Thursday, February 9, 2017

Riske Business: Songs I Love from 1987 Movies

by Adam Riske
Your pre-game playlist for next Saturday’s F This Movie Fest 6 has arrived!

Title: “Shakedown”
Artist: Bob Seger
From: Beverly Hills Cop II

Beverly Hills Cop II Music Consultant: “Bob, thanks for coming in. Sit down. Sit down.”

Bob Seger: “Sure. Thanks for having me.”

Consultant: “I’m gonna cut to the chase. We need a macho song for the lead single to Beverly Hills Cop II.”

Bob Seger: “More than 'The Heat Is On'?”

Consultant: “Bob? Please! Cop II is a whole other ball game. None of that Mickey Mouse kids’ stuff from Marty Brest’s picture. We got this guy, Tony Scott, he made Top Gun.”

Bob Seger: “Yeah, well I don’t know. I always thought of Beverly Hills Cop as a comedy before some sort of macho swag. I just don’t have any ideas off the top of my mind.”

Consultant: “I don’t presume to tell Bob Seger his business, but may I offer one suggestion that I think might help? A1 Steak Sauce!”

Bob Seger: “A1 Steak Sauce?”

Consultant: “If A1 Steak Sauce were a song…that’s what I want.”

Bob Seger: “I’ve got just the thing!”

Title: “The Girls and Boys of Rock and Roll”
Artist: The Chipmunks and the Chipettes
From: The Chipmunk Adventure

I legitimately think this song has a good chorus (“You better believe it! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!”). It also reminds me of a great day in my life when I was at my 5th birthday party (I think it was at Hardee’s???) and my dad was like “Hey, after this want to go see The Chipmunk Adventure at the mall?” Parents, remember, it’s the small stuff like that which determines if your grown child will one day pick up your mail when you go on vacation.

Title: “Catch Me (I’m Falling)”
Artist: Pretty Poison
From: Hiding Out

I love Hiding Out. It’s the type of movie I watched way too many times when it was on HBO and I was too young to know what was going on. All I knew was I thought Jon Cryer was funny and Annabeth Gish was a fox. I caught up with it a few years ago on Netflix and I still like it! Anyways, this song from the movie by Pretty Poison rules. I especially like the part (first appearance is around the 1:15 mark) were she goes “Ca.Ca.Catch Me I’m Falling” because it sound like she’s really falling! I know I am right for loving this song because in the YouTube sidebar it offers up Jane Child and Taylor Dayne videos as next-ups. Whatever happened to Jane Child? “Don’t Want to Fall in Love” is a hot song. She had a chain in her nose.

Title: “Hazy Shade of Winter”
Artist: The Bangles
From: Less than Zero

That…guitar…riff…omg! I much prefer The Bangles version of “Hazy Shade of Winter” to the original. It’s one of the best songs ever. And how foxy is Susanna Hoffs (and she’s Jewish too…omg)? This song and video captured my imagination so much in 1987 that I remember really wanting to see the drug drama Less than Zero and I was in kindergarten! It would take five years of D.A.R.E. to make me forget that drugs are probably not like hanging out on a left-over Elm Street: Dream Warriors set, listening to the hottest song, sung by the hottest girl. My teacher in class would ask “Adam, what do you think of drugs, aren’t they bad?” and I would answer “Bow..bow..bow..wa..”

Title: “Light of Day”
Artist: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
From: Light of Day

Ok, look, Bruce Springsteen wrote this song so of course it’s going to be good. His version is better because he’s Bruce Springsteen. BUT Joan Jett (one of my first crushes, according to my mom) is no slouch and her take, from the movie Light of Day, rocks too. Is Michael J. Fox really playing guitar here? Is the other guitar player Michael McKean? Checking…yeah it is! Is Light of Day worth a re-watch? I remember it being a drag.

Title: “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”
Artist: Starship
From: Mannequin

This song might come from Mannequin but it is perfected by Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig (the funniest woman in the world) in the movie The Skeleton Twins. That aside, this is the type of song I used to pretend I didn’t love and then I got in touch with my emotions and saw it for the masterpiece it is. This video is insane. Some of my favorite parts include the 0:18 mark where the dude (I don’t know his name…Starship had like 300 members) is all “Did I leave the stove on?” The female singer looks like my ACT tutor in high school (I got a 26 in case you were curious but like a 31 in English which is why I write for F This Movie! and am not a Science or Math worker person). Also great, 1:55 where she turns on the hose. It’s so dumb! BTW…how did homeboy turn into a mannequin at the end of the video? Like, I can buy a mannequin coming to life but without Vincent Price, isn’t a man to mannequin transformation a little far-fetched?

