I was going to talk about one of the records coming up this week, then I realized that it had been a bit since I had run a Theme Week here @ PPM and figured that I could work this action more substantially and give the review a wider context as well. So today we’ll begin with the elephant in the room. One of the 800 lb gorillas of 80s soundtracks… and that is likely to point in a certain direction.
Various: Pretty In Pink OST – US – CD 
- Orchestral Manouevres In The Dark: If You Leave
- Suzanne Vega [featuring Joe Jackson on piano]: Left Of Center
- Jesse Johnson: Get To Know Ya
- INXS: Do Wot You Do
- Psychedelic Furs: Pretty In Pink ’86
- New Order: Shellshock
- Belouis Some: Round, Round
- Danny Hutton Hitters: Wouldn’t It Be Good
- Echo + The Bunnymen: Bring On The Dancing Horses
- The Smiths: Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
The album started off with that, in 1986, was one of my core collection bands and [in theory] a track of great interest. However, by 1986, the bloom was definitely off the OMD rose. As of 1984, the band began triangulating towards the mainstream in spite of being very unconnected to that in prior years. This was the result of their 1983 opus selling a tenth of what their 1981 opus had. By 1986 this meant that the one magical OMD were treading commercial water by just trying to make hit music.
John Hughes was making teen films that he wanted to have his favorite bands peppering the soundtracks for. OMD were on the shortlist for 1986, having already given the “treatment” to Simple Minds the previous year. And like Simple Minds, OMD got a US top five single from their compromise. At least this time OMD actually got to write the hit song. Too bad for them that the director radically changed his film following a test screening that turned his plot upside down once a room full of teenagers had their say.
This found OMD having delivered one song [the not bad “Goddess Of Love”] and given 24 hours to write a completely different song for the now radically different ending. Armed with a cache of Peruvian Marching Powder, they band labored mightily and brought forth “If You Leave.” An uninteresting pop hit that overstayed its welcome by at least 45 seconds and more criminally, a song that was OMD in name only. The tune was slight and faceless, but the Hollywood Hype machine will not be denied and it was a huge hit in America. Mission accomplished. [insert yawn]
The next song was a far more attractive proposition. In 1985, I had fallen hard for the acoustic folk [careful…this doesn’t happen every day!] of Suzanne Vega’s debut album. The producers wisely had Ms. Vega write a very perceptive song [of course] that explored the character that Molly Ringwald played in the film. Then they managed to get Joe Jackson to do a modest guest turn on piano; doubling the star power of the song with two A+M Records artists. The tune was well produced by Steve Addabbo and…[shut my mouth…] Arthur Baker! The latter of whom was stepping far outside of his 12″ remix electro comfort zone for a sophisticated pop turn.
The song was a perfect follow up to the “Suzanne Vega” album and “Left of Center” was a slightly more richly orchestrated step forward for the artist. The song was peerless and gave me a completely false sense of security, seeing as how Ms. Vega’s “Solitude Standing” album of the next year would never gel with me in spite of giving it perhaps far too many tries in disbelief.
When The Time split up after the “Purple Rain” explosion, Jesse Johnson had found a berth on the soundtracks that A+M was releasing for these John Hughes films. Johnson was on the “Breakfast Club” OST [an album I’ve never owned in any form, by the way…] and his contribution to the 1986 Hughes OST model was “Get To Know Ya.” A bit of his poprock sound with a wikkid solo from the former Time guitarist. The Minneapolis sound was nothing if not a perfect blend of Rock, Pop, Funk, and New Wave, so it was right at home in the time capsule of this album. A track from Johnson that was only here.
In 1985, the “Listen Like Thieves” album took INXS to the precipice of Rock stardom. Their subsequent “Kick” album would cement them there for a few years. Not undeservingly. I eventually came to really admire this band after a slow start and “Do Wot You Do” sounded like a great outtake from “Listen Like Thieves.”
