Purple Rain

For a year before this movie hit, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” had ruled the radio airwaves and the TV screens turned to MTV. A month or so before the movie came out, the soundtrack to “Purple Rain” was released and suddenly, there was a different set of songs dominating the radio. The first time I can remember hearing “When Doves Cry” was when I was browsing the aisles of the Alhambra Bookstore on Main Street, killing time and feeding another one of my habits, book buying. The stereo system at the bookstore was not particularly elaborate, after all they sold books not music, but it was loud enough that when the percussion on  the song kicked in, everybody looked up and our bodies started unconsciously moving to the music. This would be the soundtrack for our lives in the Summer of 1984.

purple_rain“Purple Rain” has been praised for it’s innovative shooting of concert footage and clever editing of montages, and it has been criticized for it’s amateurish acting and ham-fisted story line. I’m going to concur on both counts but forgive the later because the music and the former are so overwhelmingly positive. Continue reading

This is Spinal Tap

During the course of this project, I will be posting on all the movies that were nominated for the Oscar for Best Song from a motion picture. Two of them were from “Footloose” a couple of weeks ago, one is from this weeks “Against All Odds”. None of them should have even been on the list of nominated songs in the first place. All five slots that year should have been filled by:

Big Bottom



Rock and Roll Creation

Sex Farm

The great catalog of songs from the band Spinal Tap, featured in this documentary of their career. “Big Bottom” many be the most genius musical parody ever created, including the collected works of Weird Al.

this_is_spinal_tapI remember reading a story in the L.A. Times in 1984, in which director Rob Reiner complained that people did not understand the movie because the band featured in the documentary was not that good. Supposedly there were a whole group of people in some of the preview audiences who did not get the joke. I don’t know if the story was true or not, but it is believable in part because everyone in this film played it straight and put in the effort to make it look like this was the real deal. The rest of us just laughed and have been doing so for the thirty years since. Continue reading