Child Of The Eighties

First off, the irony about my whole complaint with music aping the past and retro is this: probably the first record I can remember really owning, and really loving, and the first film I saw that really, really made me want to make music and also maybe have a mixing desk larger than a car as the predominant feature of whatever space I would spend the most time in in my life, is Paul McCartney's Give My Regards To Broad Street. For those who don't know, the film itself is a series of music videos and performances held together by the thinnest of plots. Those music videos and performances depict McCartney and various musicians miming to re-recorded versions of McCartney compositions, some from the Beatles era, and some from solo albums that were very, um, recent, when the film and soundtrack were made. For all of the numerous and valid critiques of the film that can be made, I dare any geek out there to watch the engineer put the Studer into record and feel any negative emotion besides envy.

Here's the video for the remade version of "Silly Love Songs". The costumes and makeup are either campy or atrocious, but sort of spectacular in their failure. I wonder if there was some wry commentary meant by combining the "futuristic" look with the song itself. Like, regardless of how different the future will be, whether in our imaginations, or in reality, there will always be a need for "silly" love songs. Or was this a bad attempt at New Romantic style a year or two too late? Who knows. Jeff Porcaro and Steve Lukather from Toto on drums and guitar, respectively, and Louis Johnson, most likely the Louis Johnson of the Brothers Johnson, on bass. Dig.

Secondly, Risky Business is probably one of my favorite films of all time. I don't know that I identify with it as much as I used to, nor does the satire ring as true today, given all of the euphemisms and rationalizations that have been marshaled to conceal the reality of the fact that the "me decade" never really ended. However, the style, the real feel of night and the city, is so vivid, so enchanting to me. I still want my own life to feel more like Brickman's Chicago. Even if, in Joel's world, I am just some guy walking down the street headed somewhere else. Oh, oh, and the music. Have I posted this one before? If not, my tiny dot in the web has never been mine. There must be more Berlin-school meets Steve Reich out there, but I have listened to most of the Tangerine Dream records made in the 70s and early 80s, a lot of Froese and Schulze solo albums, some other Deutsche stuff, etc., and this track still, still, really stands out. But you already knew it was the best. Didn't have to tell you that.


Greyhoos said...

Like the films of John Hughes, most of "Risky Business" didn't take place in Chicago proper, but in the surrounding, much more affluent 'burbs. And speaking from experience, trains rides at night are rarely that enchanting. Especially along the northern lines, where the population density is the highest, meaning a greater proportion of crazy folks and aggressive drunks can easily (and often) take to public transit.

But I know what you mean. While I was never able to muster much enthusiasm for Tangerine Dream, it's funny how often you hear their influence in so much early-'90s ambient & "chill-out" music. (For instance, I remember there being a number of moments on FSOL's "Lifeforms" LP that invoked the above track.)

Speaking of Tangerine Dream scores for films set in Chicago -- Michael Mann's "Thief" had a lot of good street-level night scenes of what the city used to be like around that era.

:-p said...

I'll have to pull out Lifeforms again - I haven't listened to that in years. I've also recently been reminded that Global Communication's 76:14 recreates the track in question in a certain section.

TD is a typical precursor band in that there's no way that they themselves could anticipate what the future would find valuable about their work. So, as a listener whose hearing has already been re-adjusted by all the music that followed them, a lot of TD's work can seem to be a bit a of a let down. That being said, a lot of the earlier Froese and Schulze solo albums are a bit or even much closer to what "we" would want from music of that time.

"Thief" is good too - thanks for reminding me. May watch it sometime this week.

I had a friend in high school originally from Winnetka who went to New Trier for a year. He hated it. I can imagine why.