomorrow. I'll get back to the real world a little bit.
Movie producers are missing the boat by not using an easily identifiable music act in films.
We've all seen the classic moments punctuated by music key to the era, locking us in to a specific point in time. The soundtracks to “Forrest Gump” and “The Big Chill” are perfect examples of skimming from the 1960s for shortcuts in storytelling, allowing the music to make up for the imperfections in the stories. (And understand, I'm a huge fan of “The Big Chill.” While less so of “Forrest Gump,” I can still acknowledge the impact, and the appreciation others have.)
But if filmmakers are looking for an untapped area that can easily identify the era, they need to dig into The Association's catalog.
The Association were at their peak in 1967 and 1968, the leaders of the sunshine pop movement. Sunshine pop was generally love songs with quiet, gentle arrangements and pleasant harmony vocals. (While The Association were the early kings of the genre, it eventually grew to be owned by The Carpenters.) The Association's songs definitely define their time. They don't sound as though they could have come out at any other time.
I don't recall hearing any of these songs in films, connected with their eras or otherwise. I can't imagine movie-makers haven't imagined using them in some way. (Picture the potential movie-ending freakout – like in a “Shrek” film, or mimicking the conclusion of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” - that could be accomplished with “Windy.”
My suspicion is either those who own the rights to the songs are asking for too much money, or the rights are of questionable enough ownership that it's easier to avoid to potential legal wrangle and just pick a Creedence Clearwater Revival song.
But hearing one of those Association songs by the original artist in a period film? That might open up as many ears as the “Guardians of the Galaxy” soundtrack did.