The film may have been inspired by the Psychedelic Furs 1981 underground hit of the same name, but whoever suggested the band re-record the song five years later for this film was definitely uninspired. It’s still “Pretty In Pink,” but all of the mystery and intrigue of the 1981 song was completely wrung out of the tune on the second go-round here. As OMD had run aground by mid-decade, thus did Psychedelic Furs as well. Their next album would be the perfunctory “Midnight To Midnight” but this song would represent their lowest artistic ebb going forward.
In 1986 I was definitely collecting New order, but for reason’s unknown, I never once owned a copy of the “Shellshock” single, which appeared in America on this soundtrack. The track was another New Order collaboration with NYC electro producer John Robie and appeared here in a 6:o5 remix that differs from the only other version I have. The 6:28 mix on the “Substance” 2xCD. But now that I look, I see that “the 12” of “Shellshock” is actually 9:41 and the UK 12″ has a 7:31 dub mix on the B-side. Mental note to self.
“Shellshock” was probably from the era which I’d now typify as “Peak New Order.” Taking us from 1983 to 1987. The mix here built with magnificent subtlety for the first quarter of the song. With clicking insectoid beatbox programming and spartan layers of synth being layered over each other with plenty of space until the track eventually grew to gigantic proportions in your rear view mirror. Then it erupted into a powerful display once the backing chorus of massed voices and main drum programming kicked in.
Belouis Some was an almost-ran that the Berrow Brothers [who made their fortune managing Duran Duran when it really paid off the most] thought might be their second grab at the brass ring. Alas, as the tepid “Round, Round” showed, Belouis Some didn’t have the goods to really ignite. And in the case of this song, producer Bernard Edwards’ time was wasted that could have been put to better use elsewhere.
I was never a fan of Nik Kershaw, but I will admit that his original version of “Wouldn’t It Be Good” stood head and shoulders over the Danny Hutton Hitters’ cover on this album. Why this recording exists might be down to insurmountable rights issues regarding the 1984 hit from MCA records. In any case, Danny Hutton and producer Richard Polodor were old names from my childhood. As a eight year old, the first records I ever bought were by Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf and Polodor was producing those as well!
As Three Dog Night were a Pop/Rock cover band who generally took “songwriter’s songwriter” tunes and gave them a pop spin, I had never heard the original songs that Three Dog Night had recorded their hit versions of as a child. If I had, I might have balked at their possibly colorless renditions of them as I have done with Hutton’s version fo the already colorless Kershaw hit.
Another older song turned up here from Echo + The Bunnymen with “Bring On The Dancing Horses.” It had been the new song on their first “greatest hits” album of the previous year, and it was a lovely flowering of the band’s “imperial period” before the US charts became crucially important to their bottom line. Gorgeous melancholy was there in abundance with a nice Laurie Latham production.
A final older song [from 1984] closed out the album and, gloryoski, it’s a rare example of The Smiths in my Record Cell! Longtime readers may know my antipahy for the vocals of Morrissey but on the evidence of this single, in the early period of their career at least, he was not oversinging that material. Though his croon was still not to my taste, the brief song as evidenced here only had him in the first half of the song. With the last 50 seconds given over to the pleasant sounds of the band making beautiful music. Was this The Smiths that I can live with? I guess so!
John Hughes was a Faustian power with his turbo-charged teen films mowing down a slew of my favorite bands that he had the temerity to rope into contributing songs for his soundtracks. At first I found his attention to my favorite bands flattering. But after a year or two, I grew to dread his next movie. Often wondering what favorite bands of mine would take his offer of fame and riches only to be thrown into the Hollywood rock band wood chipper and discarded afterward. Left as a shell of their former selves as they wondered …what had just happened?!
I only ever bought this album when I saw a cheap copy somewhere in the 90s. On the face of it there ware six songs here that I like. But one of my least favorites here was from OMD; one of my very favorite bands ever. So listening to it is a bittersweet experience. Kudos go to New Order and Suzanne Vega who wrote material for this album specifically. And managed to make a strong showing of it. INXS handed off what sounds like an outtake but they were always a band with very solid B-sides. Older material from Echo + The Bunnymen and even [gasp!] The Smiths was put to admirable re-use here. Jesse Johnson showed why The Time were valued beyond their image as Prince sock puppets. Leaving a third or so of the album as avoidable.
