Archive for soundtracks

Great Rock Albums of 1988: Honeymoon Suite- Racing After Midnight

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2022 by 80smetalman

Now that my other writing obligations have been fulfilled, I can get back to the task of posting on here. BTW, has anyone bought the download to the wrestling match I wrote the script for? Further shameless plug alert: You will be reading my contribution to “The Tales of Tee-Bone Man and Superdekes” on one of Mike’s future posts. I got to satisfy my delusions of grandeur on that one. I know in reality that I’m not the foremost rock historian.

Now onto the next album, “Racing After Midnight” from Canadian rockers, Honeymoon Suite. After listening to the album, I have decided to declare that Honeymoon Suite is the best Canadian artist not to have cracked Great Britain. Most British people I know haven’t heard of these guys, while many of them have heard of my favourite Canadian band, Killer Dwarfs, who Canadians say is an even more obscure band. I might have had a little to do with that. Anyway, the shameful part about this is that Honeymoon Suite are a great band and had they been around a few years earlier, they might have made an impact in the UK.

Honeymoon Suite have been labelled glam metal or pop metal by the so-called officiandoes, however, I think they go a little harder rock on “Racing After Midnight.” While there is the keyboards on it and I can see why some have sung the praises of Rob Preuss on the album, I think overall this album is truly hard rock. The keyboards don’t overshadow which was a main thing done back then. Then when you have such a great guitarist as Derry Grehan, you don’t really want to drown out his riffs. This album confirms why Derry is one of my guitarists in my band of the most underrated musicians. He just wails away throughout the album, especially on “Love Forever.”

Derry Grehan- guitar

One major surprise from listening to the album and reading the credits is that Michael McDonald contributes to the song writing and provides backing vocals. For Michael, this is sort of a departure from his soul influenced vocal style and is more known for singing ballads. However, this song rocks quite a lot. It’s the middle of the album where things really get rocking although I won’t take anything away from I guess was the intended single, “Cold Look,” which definitely sounds made for radio. Unfortunately, either it didn’t get enough airplay or the fickle public didn’t take notice of it. “Love Forever,” “Other Side of Midnight” and “Love Changes Everything” are all good rockers and the best tracks on the album. It just sounds like the band just totally comes together on these three tracks. Johnnie Dee’s vocals sound great, the rhythm section is particularly tight, good keyboards support from Rob and of course there’s Derry. Yes, I’m a fan.

Honeymoon Suite have always been capable of a good power ballad or two and they don’t disappoint with “It’s Over Now.” It’s a good one which ticks all the boxes in that category. But they do go back to rocking with “Fast Company” and “Tears on the Page,” which has a 38 Special feel to it. Yet another surprise comes with the closer. While I never listened to the soundtrack of any of the “Lethal Weapon” movies, it still comes as a surprise to learn that the closing track on this album appears on the soundtrack. Still, it’s the best way to close out the album.

Track Listing:

  1. Looking Our For Number One
  2. Long Way Back
  3. Cold Look
  4. Love Forever
  5. Other Side of Midnight
  6. Love Changes Everything
  7. It’s Over Now
  8. Love Forever
  9. Tears on the Page
  10. Lethal Weapon
Honeymoon Suite

Johnnie Dee- vocals

Dermot ‘Derry’ Grehan- guitar

Rob Preuss- keyboards

Gary Lalonde- bass

Dave Betts- drums

Additional Musicians:

Michael McDonald- backing vocals on “Long Way Back”

Ted Templeman and Bobby LaKind- percussion

“Racing After Midnight” is a great album from an underrated band. Saying that, there seems to be a link between me liking an album and it being a commercial flop. Anyway, this album does rock!

Next post: Glass Tiger- Diamond Sun

To Buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To give Bruce Dickinson a well deserved knighthood, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

If You Have Netflix, Then Watch This Movie!

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2022 by 80smetalman

My stepson, Teal, recommended the film, “Metal Lords,” to me and in the past few weeks, I’ve seen it twice and now I’m going to plug how good the film is here. Without spoiling the entire plot, “Metal Lords” is about two socially displaced high school kids, Hunter and Kevin. Hunter is a total metalhead who dreams of hitting the big time as a great metal guitarist. Kevin, the drummer, although not a metalhead in the traditional sense, follows Hunter’s lead because Hunter saved him from a bully in third grade. Together, they form the band, Skullfucker.

