Friday, August 05, 2011

Friday 80s Flashback for August 5, 2011

[Under-Appreciated Movie Theme Songs] -- For every brilliant film/soundtrack combo, there are dozens that are ... well, not regarded quite as highly by either the general public or the critical media. But I love 80s movies and I love their soundtracks. And I think there are some real soundtrack gems that have gone ignored. So this week's Flashback playlist focuses on those poor, under-appreciated, tunes. What movie soundtrack selections made the cut? Read and hear more after the break.

Flashback #1"Am I ready for the real world, will I pass the test | You know it's a jungle out there | Ain't nothin' gonna stop me, I won't be second best | But the joke's on those who believe the system's fair."

Teachers (1984) stars Nick Nolte as a worn-down social studies teacher who is still popular with the kids. During the course of the film, Nolte's character, Alex Jurel, must be convinced that the students of JFK High are worth risking reputation and career. Speaking of reputation, Teachers was filmed before Nolte went crazy. (No, I'm not confusing him with Gary Busey, who has always been crazy). Our first Flashback kicks off the Teachers soundtrack with a little Southern rock. It reached the top 25 and was a concert favorite. Here is "Teacher, Teacher" by 38 Special.

Flashback #2"Worlds collide and hearts will be broken. | Over and over it's the same every day. | How can I say what has never concerned me. | The secret of my success is I'm living 25 hours a day."

In 1987, Michael J. Fox starred in The Secret of My Success which received mixed reviews. Roger Ebert wrote that the move "seems trapped in some kind of time warp, as if the screenplay had been in a drawer since the 1950s and nobody bothered to update it." Vincent Canby of the New York Times felt the Fox's performance was inspired, but noted that "Hanging over The Secret of My Success is the long shadow of Frank Loesser's classic musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." Fox requested that Night Ranger write and record the movie's title theme. This was the band's first song produced by David Foster who gave them a more polished and keyboard-driven sound than they had on their previous three albums. The result is a jaunty little Flashback tune that encourages listeners to live "25 hours a day."

Flashback #3"Get a hold on yourself now | Of your heart and your soul | You've got to make a few decisions | You've got to get some self-control."

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) was the first, and only, film based on The Destroyer series of pulp novels. The film did poorly in theaters but did receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup (spoiler alert: Remo lost to Mask). But, believe me, Remo worth watching just for the bullet-dodging, wise-cracking Chiun, an aged Korean martial arts master. Don't bother renting; you might find it on TNT or TBS some weekend. The movie's title song, "Remo's Theme (What If)," is also worth your time. Written and performed by Styx alum Tommy Shaw, "What If" was not included on the move soundtrack album, but Shaw released on his first solo album: What If (1985). And it's our final Flashback for this week. Enjoy! (But watch out for the scaffolding around the Statue of Liberty).

Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

I'll see you in seven!

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