Title: “Mind Over Matter”
Artist: E.G. Daily
From: Summer School

I used to watch Summer School a lot on cable. The horror scene used to scare me, but it’s a movie that fucking works. Mark Harmon is like La Croix Costner, so I wasn’t exactly a hard sell admittedly being that I love both. I’m also 100% sure that if my dad and Mark Harmon met in real life they would be best friends (he loves NCIS). But, for reals, who knew E.G. Daily had a GREAT song in her like “Mind Over Matter”? Why this wasn’t a huge hit…I’m sure I don’t know. Wait, this was an unreleased Debbie Harry song?

Title: “Causing a Commotion”
Artist: Madonna
From: Who’s That Girl?

Cartoon opening credits! I could have easily gone with the title track from Who’s That Girl? but totes my fave is “Causing a Commotion.” One thing I love about Madonna is that she doesn’t phone in her soundtrack singles. Think about it: ”Crazy for You,” “Into the Groove,”etc. etc. I don’t remember this movie being very good, though. And how many cheetah (Or is it a Jaguar? I don’t know. I only got a 26 on my ACT) scenes are there in Who’s that Girl?

Happy 1987 week everyone!


  1. E.G. Daily has had at least two great songs in her having done One Way Love a couple years earlier in Better of Dead.

    A few more notable '87 songs from movies:

    "Cry Little Sister" by Gerard McMahon from The Lost Boys. Maybe a little emo for my personal tastes but I had a friend who really loved this song. He also dressed up as The Crow several years in a row for Halloween when we were in High School so that's just the kinda guy he was.

    "The Secret of My Success" by Night Ranger from The Secret of My Success. By no means a good song but I've been compiling a list of eponymous 80's movie themes and this one isn't the worst. There are others I absolutely torture myself with like "Citizens on Patrol" from Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (also from 1987).

    The soundtrack for Back to the Beach has Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dick Dale covering "Pipeline", Pee-wee Herman doing "Surfin' Bird", Aimee Mann from Til' Tuesday does what I believe is an original song "Sign of Love", and Annette Funicello performs "Jamaica Ska" with Fishbone. I haven't revisited this movie since I was a kid but I imagine I'd still find it charmingly stupid (in a good way).

    "Something to Remember Me By" by Jim Walker from Three O'Clock High. I'm not ashamed to admit I actually really like this song beyond that fact that it conjures up images of Richard Tyson pushing Casey Siemaszko up against a urinal and flushing repeatedly.

    "City of Crime" from Dragnet. It was my early experiences with cable t.v. which my family only had access to during our summer vacations. Consequently we spent a lot of time watching the same stuff repeatedly over those three months. That meant seeing the music video for "City of Crime" on MTV a ton of times before I even had a chance to watch the movie. I believe it wasn't until the following summer when I would end up watching Dragnet quite likely more times than I've seen any other movie to this day.

    1. My affection for the song "Cry Little Sister" is a little out of control. What a great track!

  2. The Chipmunk Adventure holds up better than it has any right to

  3. I would also give a shoutout to:

    "Hungry Eyes" from Dirty Dancing
    "Meet Me Half Way" from Over the Top

    1. I hate the song Hungry Eyes so much for a very specific reason. When I was a kid my mom made my sister and I eat gefilte fish and it was right around the time Dirty Dancing was out. I hated 'filte and Dirty Dancing so much that my sister (to mess with me) would put one on a fork and wave it in my face and say "Huuuuuuuunnnnnngggggrrrryyyyy Eyes!" It was the most Jewish thing that has ever happened in recorded history.

    2. I've been rediscovering "Hungry Eyes" lately. It's a freaking musical treasure. :P

    3. That is the best story.
      What do you think of Dirty Dancing seeing it as an adult?

    4. I haven't seen it since the 90s. I'd imagine I'll probably like it more though????

  4. Ross, I second your nomination of "Cry Little Sister", but The Lost Boys soundtrack has two other great songs, also: "I Still Believe" by Tim Capello, and, best of all, "Beauty Has Her Way" by Mummy Calls, which should be played at least once per night in every seedy urban dive bar, ever.

  5. Don't know how you missed this classic:

    (for those who don't want to follow a blind link, it's Jason Bateman [airquotes]singing[/airquotes] "Do You Love Me" in Teen Wolf Too)

    1. Good pull. I'm more of a "Send Me An Angel" man though.