Next: …Tomorrow We’re Gonna Party Like It’s 1982!
It is the best John Hughes soundtrack album, imho. Which is faint praise, to be sure. But Left of Center is one of Vega’s better tracks.
The OMD track is painful, but doubly so because it seems to be their nadir, at least until the recent stuff in the past decade. The rest seems to be recent singles/cast-offs. Well curated, but, eh. And the movie itself, blech.
Bring on Mary Stuart Masterson and Proapaganda!
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dhrichards – Well, you seemed to hit the nail on the head. Faint praise is just about all this album can muster. It’s certainly nothing I ever think to play. And yeah. The movie didn’t rate a mention for a reason. I have endless contempt for Hughes conceiving of a story. Filming it. Then testing it with an audience of teenaged girls who proceeded to turn that story on its head with their surveys afterward. And then he changed the film. That showed his values vividly!
The reason I am upset about the ending of the film is that Duckie should have ended up with Annie Potts’ character. Oh, the soundtrack… Yeah, overproduced in the “Let’s make a hit record” way, rather than taking great songs and assembling a soundtrack.
postpostmoderndad – I hate the ending because Blaine learns conclusively that his money entitles him to anything he wants. And because Hughes was so willing to whore himself. I saw “Sixteen Candles” on cable and was spellbound by two things. Anthony Michael Hall’s character was just like this guy John I knew, I could not believe it. And I have long said that were I to develop a sitcom, I’d deliberately slip in a rendition of John as a minor character with the intent of watching him become the surprise “breakout character” who whould then warp the show around him and become a “Fonzie” like character and cultural phenomenon. And then I could not help but notice that the soundtrack was peppered with deep cuts from so many of my favorite bands! So “Sixteen Candles” alerted me to the “Hughes thing.” It was the first of his movies that he wrote or directed that I saw.
Obviously, his next teen movie was huge and turned Simple Minds into stars. I went to see it second run and didn’t like it at all. Those kids were all different at the setup but ended up too much alike at the film’s end. Then “Weird Science” happened and we cautioned a 2nd run for that one. Not my cup of tea, though Oingo Boingo didn’t explode after that one. By the time that “Pretty In Pink” debuted, the Hughes Machine® was in high gear. I was working at my college newspaper and the PR firm marketing PIP gave aways tickets through the campus paper. All my friends got free passes to see it. Likewise for “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Which shockingly, didn’t have a soundtrack to moneyspin. Yello got some love but not enough to ruin them. More free passes for “Some Kind Of Wonderful;” the corrective to “Pretty in Pink.” And it ended there for me. I never saw anythig else he wrote or directed.
Honestly, I had to go to Hughes’ Wikipedia page to jog my memory. I had completely forgotten about “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Weird Science!” While there I learned that “Bring On The Dancing Horses” was indeed written by Echo + The Bunnymen specifically for the film, but their single of it was released in advance of the film by a few months as advanced promo for “Songs To Learn + Sing.” Amazing.
For me, Ferris needs the soundtrack treatment just for the English Beat b-side “March Of The Propellerheads” – the instrumental that plays as Ferris is running back home chased by the principal.
As for all the Hughes soundtracks, I have them. I bought into part and parcel the Hughes machine back in the day. Those 6 films (even the 2 not directed by him) are my “go to” 80s teen films, well along with a couple others (one of which you cover above). The only one I can never find is Sixteen Candles. Might have to “frankestein” it together like the Ferris one.
Two things to address here:
Firstly my continued disappointment that neither of the bands who play in the club scenes of the movie, the Rave Ups and Talkback, are NOT on the OST.
