80s Soundtrack Week: Thursday – “Married To The Mob” US CD

In the mid-80s I was a huge fan of director Jonathan Demme. He came up through the Roger Corman system and I first saw his work with the quirky “CB craze” movie “Handle With Care [a.k.a. “Citizen’s Band”] which my mother forced me to go see with my neighbors in 1977. By the dawn of the 80s he was connected with New Wave music; having directed the video for The Suburban Lawn’s “Gidget Goes To Hell” video. Demme had a real affinity for music outside the margins and his soundtracks [and casts] were peppered with choice cuts and musicians that anyone reading this would love. I saw his 1986 film “Something Wild” at least four times in theaters when it was in release. My friends and I would go back each week for another viewing. I didn’t really need that soundtrack album, but his next movie, was another case entirely.

married to the mob cover art
Reprise Records | US | CD | 1988 | 9 25763-2

Various: Married To The Mob – US – CD [1988]

  1. Sinead O’Connor: Jump In The River
  2. New Order: Bizarre Love Triangle [Stephen Hague Remix]
  3. Chris Isaak: Suspicion Of Love
  4. Debbie Harry: Liar, Liar
  5. Ziggy Marley + the Melody Makers: Time Bums
  6. Tom Tom Club: Devil Does Your Dog Bite?
  7. Q. Lazzarus: Goodbye Horses
  8. The Voodooist Corporation: Queen Of Voudou
  9. The Feelies: Too Far Gone
  10. Brian Eno: You Don’t Miss Your Water

sinead o'connor - jump in the river cover artBy this time, I was convinced by Sinead O’Connor and was buying her singles on CD after getting “The Lion + The Cobra.” “Jump In the River” was a non-LP single and in America it was attached to this soundtrack. This was an excellent single she had co-written with Marco Pironni that featured a heavy rock throb over a motorik drum machine and rhythm guitar. The 7″ mix here was the one to have. I never appreciated the 12″ with Karen Finley free associating over the mix.

Demme sure loved his New Order, but many directors were in that club along with him. You’ll recall that they were also on Monday’s album in this theme. This was a unique 7″ version of “Bizarre Love Triangle” as mixed by Stephen Hague. It’s a nice mix to have with some nice flourishes that differed from the Pettibone mixes. I like the succinct 3:56 running time and the delicate coda in the fade instead of the cold ending was a good touch.

One of the two main reasons why I bought this CD was down to it having a [rare] Chris Isaak non-LP song in “Suspicion Of Love.” I fell hard for the singer’s songs and style three years earlier and he also acted a small turn as the “FBI Clown” in the film itself. “Suspicion of Love” was sort of a throwback to his debut album sound in that it was still very much enamored of his minor key structures that grabbed me so vividly back at the time of the “Silvertone” album. But it differed in having what sure sounded like a drum machine with shaker chugging in a motorik fashion throughout the song. Of course, his original guitarist James Calvin Wilsey was still in the spotlight at this time. Making this a must-have Isaak rarity at the time and even now.

debbie harry - liar liar cover artThe lead single from the album was given to Deborah Harry, who was no stranger to pop soundtracks! She covered The Castaways 60s’ hit “Liar, Liar” with the sturdy Mike Chapman producing, though Arthur Baker mixed the raucous pop tune. It’s a solid tune given a brash and horn laden arrangement. I especially loved the blood curdling scream in the middle eight break before the wicked cool backwards guitar solo! I’d love to hear the German-only extended version but that little gem is going for a serious two figures.

Ziggy Marley + The Melody Makers got a non-LP rarity into the playlist with the electro reggae of “Time Bums” as produced by Tina Weymouth + Chris Frantz, who had recently taken the scion of Bob Marley to the top of the charts with “Tomorrow People.” Then we had a rarity from Tom Tom Club also included afterward with “Devil Does Your Dog Bite?” The goofy, hoedown/Zydeco hybrid was one of Chris Frantz’ turns on lead vocals and a fun track we just discussed.

