Who is John Denver, the singer we hear in (almost) all the movies of 2017?

From Alien: Covenant to Logan Lucky, his songs monopolize all the soundtracks

If you didn’t grow up in the United States in the 70s and 80s, or if you’re not an erudite music lover specializing in the history of US folk and country, chances are you won’t didn’t know John Denver. On the other hand, if you went to the cinema this year, you must have heard one of his songs. It’s simple: there’s only one for him. In the last Alienwhen the crew of the Covenant receives a message from an unknown planet, it is one of their ballads, Take me home, country roadshis vintage 1971 hit. Either the same song that sings Mark Strong at the end of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Which is also the song on which dissertation Channing Tatum in the lovely intro scene of Logan Lucky. In Free Fire (the seventies gangster movie of Ben Wheatleyreleased last spring) and in Okja (the Netflix movie by Bong Joon Ho), it’s another John Denver classic that we hear, Annie’s Song (1974). And not just like that, by the way, no. Each time, the piece resounds in striking scenes, cathartic moments (the crossing of a warehouse strewn with corpses in Free FireOkja’s escape in Okja).

In an interview granted to the Vulture site, Amy Abrams, which manages the singer’s catalog, confirms that there has recently been an increase in requests for the use of his songs in cinemas. “John Denver’s songs are iconic for a generation and are now part of the collective consciousnessshe explains. Many directors, producers, actors, editors and music supervisors were fans of it when they were younger and are now in a position where they can make the music they love heard “. Fact, Bong Joon Ho explained in an interview that his big brother was crazy aboutAnnie’s Song when they were kids and the song has for him the scent of childhood. Ben Wheatley also listened to it on repeat in his youth. Annie’s Song moreover almost “triggered” Free Fire on its own:It was the first image of the film that came to me: a Chevy pickup truck driving around in a large empty space, with a dying guy behind the wheel. I thought, “What would be the least appropriate song to play at this time?”” His choice therefore fell on this pretty melody released in 1974, the year when Denver, a musician from the sixties folk scene, reached its peak of popularity: he then scored no less than four singles in a row at the head charts. Over the next few decades, he would win an Emmy, Grammys, sing with Joan Baezwill launch into the ecological fight… before dying in a plane crash in 1997, at the age of 53.

In Logan Luckywhich takes place in West Virginia, the use of Take me home, country roads was almost a must, the song, with its bucolic and grandiose lyrics (“Almost heaven / West Virginia”), having become over time one of the official anthems of this small Appalachian state. At the end of the film, the protagonists sing it together, with tears in their eyes and a big lump in their throats. And we realize that the most beautiful song of 2017 is 46 years old.

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Who is John Denver, the singer we hear in (almost) all the movies of 2017?

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