All the heavy metal cliches are in the film but the thing was, I don’t care because they are all the truth. There’s the being picked on by the jocks, singled out by teachers and late in the film, Hunter’s father has him committed to a clinic because as we all know, only insane people listen to heavy metal. In addition, Kevin gets a girlfriend, Emily, who plays the cello. With the band still not able to find a bass player, Kevin tries to pitch Emily but Hunter rejects it saying that the cello is not a metal instrument. This eventually leads to a falling out between the two friends and Kevin joining the bubble gum pop band, Mollycoddle. It all leads to what some will call a predictable ending but it’s all done a great metal form.

My strange ability to pick out the small details in films, I found it amusing that when Kevin is in Mollycoddle, he finds playing the drums to their songs a lot easier than being a metal drummer. Even if he does nail, “War Pigs.” Then there’s my favourite scene when Kevin is in the pool and about to cheat on Emily, he is visited by Scott Ian, Tom Morello, Kirk Hammett and Rob Halford who all (Rob even more so) remind Kevin what a great girl Emily is and he shouldn’t cheat on her. Then again, if those four Gods visited me, I would do anything they said. One last point, “War Pigs” sounds excellent played on the cello.

Kevin being visited by Scott, Tom, Kirk and Rob

Of course no metal film would be worth its weight if it didn’t have a killer soundtrack.

  1. Skullflower- Machinery of Torment
  2. Judas Priest- Metal Gods
  3. Iron Maiden- The Trooper
  4. Avenged Sevenfold- Hail to the King
  5. Judas Priest- Painkiller
  6. Metallica- For Whom the Bell Tolls
  7. Black Sabbath- War Pigs
  8. Mastodon- Blood and Thunder
  9. Judas Priest- Grinder
  10. Ozzy Osbourne- Dee
  11. Motorhead- Ace of Spades
  12. Metallica- One
  13. Pantera- Cowboys From Hell
  14. Metallica- Master of Puppets
  15. Zeal & Ardor- Trust No One
  16. Guns ‘N’ Roses- Since I Don’t Have You
  17. Metallica- Whiplash
  18. Pantera- I’m Broken
Performance of the song in the film

I urge everyone to watch “Metal Lords.” It may be a little predictable but with all of that metal, who the hell cares?

Next post: Original vs. Cover

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition for a knighthood for Bruce Dickinson, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson/dashboard?source_location=user_profile_started

Happy 30th Birthday Wayne’s World

Posted in films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2022 by 80smetalman

Wayne and with him always is Garth

Another reason to feel really old. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of one of the greatest heavy metal party films of all time, “Wayne’s World.” I really can’t believe the movie has been out that long! When it came out here in Britain way back in 1992, I saw it twice in the cinema and the moment it became available on VHS a few months later, of course I grabbed a copy!

This film embraced everything I loved about heavy metal and the lifestyle associated with it. I could identify with most of the characters and those I couldn’t identify with personally, I knew of someone who could. Being a married man with two small children when the film came out, it took me back to a few years earlier when my friends and I would cruise down the road with the car stereo playing. Although in our case, it was usually the Stormtroopers of Death. I could even identify with Phil because there were some occasions where I was ‘partied out.’ I was also a bit jealous because we didn’t have a rock club as cool as The Gasworks where I lived.

For those not familiar with the history behind the movie, the concept was born out of a television segment on the US comedy series, “Saturday Night Live.” “Wayne’s World” was a ten minute spot on the show where Wayne, played by Mike Meyers and his friend Garth, played by Dana Carvey are two metalheads who have their own cable access show of the same name. They would get up to all sorts of metal related antics. Often times, they would have guests actors on as well including and my favourite episode was when Aerosmith appeared on it.

Aerosmith on Wayne’s World. I tried pasting this from Youtube but it wasn’t having it.

Obviously, the movie is taken from the TV show. The quick synopsis of the film is that Wayne’s cable access show is bought by a seedy TV executive, Benjamin, played by Rob Lowe who intends to exploit it. At the same time, Wayne’s love interest, Cassandra, (Tia Carrere) who is also lead singer and bassist in a band also catches Benjamin’s eye and plans to make a video for her band. Let’s just say, everything unravels in a hilarious way with three endings. First the tragic ending, then the Scooby-Doo ending and finally the mega-happy ending. There are appearances by Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper and Robert Patrick, who played the T-1000 robot in “Terminator 2.”

Wayne and Cassandra
Have you seen this boy?