Q. Lazzarus

The mysterious Q. Lazzarus

“Goodbye Horses” by Q. Lazzarus has become a highly sought after song following Demme’s decision to use it in his subsequent film as well as “Married To The Mob.” The version of the “Married To The Mob” soundtrack was in fact, the song’s first ever release. Later 12″ singles came on the heels of it’s use in “Silence Of The Lambs” in both 1991 and 2013 and those records now are three huge figures. Edging towards four. You can’t afford them.

It’s a good thing that this CD has the song in an affordable version fit for most budgets! It remains an eerie ballad like few things out there, though the expression vocals always remind me of New Order’s “Temptation.” But the minimal song all but hangs on the frame of the expressive lead vocal that never fails to intrigue.

The big “x-factor” on this soundtracks was The Voodooist Corporation with their techno-trance/dance track “Queen of Voudoo” being a dark blend of machine energy and Haitian Creole vocals. The mysterious band only ever surfaced on a 12″ a few years later, and that one will set you back a hefty two figures.

The only time I ever heard The Feelies in spite of reading lots of rave reviews of their 1980 debut album, was when they appeared here with a track off of their third album, “Only Life.” “Too Far Gone” was an energetic track that started in high gear and only upped the tempo from there. Vocalist Glenn Mercer came on like a speeding Lou Reed on the urgent song and I loved the way the lead guitar would slightly hang back from the frenetic rhythms for maximum impact. Can someone please remind me again why this was the only Feelies song in my Record Cell?

The album concluded with the second reason why this was a must buy in 1988. Brian Eno broke his embargo on singing for the first time in a decade here with his evanescent cover of the William Bell Stax classic “You Don’t Miss Your Water.” Eno managed to give the song [covered by everyone from Otis Redding to Harry Dean Stanton] a featherlight country music feel not a million miles away from the vibe on his “Apollo” album.


This was a tight and enjoyable album from start to finish. I put that down to the taste of Demme being of a very high standard. It’s just hard to imagine Demme overseeing his musical charges making sellout records of the kind that John Hughes was apparently comfortable with. And there is no comparison between the first three films we’ve examined [even obliquely] thus far and “Married To The Mob.” This film represented the climax to what I call the imperial period of Demme’s career. Afterward, “Silence Of The Lambs” booted him out of his ghetto of quirky personal projects and into the Hollywood spotlight for better or worse. Mostly worse. At least this soundtrack stands as a legacy to his early strengths.

Next: …Hughes Music Redux

About postpunkmonk

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8 Responses to 80s Soundtrack Week: Thursday – “Married To The Mob” US CD

  1. Bridget says:

    PPM – I must confess that probably 80% of the music and bands you write about are so obscure to me, however, I suspect I did hear them back in their day, just didn’t care enough to find out who they were or what they were singing outside of those bands that I *JUST HAD TO HAVE ON CD* at the time, which wasn’t many bands. Moreover, I realized I was too busy going to school, working or traveling for work to go to very many concerts – it wasn’t on the priority list at that time in my life outside of a few bands or someone visiting and asking (I went to see the Cars because my friend from CA came to Phx and we bought the tix the day of the concert).

    I love the techno pop – British OMD-like sound (which was heavily borrowed from Kraftwerk, etc), as well as the B52 jump around and just have fun music – however, I also love some rockabilly classical and jazz. It’s all in the mood I have at the time.

    So, imagine my surprise that you also like Chris Isaak – I *really like* Chris Isaak – so much that I’ve seen him in concert twice in Tucson (and missed a gig in Munich…sigh). He is a phenomenal performer, his voice is divine, he’s easy on the eyes, his band is tight – all around great – and yet so different from the music featured on this CD today and the others of this week.

    I also love Blondie and Debbie Harry – I remember being in high school and hearing the song “One way or Another, I;m gonna getcha….” and seeing the super cool album cover of Parallel Lines….uber cool to me then and even now….

    This CD has quite an eclectic mix of music, although most is in your main genre – post-punk. I may have to go check out this CD.

    By the way – the OMD fan club people (100% through the omd-uk website) wrote me back (long story) – they were interested in the blog posts about OMD so I sent them about eight of your blog links…..should give them a laugh or so :-) Perhaps they will come on by and comment, too ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Bridget – I was an immediate fan of Isaak when I managed to catch a rare showing of his debut video “Dancin’” on MTV in 1985. It took a full year to find a copy of “Silvertone” and I was relentless! I finally saw Isaak in 1991. An all time fave concert I reviewed in the fanzine I did with a friend at the time. Saw him again two more times. Bought a Tina Turner ticket to see him open in an 18K seater arena and he was still fantastic! That was the second time I bought a Tina Turner ticket… never managed to see Ms. Turner though.