The Rave Ups lead singer was dating Molly Ringwald’s sister and some of you may have noticed that in the earlier Hughes / Ringwald movie, Sixteen Candles, Ringwald has the band name written prominently on one of her school folders. Apparently she fought very hard to get them on the soundtrack album but despite them being A+M artists at the time the album coordinator was not into it as he felt the album was strong enough without them. Very weird move.
You can get the two tracks they play in the movie, Positively Lost Me and Rave Up/Shut Up, on their album Town and Country (opening and closing tracks respectively). Interestingly they did get asked to play the launch party for the movie. Plus a nice expanded CD reissue of Town and Country came out in 2016.
As for Talkback, they are something of a mystery and from what I can tell never actually recorded the song they play in the movie, Rudy, although live versions are online.
The second point I want to make is that in the original ending of the movie Andie does end up with Duckie but test audiences did not like this and the entire prom scene ending had to be re-shot! By this point Andrew McCarthy (Blaine) had shaved his head for another acting role and is actually wearing a wig in the prom scene – watch it again and it looks very obvious.
Toast – Close on the Rave -Ups. I recall the Ringwald/Rave-Ups crossover but I just checked and while Podarasky and Jimenez were A+M employees [they used their employee discount to record in A+M’s studios but released their “Class Tramp” EP on the Fun Stuff indie label. They eventually signed to Epic and I remember seeing a video on the early 120 Minutes. So when “Pretty In Pink” was filmed they were not at that echelon to get picked for the soundtrack.
A quick look at Discogs indeed confirms the Rave Ups were never on A+M, my source was a highly recommended book I recently read by Susannah Gora about the Brat-Pack and John Hughes movies. Apparently Ringwald said if the Rave Ups were not on the album she wouldn’t do any promo for the movie, the executives pushed back hard and got their way:
You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, and Their Impact on a Generation https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307716600/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_2VMV62XC5HPHBDDX72VN
Ahhh….I bought this CD a long time ago and lately relistened to it. Ummm, yuck. I like the soundtrack to Sixteen Candles better-that movie had me looking fervently for the last song in the movie by Roxy Music and I then purchased the Avalon CD.
I didn’t like this John Hughes movie much either. I preferred The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. Ferris Bueller was good, too.
I think If You Leave by OMD is one of their worst songs-you are correct, it barely sounds like their signature sounds. It’s so bland in comparison to the rest of their catalog.
I also liked the soundtrack to Marie Antoinette which had 80s music. Sophia Coppola directed that movie…I also like the soundtrack to Lost in Translation.
Bridget – I’m with you on the perfunctory purchase of this album decades ago. I swear I may have played it twice in 25 years until this week. But I managed to really like 4/10 cuts here. I think it would be a solid EP. Speaking of which, it’s amazing that the “Sixteen Candles” OST was just a six track EP!
I haven’t seen “Sixteen Candles in decades but I recall really being impressed that Divinyls “Ring Me Up” and [especially] The Revillos “Rev Up” was in the film! I don’t remember any Roxy Music but anything that led you to “Avalon” was worth it, yes? I saw “Marie Antoinette” in the theater. Didn’t that also feature New Order?
The DiVinyls-now there was an interesting band-I wore out my CD of theirs listening to them in grad school-1987-89….”I Touch Myself”..one of the more interesting Australian bands for sure.
Bridget – I have yet to review them [because I’m lame, I guess] but the first two Divinyls albums were reissued by Rubellan Remasters last year that round up every track on both the US and Australian versions [radically different] Divinyls albums and manage to add even more tracks! They are highly recommended!
I have to admire the contributors here who have mentioned the Rave-Ups, ostensibly one of Molly Ringwald’s most adored bands at the time and whose moniker subtly appeared on one of her Trapper Keepers during her run of seminal teen films of the Eighties—by which I refer exclusively to “Sixteen Candles”, “The Breakfast Club” and “Pretty in Pink”. Yes, they were indeed all John Hughes vehicles and I would add to his list of seminal films “Weird Science” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Any subsequent films in his canon I couldn’t care less about and would prefer to forget, but the five films I mentioned, perhaps rounded off by “Heathers” (and David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks”) definitively represent my eighties high school experience memorialized on film, and I am prepared to aggressively argue with anyone, including yourself, who attempts to argue to the contrary.
