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Editors Picks 54: Soundtracks Pt. 2 by Alison Baitz

I’ve been brainstorming all week about which grouping of soundtracks to do today… yes I put quite a bit of thought into these blog posts. As you may remember, last week I talked about the soundtracks of my childhood. I realized recently that I’ve always been sort of obsessed with the 80s. In high school, some pals and I used to host an “80s night” once every summer- dressed in decade-appropriate garb, we would go to the local wealthy supermarket and purchase only foods that were available in the 1980s. Then we would watch 80s movies while wearing our weird stuff [side ponytails, I’m sure] and drinking Grape Crush. We were very precise. Now, my obsession is more about the subtle [like my subtle 80s Goth series]… less about the neon and big hair for me, more about the general feel of the decade. Today we’ll talk all about movies made in the 80s, and movies about the 80s.

ME WITHOUT YOU: Though it doesn’t take place entirely in the 80s, [it follows two friends throughout their childhood and adulthood.. featuring some seminal moments in both the 70s and the 80s] this is exactly what I’m talking about when I mention the whole “subtle” period stuff. Sure, there’s some big hair and crappy coloring here and there, but it wasn’t shoved down your throat. Me Without You featured so many great late-70s and 80s songs. That means you heard plenty of The Clash and Echo & The Bunnymen. Some of the more fun music moments in the film included club scenes featuring “Kings of the Wild Frontier” by Adam Ant and “Just Can’t Get Enough” by Depeche Mode [now I’m obsessed with this song.] You can practically smell the hip teen angst with the girls as they listen to “Warm Leatherette” by The Normal. And who could forget heartthrob Nat jamming out in his underwear to “Whole Wide World” by Wreckless Eric? One of my favorite movies. Check out this clip, particularly at 6:30 in.

+ [in another language…]

 

THE WEDDING SINGER: Yes, Adam Sandler. Though he’s flopped in recent years, this movie is pretty okay and is a perfect, more typical 80s compilation. The Thompson Twins sit alongside The Smiths, The Police are right next to Culture Club. There are definitely some standouts on this disc too, like the amazing “Pass The Dutchie” by Musical Youth and “China Girl” by David Bowie. “Love My Way” by The Psychedelic Furs has proven to be one of my favorite songs of recent years. Oh god and who could forget the heart-melting “Grow Old With You” performed by Adam Sandler? I might just vomit all over my keyboard:

 

DONNIE DARKO: I’m seriously doubting your commitment to Sparkle Motion, you guys. This film is another subtle 80s classic! I’m sensing a pattern here. Though I still don’t fully understand what the hell was going on in this movie, I did like it. Scary bunnies and Drew Barrymore trying to be serious and meaningful are a few of my favorite things. Decade classics like Oingo Boingo and Joy Division with Duran Duran? Yes, please. And who doesn’t love the gothy “The Killing Moon” by Echo & The Bunnymen and “Under the Milky Way” by The Church? And of course- “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears? Classic clip:

 

HEATHERS: There’s really not all that many songs in this movie, but I had to include it because it’s certainly in my Top 5. Lots of weird, angular music keeps the mood dark… this is a black comedy after all. Teenage suicide, don’t do it:

 

THE FILMS OF JOHN HUGHES: I think it’s fair to say that John Hughes was one of the more recognizable directors of the decade, bringing the general, sentimental public perfectly quirky teen films starring the adorable Molly Ringwald. The Breakfast Club had the memorable [pun definitely intended] “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds. Sixteen Candles was filled with music by Bowie, Billy Idol and Wham! to name a few. “True” by Spandau Ballet is one of my favorites. Pretty in Pink, though only written by Hughes, had loads of New Order plus INXS and The Smiths. Who could ever forget “Pretty in Pink” by The Psychedelic Furs? Of all the memorable music moments and lovable dreamboats/geeks in these movies, Duckie might be my favorite:

 

Others that I can remember right now that made an impression but didn’t get a full blurb: The Lost Boys [so, so good but I can’t pinpoint anything specific since it’s been a while, but allow me to acknowledge that it’s amazing], Chocolate War, Son of Rambow, many more…

 

Your turn. What’d I forget?

 

-Alison Baitz, Editor-in-Chief

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