“Wayne’s World” not only appealed to metalheads, many people who wouldn’t normally associate themselves with heavy metal said they enjoyed the film. Back in 2003, I found that a colleague at the school I was teaching at was also a big “Wayne’s World” fan and on the last day of school, agreed to show it to our classes. Other teachers scoffed calling the film dated. However, we went ahead and the students were glued to the screen. They all said they loved it.

So, happy 30th birthday “Wayne’s World!” I hope everyone will watch it again or even for the first time. I know it will be as funny now as it was then. Party on!

Next post: Overkill- Taking Over

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Dokken- Back for the Attack

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 6, 2022 by 80smetalman

Have you listened to an album recently and found it was much better than when you listened to it years earlier? I recently had that experience with Accept’s “Russian Roulette” album and I was hoping the same thing was going to happen when I listened to Dokken’s 1987 album, “Back for the Attack.” I didn’t hate the album when I first heard it in 1987 but I thought the album lacked punch. The problem is that after hearing it three times recently, my view hasn’t shifted.

“Back for the Attack” sums up what happens to many bands. They are hungry on their first few albums and that hunger is reflected in the music and the way the band plays it. This was definitely true on the first three Dokken albums. They were hungry and it certainly shows and I could see that hunger for myself when I saw them support first Twisted Sister and then Judas Priest in 1986. Then the band makes the big time and when they do, it seems like they don’t have to try anymore. That is exactly the case with this album. It almost feels like Dokken are going through the motions and it’s why the album isn’t as good as the first three.

I think the main problem is the choruses of most of the songs. In some cases, it sounds like the band is hung over. It is the choruses where the lack of punch makes itself known. On many of the tracks, they start out with some great riffs, vocals and rhythm section and I start getting excited about it and then I hear the chorus and think, ‘”Are they trying?” It leaves me shaking my head until George Lynch is able to restore some excitement with a decent guitar solo.

For all my ripping on the album just now, it’s still pretty good. The main reason is the parts outside of the choruses where Don sings well, Jeff and Mick lay down a strong rhythm and George shreds. One song which manage to beat the chorus let down is the closer, “Dream Warriors,” which I am sure most of you know from the “Nightmare on Elm Street 3” soundtrack. That is one chorus which definitely has some punch. While the chorus is how I describe it on “Lost Behind the Wall,” it is a standout track nevertheless. I dig Jeff’s bassline and George does some of his best shredding. “Stop Fighting Love” has a great intro and an equally great George solo but it is let down by the lackluster chorus.

Taking what I have said about the album, it is the reason why I think “Mr Scary” is the best track on the album, it’s an instrumental so there are no choruses to be sung half-heartedly. George, Jeff and Mick just go and play their hearts out and the result is a brilliant track. Now, it is easy for me to blame Don for the bland vocals on the chorus but he does sing the verses of the songs with conviction, so it’s not that. Besides, Jeff and Mick also provide backing vocals. Still, you can’t go wrong on “Mr Scary.”

Track Listing:

  1. Kiss of Death
  2. Prisoner
  3. Night by Night
  4. Standing in the Shadows
  5. Heaven Sent
  6. Mr Scary
  7. So Many Tears
  8. Burning Like a Flame
  9. Lost Behind the Wall
  10. Stop Fighting Love
  11. Cry of the Gypsy
  12. Sleepless Night
  13. Dream Warriors
Dokken

Don Dokken- lead vocals

George Lynch- guitar

Jeff Pilson- bass, backin vocals

Mick Brown- drums, backing vocals

What amazes me is how the chorus can affect a song. With all of these tracks on “Back for the Attack,” each starts out as if it’s going to be a killer song but then the chorus makes me think, “Oh, that’s it.” Otherwise this could have reached the dizzy heights the first three. Then again, the commercial success of the album could say that I am totally wrong here. I would like to hear your opinions on “Back for the Attack.”

Next post: 30 Year Anniversary of a Great Film

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign the petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, (you don’t have to be British to sign), click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

Great Metal Albums of 1987: Motley Crue- Girls, Girls, Girls

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2022 by 80smetalman

Motley Crue have been referred to as a band of musicians with limited talent. Even I used to think that Mick Mars was the worst guitarist in metal, I’ve since apologized to him for that wrong assumption. The question back in 1987 was: If Motley Crue were second rate musicians, why was their album, “Girls, Girls, Girls” so successful going multi-platinum? My sister, in her article in her college newspaper, said the answer was in the title. Motley Crue appealed to teenage girls who were more into the good looks of the band rather than the music. There might have been truth in that but what about the boys who bought the album? I really can’t say that Motley Crue were like Bon Jovi in the sense that boys listened to them because their girlfriends did. No, boys bought this album on the own accord because Crue were capable of putting out good music.