Irrespective of any attempts at cynical adult historical revisionism, these films (and soundtracks) were our young, naive lives mirrored back to us at the most awkward, melodramatic times of our youth, and I refuse to dismiss the impact they had on us at the time no matter how they may fail contemporary political correctness or coolness tests. I’m a proud gay man, and even I can forgive the momentary foolish epithets that mar the otherwise priceless script of “Sixteen Candles”, because I was as charmed by Ringwald’s Samantha yearning for Jake Ryan as any of my straight peers were at the time—and I’m sorry, but these films were just so goddamn funny and self-effacing that it’s impossible for me to ascribe any menace to them whatsoever.
Of course your retrospective review of the “Pretty in Pink” soundtrack checks all the boxes of the requisite Fashionably Blasé Millennial-Era Critic, and I’m happy to paint mustaches all over your pretense. John Hughes may have sullied his credibility with the populist dreck he produced after these early films, but Echo and the Bunnymen were anything but mainstream in America in 1986, nor were the Smiths—it wasn’t until “Donnie Darko” fifteen years later that any filmmaker was astute enough to grasp the cinematic power of EATB in a film about disaffected youth, and at the height of the Reagan eighties Hughes’ choice was astonishingly progressive. “Pretty in Pink” is one of the soundtracks that introduced legions of young fans to bands that at the time were practically unheard of outside of the UK, and discovering the Smiths at that agonizing time of sexual confusion in my life was both transformative and life-changing.
Perhaps not all of us possessed your impeccable elan back in 1986, and had yet to be enlightened to the subtle differences between the Furs’ performances on their early albums versus the version presented here. But my instincts tell me that you’re being awfully disingenuous in this review, offering insights you’ve obtained decades since you first encountered this soundtrack way back when, in an facile attempt to reassure us that unlike the rest of us young rubes at the time, you were immune to any sentiment from these films, and possessed 21st Century insights decades before we achieved your heights as a tastemaker. I would be interested indeed to go back in time and uncover the true teen you are obfuscating here, but in the meantime I am unashamed to declare this soundtrack as being iconically brilliant and indispensable, and I think you should sit down.
Alan Roberts – Welcome to the comments! Such a spirited defense of the Hughes canon cannot fail to impress! But in my defense, I will point out that I am way older than a Millennial; being a late Boomer, so that limits my enthusiasm with many cultural trends that I was simply too old to get imprinted by. Star Wars was something that I was 14 when it happened; too old to play with the toys, and therefore quick to let it go after “The Return Of the Jedi” failed to entertain. Similarly, the Hughes Films were only interesting to me in that he was poaching my favorite acts to populate his soundtracks. OMD and Simple Minds were huge favorites from the ’80-’81 period but their breakthrough hits via these films’ soundtracks were pop hits of dubious merit compared to what I had been used to hearing from them.
As for the “Pretty In Pink” soundtrack. I thought I was being kind, not disingenuous towards it. I did not buy it in 1986, having deemed it unnecessary at the time. Only picking up a cheap, used CD a decade later at the thought of the Suzanne Vega tune. When the film came out I was not a teenager. I was almost 24. I did not enjoy “The Breakfast Club” and I thought the film was a big step down from “Sixteen Candles,” which I actually found charming. So John Hughes name held little cinematic pull for me. As I said, I found his taste in artists for his soundtracks uncannily pulling many of my favorites into the mix. Some of whom watered down their sound [and were rewarded with big hits] and others who simply gave me great new songs, regardless of the merits of the respective films. Rest assured that I did buy brand new contemporary copies of “Some Kind Of Wonderful” and even the OST to a film I never even saw [“She’s Having A Baby”] since the artists involved were many that I collected.
