I’ve always played music while I wrote stories, and that music almost always found its way into the books. Tell Me Lies was my version of Bruce Springstein’s “Thunder Road,” and Welcome to Temptation was pretty much written to Dusty Springfield’s Greatest Hits, but with Faking It, I began to actually make soundtracks, concentrating on character themes and theme music for individual scenes. If my collages are my way of seeing the Big Picture of the book and its characters, then the soundtracks are my way of getting the Big Feeling of the book and its characters.
The Maybe This Time Soundtrack
Music was crucial in Maybe This Time because not only did it take place in 1992, so the current music helped establish the historical setting, but much of the action is powered by the things that happened in 1982. So Andie, the heroine, has a mix tape from her ex-husband from ’82, and Alice, the little girl, has a mix tape that belonged to her dead mother, also circa ’82. It was all a huge help in keeping my head in the right era. Ironically, the song “Maybe This Time” was thematically right for the book, and since it came out in ’72 it was chronologically right, but it didn’t work at all musically: too melancholy.
I can’t imagine writing this book without the music to put me back two decades, so I owe a debt of gratitude to all the artists who helped and inspired me. Also, it turns out that you can play “Layla” over and over and over again and never get tired of it, so a special thanks to Clapton. Maybe This Time wouldn’t have been the same book without this music.
North argues that Andie was halfway out the door when he offered her a divorce:
“Any Day Now,” Ronnie Milsap
Andie remembers the first time she met North:
“Somebody’s Baby,” by Jackson Browne, aka their song.
Alice finds North’s mix tape in Andie’s car:
“Rock N’ Roll Heart” by Eric Clapton
“Man in Love; by Eric Clapton
“Somebody’s Baby” by Eric Clapton
April’s (Alice’s mother’s) mix tape from early 80’s:
“Gloria,” by Laura Branigan
“She Bop,” by Cyndi Lauper
“Time After Time,” Lauper
“Make a Move on Me,” by Oliva Newton-John.
(Alice’s mother wasn’t deep, but she was happy.)
The kitchen radio and the Three O’Clock Bake:
“Hurt So Good,” by John Mellancamp (the announcer says, “Here’s an oldie,”)
“I’m Too Sexy,” by Right Said Fred (Alice loves “I’m Too Sexy”)
“Everything Changes” by Kathy Troccoli.
Andie sings an old Disney lullaby to Alice, “Baby Mine,” because it’s the only one she knows; my favorite cover of this is by Bonnie Raitt.
North’s Hostess Gift:
North brings Carter art supplies and Alice a stuffed rabbit, he brings Andie a just-released album: Clapton’s Unplugged with the acoustic “Layla” on it, the song that he thinks of as her theme both in 1982 and ’92.
Note: There was one song that was crucial to the writing of the book that I couldn’t put in it: Katie Melua’s “Nine Million Bicycles.” One of the first sensory images I had for this story was Andie singing it to Alice. Then when I decided to move the book back to 1992, I had to drop the song. It was released in 2005. I still think of it as Alice and Andie’s song, even though Alice was in her twenties when it came out.
The Faking It Soundtrack
Faking It had a jukebox filled with girl group songs and Bacharach hits, so it was the easiest soundtrack to work into a book.
Gwen waits for Tilda to get back from burglary:
The Cookies, “Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad About My Baby.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume Two)
Gwen opens the gallery.
Jackie DeShannon, “Come and Get Me.” (Bacharach)
Dusty Springfield, “Wishin’ and Hopin,’” (Bacharach)
Davy meets the Goodnights:
Earl-Jean, “I’m Into Something Good.” (Early Girls, Volume One)
The Goodnights meet Davy:
Betty Everett, “You’re No Good.” (Early Girls, Volume One)
Lousy sex on the couch:
Robin Ward, “Wonderful Summer.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume Two)
The Essexes, “Easier Said Than Done.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume Two)
Pippy Shannon, “I Pretend.” (Gee Baby Gee: Del Fi Girl Groups)
The Raindrops, “The Kind of Boy You Can’t Forget.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume Two)
Tilda goes to the basement to paint:
Melissa Etheridge, “I’m the Only One.” (Yes, I Am.)
Davy courts Tilda with the radio:
Shelby Lynne, “Killing Kind.” (Love, Shelby.)
Nadine gets a Poor Baby:
Gene McDaniels, “Tower of Strength.” (Bacharach)
[References to this got cut from the book, but believe me, it’s playing behind the Poor Baby scene.]
Better sex on the couch:
Exciters, “He’s Got the Power.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume One)
Betty Everett, “The Shoop Shoop Song.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume One)
The Sisters, “All Grown Up.” (Gee Baby Gee: Del Fi Girl Groups)
The Ladybugs, “Sooner or Later.” (Gee Baby Gee: Del Fi Girl Groups)
The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume One)
Damita Jo, “I’ll Save the Last Dance.” (Early Girls, Volume One)
Tilda unwraps the painting:
The Paris Sisters, “I Love How You Love Me.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume Two)
Painting the gallery:
Chiffons, “One Fine Day.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume One)
[This was cut from the final draft, but the Goodnights sang it while they painted in an early draft.]
Skeeter Davis, “I Can’t Stay Mad at You.” (The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume One) [Okay, she did this off stage, but it’s still in the book.]
Dusty Springfield, “I’d Rather Leave While I’m In Love.” (Bacharach)
Brenda Holloway, “Every Little Bit Hurts.” (Gee Baby Gee: Del Fi Girl Groups)
Dixie Chicks, “Sin Wagon.” (Fly)
Pippy Shannon, “I Pretend.” (Gee Baby Bee: Del Fi Girl Groups)
60’s Girl Groups. Warner, 1998.
Bacharach, Burt. The Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection. Rhino, 1998.
The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume One. Rhino, 1990.
The Best of the Girl Groups, Volume Two. Rhino, 1990.
Dixie Chicks, Fly. Monument, 1999.
Early Girls, Volume One, Ace, 1995.
Early Girls, Volume Two, Ace, 1997.
Etheridge, Melissa. Yes, I Am. Polygram, 1993.
Gee Baby Gee: Del Fi Girl Groups. DelFi, 1999.
Lynne, Shelby. Love, Shelby. Universal, 2001.
The Weathergirls, The Weathergirls Superhits. Columbia, 2000.