For me, “Girls, Girls, Girls” opens with the best track on the album, “Wild Side.” The band really bring it musically here, I can’t fault the song in any way. It also helped that the track also appears on the soundtrack to the film “Rock Star.” However, the title track was definitely meant to be a single, which it was. It did it’s job producing a hit for the band but for me, it’s not nearly the best song on the album. The next two are much better. They bring the hard rocking on “Dancing on Glass” and I do like Tommy Lee’s piano chops in the back ground. With “Bad Boy Boogie,” they bring a bit of blues swagger. There is a ZZ Top vibe to this song and Mick’s guitar work makes me even more ashamed of calling him the worst guitarist. His hooks and solo here are just simply top notch! This is the hidden gem on the album.

The second half of the album dips in quality in comparison to the first. The thankfully very short “Nona” is just filler and if I can borrow a line from 2Loud, I would delete it. It shouldn’t be on the album. Fortunately, things go back on track with “Five Years Dead.” It’s not a bad track but it sounds too much like the title track and therefore lacks originality. Things continue to improve with “All in the Name Of.” Tommy’s drumming is key here and Mick and Nikki are great in support. It’s a faster paced metal song and it doesn’t bother me that it’s about getting with under aged girls.

Mick’s best guitar performance on the album heralds in “Sumthin’ for Nuthin’.” While the chorus might be a little bland, the song has an infectious hook that you can’t resist bobbing your head along to. Then we come to the other single on the album, the power ballad, “You’re All I Need.” Being a neo-officianado on power ballads, this one is okay. The fact that the video was banned from MTV for its supposedly violent theme is reason for this non-conformist to like it. A live recording of the Elvis hit, “Jailhouse Rock,” closes the album. I remember they closed their show with it when I saw them on the “Theatre of Pain” tour and it works as a closer here.

Track Listing:

  1. Wild Side
  2. Girls, Girls, Girls
  3. Dancing on Glass
  4. Bad Boy Boogie
  5. Nona
  6. Five Years Dead
  7. All in the Name Of
  8. Sumthin’ for Nuthin’
  9. You’re All I Need
  10. Jailhouse Rock
Motley Crue

Vince Neil- vocals

Mick Mars- guitar

Nikki Sixx- bass

Tommy Lee- drums

Additional backing vocals:

Bob Carlisle, Dave Amato, John Purdell, Pat Torpey, Phyllis St James, Tommy Funderbuck

I highly doubt that thirty-five years on, my sister’s attitude towards Motley Crue and this album, “Girls, Girls, Girls,” has changed. She will still say they are second rate musicians who only teenage girls can like. I see her point but there is just something about this album that makes me like it, a lot.

Next post: Agent Steel- Unstoppable Force

To buy Rock and Roll Children email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

To sign my petition to have Bruce Dickinson knighted, click the link: https://www.change.org/p/special-honours-committees-for-knighthoods-a-knighthood-for-bruce-dickinson

My Experience of Desmond Child

Posted in 1979, films, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2021 by 80smetalman
Desmond Child, 2019

Reading many of your blogs out there, Mike Ledano and 2Loud’s especially, I have learned a lot about one Desmond Child. I never knew that he wrote songs, many of them hits, or produced albums for the likes of KISS, Aerosmith, Cher, Bon Jovi, Bonnie Tyler and many many more. My association with Desmond came about through a totally different manner. Not through his producing, my introduction to him came via the soundtrack of my all time favourite film, “The Warriors.” FFI- I’ve included my post on said soundtrack should you wish to read it.

Desmond not only writes my favourite track on the soundtrack, the closer, “Last of an Ancient Breed,” he sings it as well and I must say that Desmond is a decent singer and could have made it as one if he had gotten the breaks. Note: There were a couple of other talented singers on the soundtrack who vanished after. So, enough of me prattling on, here’s the song.

Yes, they do use excerpts from the 1983 film, “The Outsiders” in this video as well.

Hope you enjoyed!