If you are unfamiliar with the 12” version of Shellshock I believe it has lyrics that are not in the truncated version.
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Tim – I only discovered the way longer “Shellshock” 12” mixes yesterday!! Extra lyrics are always one of the best 12” mix perks, in my opinion. What the world needs now, is yes, love, sweet love…but also a thoroughly revisited version of “Substance” that’s at least 4 discs of New Order up through the “True Faith” single! I’d buy that for sure.
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You know with the New Order track record the sound quality would be utter shite.
But I agree with you.
The allure of John Hughes movies was largely lost on me in the 80’s, I was the target audience and they always felt false, Maybe it’s an aspiritional thing for a chunk of the audience, I dunno. Just never grokked. And because I didn’t see the movies the soundtracks were often not a source of inspiration for me.
Andrew McCarthy released an autobio about his 80’s years yesterday, it’s called “Brat.”
I always thought in the casting of 80’s movies if there was an actor who did not belong with the others it was him. Anyhow, started reading the book yesterday, am not up to the John Hughes era yet but it’s an okay read. After 15 months of lockdowns and a lot of garbage advice about COVID my brain is goo and a brat pack bio is about my speed, as is something like Godzilla vs. Kong. Gimme a monkey and a dinosaur beating each other up for two hours and I am good. Why no one has made “Harold and Kumar Get Their COVID Shots” is beyond me. It would make a ton of $$$$.
It’s the song playing in the background of the scene on the pic of that album you have posted…I just looked….it isn’t mentioned.hmmmm. you know, I might have been mistaken. I thought the song was More than this by Roxy Music which is on their Avalon album.
Yes, The Marie Antoinette soundtrack has quite an eclectic group of songs ranging from classical to punk to new wave….New Order, The Cure….I liked the movie, too, although it got panned by the critics. I probably liked it because I liked the music and how it dirt of matched the lush cinematography…..
Bridget – It’s been a loooong time since any of my viewings of “Sixteen Candles.” Anyone else have stronger memories to set us straight on the Roxy Music notion? Please chime in on the comment thread.
Sorry for the horrible typos…sheesh. And I was referring to Sixteen Candles EP picture you posted. I love that movie even today. It is so funny and it really captures being a teenage girl in that generation-the expectations, hopes, activities, feelings, embarrassments, humor etc. Hughes really did capture that young generation which was partly mine.
It could be the Thompson Twins If You Were Here…
For some reason I have a strong association of Roxy and 16 Candles. Could be a miswired memory 😉
Bridget – Aaaah. Now I remember the Twins song [which is on the soundtrack EP] so that might be exactly it. It had the sophistication of Roxy, at least. There are so many music cues in Hughes’ movies that there might be 30 or more songs crammed in to each film. There is bootleg CD from 2004 of “Sixteen Candles” with what looked like every tune on it.
There’s a bunch of those out there for 80’s movies, I think it’s a combination of licensing and that, back in the day, one only squeezed so much time on each side of vinyl. I know there’s one for Weird Science and one for Valley Girl.
I’ve made my own uber deluxe Until the End of the World Soundtrack, marrying the rock songs version with the straight up instrumental cues and adding the missing songs and uh,,,,a rather longish take I made of the Neenah Cherry track.
I would totally be down with UTEOTW in your soundtrack week. A lot of people have never seen the 5 hour directors’ cut and hate the movie but love the soundtrack.
Tim – I love the “Until The End Of The World” soundtrack! I bought the German import version immediately and have played it countless times!! Haven’t seen that Wenders film ironically enough.
DOH! Speaking of licensing, Vinny Vero had an interesting Facebook post. He did some uberdeluxe box for someone, I wanna say it was Peter Cetera. Anyhow, there’s ONE track missing from it. He posted and said yup a lot of you are unhappy about this, it’s the original licensing for it, the song can only appear on the soundtrack and (if my memory is right) that’s it. No hits collections and certainly no BSOG ala Vinny.
