Sunday, October 9, 2011

Beverly Hills Cop: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

Review # 46
Artist: Various
Title: Beverly Hills Cop -- Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Format: LP
Label: MCA Records
Year: 1984
Songs: 10

I have never seen any of the Beverly Hills Cop movies, and don't feel any compelling need to. I bought this record at a thrift store some years ago for one reason only--as a kid, I loved the Harold Faltermeyer song "Axel F," which you might know as just the theme from Beverly Hills Cop, or you may have seen used in recent computer-animated music video, currently popular on YouTube, "performed" by "Crazy Frog." I can't really make sense of that, and will let you find that yourself if you want to see it because I find it sort of irritating and don't want to link to it. Whatever.

Axel F is a piece of super cheesy dramatic 1980s synth pop that used to come on the radio in the car when I was little, and I'd look out the window and imagine I was on my way to do something really cool and dramatic. Maybe I was on the way to... fight the Joker... or... I don't know, really. It just made me feel bad-ass to listen to this song and the look out the window of the car (especially at night, on long road trips) when I was six years old or so and imagine that there was adventure waiting for me at my destination. As a result, when I saw this record in a 25 cent bin, the I decided to pick it up. Can't say I play it much but the beginning of "Axel F," the last song on this LP, still resonates something deep inside my being that make me feel happy.

So that's why I own this record.  What about the rest of it? Well, if you aren't familiar with this soundtrack, it's mostly some pretty silly 1980s pop music, much of it synthesizer driven. But it's not really the kind I like.  If you pick this record up, which is very easy to do in thrift stores across America, you get such hits as "New Attitude" by Patti LaBelle, "The Heat is On," by Glenn Frey of the Eagles, and "BHC (I Can't Stop)" by Rick James, to name a few of the better known tunes and artists found on this record. This isn't the weird nerdy new-wavey '80s pop that resonates with me. It's more dancey and mainstream. I think it's safe to say that for the most part, the only song I ever play on this record is "Axel F."

That said, upon listening to this record for the blog, I did find myself enjoying the song "Gratitude" by Danny Elfman. Elfman is perhaps best known for writing the theme song for The Simpsons as well as music for Tim Burton's Batman and The Nightmare Before Christmas. In addition to scoring movies though, Elfman was also a member of the new wave band Oingo Boingo, and also produced some solo material that was somewhat in that vein. "Gratitude" is a fun synthy pop song that falls more into the weird, more creative kind of silly 1980s stuff that I enjoy. At moments, the songs reminds me a little bit of certain eras of David Bowie's work, and definitely stands out from the rest of this record as far as I'm concerned.

Coming up next, a return to punk rock records, with one of the greatest punk rock team-up albums ever recorded.

Total songs listened: 584

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