By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
For years, rumors swirled that Pink Floyd's 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moonwas intended to serve as a sort of alternate soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz. A number of songs fit certain scenes a little too perfectly for some viewers. Though the idea had made the rounds practically since the disc's release, it wasn't until more recently -- say, a decade or so ago -- that the theory of a possible connection between the two was given much credence by anyone save for those who healthily pursued better living through chemistry. It was seen as a joke, or, at best, an urban myth.
While it was once dismissed as a stoner's fantasy, The Dark Side of the Rainbow (as proponents of the synchronicity theory refer to it) was recently legitimized. Last month Turner Classic Movies aired The Wizard of Oz, allowing satellite users to switch to an alternate channel to hear the film properly aligned with The Dark Side of the Moon. Robert Osborne, host of the renamed The Dark Side of Oz (Turner's version), was on hand to give viewers watching the film on standard cable a few tips, as well as point out the more interesting "syncs." (According to the "official" Dark Side/Oz Web site, there are 88 confirmed syncs.)
After doing some digging around on the Internet -- Web sites on this subject seem to be as prevalent as, say, air -- we found quite a few other interesting combinations. For instance: 'N SYNC's No Strings Attached and Kids; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and the soundtrack to Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo; Citizen Kane and the Beatles' Revolver; Michael Jackson's Captain Eo and Prince's Dirty Mind; Gone With the Windand Rush's 2112; and Court TV's "gavel-to-gavel" coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial and Puff Daddy's Forever.
Though those are all very intriguing, we stumbled on the real mother lode while poking around on a Magic: The Gathering Web board. What follows is a sampling of what we found -- some obvious, others gloriously obscure. Enjoy.
Battlefield Earth and John Travolta's first two solo albums -- 1976's eponymous effort and the following year's Can't Let You Go
Only an egomaniac would use his producer status to ensure that a $100 million-plus sci-fi comedy (wait -- those weren't jokes?) would follow closely in the footsteps of a forgotten singing career. Right? As it happens, John Travolta is that egomaniac. Travolta insisted that all of his co-stars wear digital watches that he had personally synchronized with certain tracks from the albums, so no one would miss any of their marks.
He'd tried the technique once before (1989's The Experts), but after a conflict with castmate Arye Gross (over a dance number meant to coincide with "Slow Dancing," from Can't Let You Go), decided to drop the idea. However, after Pulp Fiction made him a star again, apparently he spent several million dollars re-cutting the film to fit with his first two solo albums. Only one copy of the new version of The Experts exists.
Key Sync Moment:
As Travolta (playing Terl, Psychlo chief of security) complains to Ker (an unrecognizable Forest Whitaker) about how hard it is to follow up the relatively easy conquest of Earth's "man-animals," his dialogue is directly lifted from the last minute of "Big Trouble," off John Travolta. (If cued up right, both Travolta performances of the lyrics overlap seamlessly.) The scene takes on a new tenderness, and is less about Terl's complaints about conquering another world, and more about conquering his feelings for Ker. Stunning.
Footloose and Pansy Division's Pile Up and Wish I'd Taken Pictures
The fact that these two Queercore collections from the San Francisco band sync up so perfectly with Kevin Bacon's 1984 breakout hit confirms most people's suspicions that Footlooseis actually a homosexual coming-of-age story.
Let's be serious. No man that into dancing could possibly be straight.
Key Sync Moments:
The song "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other" kicks in when a group of Stetson-wearing hicks -- led by Chris Penn's hayseed character Willard -- practice dancing with each other.
Toward the end of the film, during Bacon's climactic get-on-the-table-and-dance-like-there's-no-tomorrow scene, we hear the opening chords to Pansy Division's anthemic "Kevin" -- an obvious allusion to our ass-shakin' hero.
Where the Boys Aren't 10 and Britney Spears' Oops! . . . I Did It Again
As you might imagine, this started out as wishful thinking more than anything else. Y'know, Britney, girl-on-girl porn -- imagine the possibilities. And yet, after it was noted that the first "action" scene hit the screen as Spears began to deliver her version of the Stones classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," well, we don't have to connect those dots, do we?
Actually, this sync probably is the figment of someone's fevered imagination. Then again, the on-screen action of Kobe Tai, Lexus Locklear and Heather Hunter in this ninth sequel to the classic Where the Boys Aren'tfits in a little too well with Britney's heated performance of such songs as "What U See (Is What U Get)," "One Kiss From Now" and "Can't Make You Love Me."