Tim – That’s right! Cetera had recorded a song for a soundtrack on another label and the licensing was tight as a drum on that particular song. It could also appear on a Cetera greatest hits comp and that was that!
Still marveling that there is *a market for a Peter Cetera BSOG.*
I promised Vinny I would stop bugging him about his deluxified ABC Abracadabra, so who am I to talk?
Still think UP and Abracadabra should be re-recorded and re-modeled with Trevor Horn and Anne Dudley. There’s some great songs in there buried in the sound of the time.
Tim – Fascinating concept. Kind of Bowie/Visconti-esque, but I thought the House thing was tired. Blow Monkeys coul do that much more effectively. HELL, yeah.
I am in contact with Mr. Vero, there was a huge demand for the Peter Cetera stuff,
so thats why it came out.
As far as the ABC projects go, we’re still working on them, but it will make it out at some point, just waiting on some approvals that were done, but have to be done again, and
then there will be progress after that.
Post-punk Monk-one last post. I just plunked down some serious coin for nearly front row seats of the OMD 40th Anniversary Concert next March at Royal Albert Hall in London. I realized I missed their Rose Bowl 1989 show and one in 2019 in Tucson. I will not miss this upcoming one. I had tix to Halle, Germany for this fall but they postponed for a year and I wanted to go sooner. I am currently living in Europe, do hope to catch them in UK this fall as well. I am not much of a concert goer, but this is one group I want to see.
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Bridget – The Tucson show was a real fascinating show for them in America! I was jealous of those who could make that one since it was the one US show that was like one of their limited “Dazzle Ships” shows that were played overseas. They do love their art and culture! I saw OMD play a fantastic set in 2018 on the “Punishment Of Luxury” tour and they can really deliver. Any Royal Albert Hall gigs that OMD undertake should be very iconic. If you’ve not seen them before, you won’t be disappointed. I always lose it to “Maid Of Orleans” but there will be other highlights and surprises, I’m sure.
I caught the “Punishment of Luxury” tour in NYC and OMD was fantastic (even if the venue, Terminal 5, is subpar). I also saw their show with the B-52’s and Berlin in Central Park in the fall of 2019, which was also wonderful (and I was able to be much closer to the stage, which was a treat).
Sigh – I live in Germany – should have gone to that show in Berlin as I am a huge B52s fan as well, but alas, I was stooopid and/or probably doing something else. In any case, sounds like you’ve seen some awesome shows and are willing to travel to do it.
I’m sure you think I’m nuts, but I was cruising around YouTube and caught OMD live in 1985 in some UK gig (Sheffield) where the first song they played was “Crush” – one commenter on the vid talked about he lived there then, heard on the Beeb that they were playing and hot footed it over to get tickets. He and his friend were two guys at the front of the stage, one of them in the red shirt – and sure enough, when you watch the vid, it’s them – how amazing to see yourself from over 30 years ago – and the hair and clothes – hahahahaha.
In any case, I had not heard that Crush song before, so bought the MP3 and then read an interview where Andy talked about how that song was inspired by their time touring in Japan and he was so tired and something about the Japanese ads and how they sounded as well as the blinking light in Tokyo. Well, I could so relate as I spent some time in Okinawa and the Philippines in the 1980’s – he nailed the sound atmosphere of that time and place for me (similar to Lost in Translation with the Asian overtones). And as for being tired, oh yes. The jet lag for me when I would go there was horrendous and I was much younger then.
PPM – again, thanks for putting the work into this blog and delivering the content….great stuff!