Next post: Malice- License to Kill

To buy Rock and Roll Children, email me at: tobychainsaw@hotmail.com

Great Rock Albums of 1985: John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band- Tough All Over

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2018 by 80smetalman

Jon Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band was probably the biggest flash in the pan in 1985 but that didn’t stop their album, “Tough All Over,” from being good. Their first act of notoriety was to have a couple of songs, which they’re more known for on the soundtrack of the film “Eddie and the Cruisers.” Most of you who were living in the USA around this time might remember their two hits from that soundtrack, “On the Dark Side” and “The Warm Tender Years.” In fact, the band has been so identified with that film that many people thought that the title of the film was the actual name of the band. No, Eddie and the Cruisers has always been a fictitious band from the film. I’ve never seen the film but I have heard that there is a scene filmed along a road called Bay Avenue in Somers Point, NJ, where I lived for a year and was the next town over after I moved. Maybe I should watch it.

A shot of Bay Avenue in Somers Point

“Tough All Over” was the John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown’s attempt to break away from their association with the film and prove they could make good music on their own. In my most humble opinion, the album does prove that they are capable of making good music without the aid of a movie soundtrack. This is a good progressive, melodic rock album and I can definitely hear the comparisons made to Bruce Springsteen at the time. The best example of this is “Dixieland,” which starts with a cool sax solo but the entire song, the tempo, the vocals all permeate Bruce Springsteen. Many of the other tracks follow this vein but not quite as pronounced as “Dixieland.”

While Bruce might be an influence here, there is enough to say that the band aren’t just clones of the Boss. The title track and “Where the Action is” are catchy melodic rock vibes that can go on inside your head after the song finishes. “More Than Just One of the Boys” has a good opening riff and speaking of openers, “Voice of America’s Sons” does the job very well. The final two tracks are more bluesy mellower tunes but they do end the album okay. So, what you get here is a good melodic feel good rock album which doesn’t have me pining for any past soundtracks.

Track Listing:

  1. Voice of America’s Sons
  2. Tough All Over
  3. C-I-T-Y
  4. Where the Action Is
  5. Dixieland
  6. Strangers in Paradise
  7. Small Town Girl
  8. More Than Just One of the Boys
  9. Tex-Mex(Crystal Blue)

John Cafferty and The Beaver Brown Band

John Cafferty- lead vocals, guitar

Gary Gramolini- lead guitar

Patrick Lupo- bass

Kenny Jo Silva- drums

Bobby Catoia- piano, keyboards, synthesizers

Michael ‘Tunes’ Antunes- saxophone

And I thought I’d throw in a classic from Eddie and the Cruisers

Was it the association with the film? Was it because some thought they sounded too much like Bruce Springsteen? Or was it because that in 1985, the music world was divulging too much into synth pop and metal and there was no room for a straightforward melodic rock band? Whatever the reason, although I now know they had an album in 1988, I never heard from John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band again. However, this album “Tough All Over” was good enough for me to remember it after so many years.

Next post: John Fogerty- Centerfield

To download Rock and Roll Children for free, go to: http://allkindlecloud.com/register/14510967-Rock-and-Roll-Children_pdf_free.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Great Films of 1984

Posted in 1980s, Death, Heavy Metal, soundtracks with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2017 by 80smetalman

Not only was I a big music fan back in 1984, as I am today, I was also a great cinema buff, unlike today. Posting about those two soundtracks from said year threw my mind back to some of the other great and not so great films I got to see in 1984. They may not have had soundtracks I wanted to listen to but most of them were good films or at least a good source of amusement. Therefore, in regards to the golden year of heavy metal, I thought I’d list the films I saw that year.

Ghost Busters

This was probably the most popular film in 1984. It’s theme song, sung by Ray Parker Jr, got a lot of play on MTV. Never cared much for the song but I did like this film as I was a fairly big Bill Murray fan at the time.

Karate Kid was probably the second most popular film in 1984

In spite of the above, I never accepted the proposition that all the blonde haired, blue eyed teenage boys in Southern California were all karate experts.

Ghost Busters might have been the most popular film, but The Terminator was my favourite.

“I’ll be back” has been a very popular catchphrase from the film. However, my favourite part was when the hotel landlord asks, “Do you got dead cats in there?” Robot Arnie’s brain flashes possible responses and he chooses, “Fuck you asshole.”

Hyped up to be the final chapter of the Friday the 13th series. No surprise it wasn’t.

These were considered the big films of the year but there were many more out there.

The Keep: Nazi soldiers are killed in a haunted castle

This was the first film I went to in 1984.