      So the OMD fan club people [100%] wrote you back… did I miss something? Why did you contact them to begin with? But thanks for sending them my links. Goodness knows we go on about the OMD around here. They might know about PPM already. I used to be a commenter on the late, lamented official OMD forum until they got tired of certain fans trolling the boards and dropped a forum on a re-design of their website on the last album campaign. It was fun having Andy communicating with the fans but everyone does that on FaceBoot now… except me. I won’t ever have a social media presence.

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      • Bridget says:

        I wrote them to tell them that I was so impressed with the OMD latest (I’m late to get there) CDs and to thank them for getting better and not dialing it in. They (Anna) wrote back, then I wrote back and told them I bought the Tix for London and I asked if they would have any back stage passes (hehe, don’t know if you don’t ask). They wrote back and said probably not but that there might be a special event announced on some email special link (I’m guessing possibly for those who dropped the extra bucks for the Premier package (me!)).

        I had to use the ‘contact us’ form buried in several layers of menus…..I have an IT background, so can find the little ways in….however, you are correct, no official commenting forum there at all.

        I then told them about the blog and sent the links. I didn’t know you were part of the previous fan club setup. I don’t do Facebook either, so use old fashioned email and blog posts/comments…..

        Sinead is one odd duck. It seems as though the Irish grow them-Scots, too…..maybe it’s that Celtic background. They seem to be hanging over the edge of insanity. Emotional, intense, edgy, and odd…

        To Steve, glad to hear the gates are opening near you and you can see The Furs-nice.

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  2. Steve Shafer says:

    PPM,

    I forgot about that great Debbie Harry cover! Thanks for the reminder. This is a great movie that I watched many times, but–strangely–the soundtrack made little impression on me at the time, despite the NO, TTC, and DH contributions.

    Speaking of Sinead O’Connor, did you catch the incredible feature on her in the NY Times this week? It’s very much worth reading, whether one is a fan or not: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/arts/music/sinead-oconnor-rememberings.html.

    Lastly, in the department of things returning to normal (fingers crossed), I just bought tickets to see the Psychedelic Furs at The Apollo Theater in NYC this November! I’m really looking forward to hearing what the “Made of Rain” tracks sound like live (they’re hitting NYC after a tour of the UK).

    Best,

    Steve

    PS: I received a nice mention in BrooklynVegan today for an introductory chapter I wrote for a friend’s forthcoming book about the birth of the US ska scene: https://www.brooklynvegan.com/ska-boom-book-highlights-u-s-ska-in-between-2-tone-3rd-wave-qa-w-author-marc-wasserman/?fbclid=IwAR0a8fuCAa1qcEDDS49LztleWNETnOVFiTkpaAp5xG6X_RTWQZ6HRLHbjZA.

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    • bpdp3 says:

      Boy, you aren’t kidding about the outrageous cost of “Goodbye Horses”. When I first heard the song (within the past ten years) I liked it and started searching for an album, single, etc. Never came across it in local shops. Then when I discovered discogs and started looking my reaction was clearly “wait…. WHAT???!?”

      Didn’t know it was on this soundtrack… thanks for the tip.

      Like

      • postpunkmonk says:

        bpdp3 – Here’s another hint. You can get the six plus minute 12″ version [which I’ve never heard] on the OST of “Jay + Silent Bob Rebooted” for a tiny fracton of the holy vinyl itself.

        Like

  3. negative1ne says:

    Hi Mr. Monk,
    yes, i bought this soundtrack, and i really enjoyed the film too.
    but, it was only for the new order bizarre love triangle remix exclusive to this,
    much like temptation edit on ‘something wild’. i did like the deborah harry song
    liar liar, and have the US promo CD of it, but i’m still looking for the german 12
    inch of it too.

    later
    -1

    Like

  4. sweet jesus – The Feelies on a soundtrack…

    Like

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