Bridget – You’re most welcome! You and Steve Shafer are having a good chat while I was asleep so all I can say is rock on! I have a good web video story for you…
My wife was looking for videos of a local band we both used to catch countless times that played Garage Rock in the 90s where we lived called the Hate Bombs. Great band! Someone had uploaded a show from January of 1995 where my future wife and her friend were dancing in front of the stage and my two friends and I were sitting five feet from them at a table watching the show. Oblivious to the fact that my future wife of 25 years [and counting – we just had our Silver anniversary] was inches away from me before we would meet and sparks would ignite in two or three weeks. And the club where this was happening would be where we had our local wedding party for all of our friends following our wedding out of state. And the other band on the bill, The Exotic Aarontones, would be split up into two different bands; The ten Penny Heroes and Thee Vodkats by the time we married in May of 1996. Both of them would be playing at our party. Sadly The Hate Bombs were on tour that night and could not also play there. They were opening up for The Fleshtones in CBGBs on the very night of our party, so that was just fine. A big thrill for them!
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IMHO, “Shellshock” was the last of the really great New Order singles (and what a magnificent string of them there were in the 1980s–“Everything’s Gone Green,” “Ceremony,” “Temptation,” “Blue Monday,” “Confusion,” “Thieves Like Us,” “Perfect Kiss”, and “Bizarre Love Triangle”!). But they lost me for most of the 1990s, though came roaring back with the “Get Ready” LP (“Crystal” and “Slow Jam” are top notch) and even the recent “Be a Rebel” single is decent. This soundtrack, however, is kind of a stinker (and the movie is a Reagan-era fantasy/horror show). I’m a MASSIVE Furs fan and this version of “Pretty in Pink” is just atrocious (the original’s perfect–why mess with it?) and OMD’s “If You Leave” is appalling (and was inescapable back then). Even EATB’s track is sort of a letdown, since it came in the wake of the brilliant “Ocean Rain” album. One of the few great new wave/alternative soundtracks from this era is “Repo Man.” Hopefully, you’ll be writing about this one, PPM!
(Since we’re on the subject, “Some Kind of Wonderful” is a much better second take on this film–even the class issues were handled more sympathetically–and Eric Stoltz was charming and Mary Stuart Masterson was yowza!)
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I second the Repo Man soundtrack and let’s not forget the Return of the Living Dead one, too.
Tim, yes! “Return of the Living Dead” is pretty great (and I love that movie–it manages to be both really funny and very creepy). I also forgot to mention the “Valley Girl” soundtrack (the ’94 CD release), which is great from start to finish.
Valley Girl – OMG, I remember that movie…and those girls – I lived in AZ/CA and we used to make fun of the way they talked all the time…
@Steve Shafer-100% agree with you-the Furs on this soundtrack sound horrible-If You leave is horrible….pretty much this whole soundtrack seems to channel the crappy music available today with no range and a wa-wa-wa millennial cry. It is just bland on my ears.
Wow-some serious negative vibes on this CD from me. I guess it is so disappointing and showcases the worst of some awesome bands.
Bridget, fortunately the Furs and OMD have a wealth of amazing music (and keep making more!) that we can overlook these misfires. At least, they helped pay the bills. I’ve caught both bands each time they were here in NYC before the pandemic–and both were awesome live!
Steve Shafer – Too right on the Psychedelic Furs! I finally saw them the first time on the “Midnight To Midnight” tour and while it was not as disappointing as my first Simple Minds gig, it had a sense of “I’m too late with this band again.” Not at all the case then I saw them in the new century on their “Talk Talk Talk” revisited tour!
hey mr monk,
i’m of the opposite opinion here. i was never into OMD, or psychedelic furs, but i did love new order at this time, so they could do no wrong.
i’m ok with both the omd, and psychedelic furs tracks, and in fact, enjoyed the pretty in pink remixes on the 12 inch too. to me, omd was a pretty light weight band, so from what i heard this fit in with it. i think i had ‘so in love’ somewhere down the road on 12 inch.
i think it’s a pretty significant soundtrack, in that it finally put together a lot of bands i liked
all in one place.
i think the echo and the bunnymen song is fantastic, and the 12 inch remix is amazing as
well, we all can’t like everything. but this had plenty for me.
negative1ne – The OMD you cite is indeed very lightweight, so your attitude makes perfect sense as someone who came to the band at that time. I heard the. From their first single and there was a sea change in the band after the failure of “Dazzle Ships” in 1983.
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