DC Cab: Mr T stars in a film about an on the rocks cab firm.

This was the second

Angel: High school honour student by day, Hollywood hooker by night.

There were some really funny quips in this film. Example: When Angel’s transvestite friend opens the door to the killer, he asks, “Who does your hair, dickface?”

Tank: A soldier uses a tank to rescue his wrongly convicted son from a redneck prison.

I had been out of the marines only nine months when I saw this film so I was able to identify all the military inaccuracies.

Patrick Swayze leads a bunch of high schoolers against the invading Communist armies.

This film was definitely made to encourage America to accept Reagan’s Contra war in Nicaragua.

Thief of Hearts: A burglar breaks into a home and discovers the wife’s diaries. He uses them to seduce her.

Starman: An alien world accepts Voyager 2’s invitation to visit Earth.

This was the last film I went to see in 1984.

Naturally, there were many more movies in 1984 but these were the ones I went to the cinema to see. That seems to be what I was doing when I wasn’t headbanging away. What films did you all see and like?

Next post: Bon Jovi

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508426476&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

Great Soundtracks of 1984: Streets of Fire

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2017 by 80smetalman

Unlike “Footloose” the soundtrack to the film “Streets of Fire” went with virtually unknown or less known artists, at least for the time. It would be six months to a year before I would hear about The Fixx. The only others I had heard of were Ry Cooder and The Blasters and I’ll get to them in a minute. Stevie Nicks does write and sing backing vocals on the Marilyn Martin track, “Sorcerer” but for the most part, the artists were virtually unknown to me at the time. However, I would take this soundtrack over that of “Footloose.” Quiet Riot, Foreigner and Sammy Hagar weren’t quite enough to tip it past “Streets of Fire” in my eyes.

Before I get onto the soundtrack, let me provide a little background about the film, which was slammed mercilessly by most critics. The 23 year old me in 1984 thought this film was okay. I mean it was the 1980s where one shot from a gun could set off multiple massive explosions and men settled their differences with sledgehammers. What wasn’t there to like? However, as I grew older, I realized how surreal the movie was almost bordering on the ridiculous.

“Streets of Fire” is about a famous rock singer named Ellen Aim who gets kidnapped by a motorcycle gang, led by a guy named Raven played Willem Dafoe, while performing a gig in her home town. Without going into great detail, Ellen is rescued by former boyfriend Tom with the help of an ex-army girl named McCoy played by Amy Madigan. After many explosions and action sequences where they receive aid from an all black doo-wop band called the Sorrells, Tom and Raven have their predictable show down at the end. First with the fore-mentioned sledgehammers and then with fists. Therefore, Dafoe gets his ass kicked twice. Other little details include Rick Moranis, playing the usual nerd but this time it’s in a serious role as Ellen Aim’s manager and current boyfriend. His best line in the film is, “It’s the shits.” He says it several times and his performance, while good, never made me think that doing “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” was a bad career move. The best performance was by Amy Madigan who did receive a nomination for best supporting actress, so I’m not just saying it because Mrs 80smetalman is a huge Amy Madigan fan.

Amy Madigan as McCoy

Rick Moranis as Ellen Aim’s manager. “It’s the shits.”

Willem Dafoe as Raven. Note the pvc dungarees.

Okay, the film wasn’t Oscar material but that doesn’t stop it from having a rather cool soundtrack. When it first came out, MTV plugged the film by constantly playing the video from the first single, Fire Inc’s “Tonight Is What it Means to Be Young.” I do really like the song which was probably why it didn’t go anywhere in the charts. The most successful song as far as chart success was “I Can Dream About You” by Dan Hartman. It is a good song but the irony here is that in the film, the song is performed by The Sorrells. Back in 1984 many people were amazed that a song performed by a black quartet in the film was actually sung by a white man. I think it’s great we’re more wiser about these things nowadays.

Dan Hartman

The Sorrells in Streets of Fire

While all the songs I’ve mentioned are good ones, for me, it’s the rockabilly songs that make this soundtrack. The two tracks by The Blasters are the best songs here and “Hold That Snake” by Ry Cooder gets the bronze. All three of these tracks are just really damn cool and the soundtrack wouldn’t be nearly as good without them. For the record, the song by The Fixx, while good as well, didn’t have me wanting to check out future material without hearing it first.

So, is “Streets of Fire” a bad film with a really cool soundtrack? Well, it’s not a bad film, but it does have a killer soundtrack.

Next post: Great and Not So Great Movies of 1984

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508165794&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great(ish) Soundtracks of 1984: Footloose

Posted in 1980s, films, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2017 by 80smetalman

 

There was a very strange trend in regards to movie soundtracks in the mid 1980s. It seems that in order to appeal to all forms of music lovers, there would be songs representing nearly every genre. There would be some trendy pop songs, some rock, some soul oriented songs and even a heavy metal jam or two. This is exactly the case with the soundtrack for the film, “Footloose” which came out in the very beginning for this year.

Let’s start with the trendy. Kenny Loggins was already known for hit songs from soundtracks. He achieved it with the 1980 film, “Caddyshack.” So, it was no surprise that he sings the title track to the film. It has always been one of those songs I’ve neither loved or hated. The “Footloose” soundtrack also gave one hit wonder Deneice Williams her one hit with “Let’s Hear it For the Boy.” That song seemed to be on every AM radio station during the summer of 1984. I’ve heard worse but I’ve certainly heard far better. On the other hand, the soundtrack was unable to give 1982 one hit wonder Karla Banoff her second hit. It’s a song that’s just there. Then comes the usual practice of using former hits like Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero.” Finally, there’s the let’s take two singers from established bands and have them do a duet for the soundtrack. Cue, Mike Reno of Loverboy and Ann Wilson from Heart with “Almost Paradise.” It was supposed to be a power ballad that draws rock lovers and top forty fans together but no, it doesn’t. Both singers do a good job on the song and it’s better than most of the other tracks but not good enough to get into my top power ballad list.

Let’s side track for a moment. I have an experience with “Almost Paradise.” Mrs 80smetalman and I chose it for our wedding at our local registry office. Three weeks before our wedding, we get a letter from the registrar stating that we can’t use the song because it has religious connotations, which is not allowed at a civil wedding in the UK. I wonder if they would have said the same if I asked for a Deicide song.

Back to the point, “Dancing in the Sheets” by Shalamar was a definite attempt by the movie makers to appeal to music lovers of African origin. It’s like, let’s put in a song by a black band and black people will buy the soundtrack. That’s my take on it. Now, for true rock lovers like me and you, there’s the classic John Cougar song, “Hurt So Good” and another attempt to bridge the rock/top 40 gap, let’s bring back the Foreigner classic ballad, “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” Now to the metal, we got the great “Metal Health” by the then up and coming Quiet Riot but for me the best song on this soundtrack has to be Sammy Hagar’s “The Girl Gets Around.” Maybe someone heard the “Heavy Metal” soundtrack and said, “Hey, let’s use a Sammy Hagar song.” At least they chose a good one.

A note about the film: “Footloose” is about a teenage boy, played by Kevin Bacon, who moves into a small town, which is run by people who are anti-music. The local reverend is the spearhead of the anti-rock campaign. Of course, Kevin and the music win the day and music is allowed in the town but maybe Hollywood was onto something here. The religious right’s war on music was just in the early stages in 1984 and maybe this film could be a prophecy of things that could come about. It’s something to think about. Oh yes, the track by unknown band Moving Pictures called “Never” isn’t bad but it never (pun intended) made me want to explore their discography.

Track Listing:

  1. Footloose- Kenny Loggins
  2. Let’s Hear it For the Boy- Deneice Williams
  3. Almost Paradise- Mike Reno and Ann Williams
  4. Holding Out For a Hero- Bonnie Tyler
  5. Dancing in the Sheets- Shalamar
  6. I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)- Kenny Loggins
  7. Somebody’s Eyes- Karla Bonoff
  8. The Girl Gets Around- Sammy Hagar
  9. Never- Moving Pictures
  10. Metal Health (Bang Your Head)- Quiet Riot
  11. Hurt So Good- John Cougar
  12. Waiting for a Girl Like You- Foreigner
  13. Dancing in the Sheets (12 inch mix)- Shalamar

Quiet Riot

Bonnie Tyler

John Cougar Mellencamp

Foreigner

Sammy Hagar

“Footloose” wouldn’t be the only film whose soundtrack got the ‘corporate’ treatment. While there’s something for everyone, at least it’s thought so, there’s not enough songs here for me to ever go out and buy the album. Besides, I already have the tracks I do like from here on other albums.

Next post: Streets of Fire

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1507754027&sr=8-3&keywords=michael+d+lefevre