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Back To The Future – Various Artists (1985)

August 28, 2015

Summer Soundtrack Week

Day One: Superfly

Day Two: So I Married an Axe Murderer

Day Three: A Hard Day’s Night

Day Four: Back to the Future

 

I have absolutely no perspective on this movie.  It’s far too sacred.

For the soundtrack however, I think I’ve managed to muster at least a smidgen of objectivity.

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It’s funny when star power does not dazzle like it could/should.220px-Back_to_the_Future_Soundtrack_B

On side A, Lindsey Buckingham and Eric Clapton each make song contributions.

Bonus marks if you can remember the song titles.

Did you say Time Bomb Town and Heaven is One Step Away?

While neither track is inherently offensive, neither is terribly memorable either.

To be fair, I can’t remember either track being featured prominently in the film.

But still, given their respective talent levels…

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That being said, the remaining 8 tracks are sensational.

Huey Lewis & The News bookended side A with a pair of timeless gems, The Power of Love and Back in Time.

The Outtatime Orchestra plays a pair of variations on the brilliant Back to the Future theme.

And then the four-pack to end side B is one for the ages:

a. The Wallflower (Dance with me Henry), or the song that’s playing in the 50s cafe

b. Night Train, the tune heard while George is waiting at the dance

c. Earth Angel, the ballad Marty accompanies, subbing in for the injured Marvin Berry

d. The blues riff in B, the source material for most of my attempted blues/rock soloing, Johnny B. Goode.

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So that’s 8 awesome tunes, 2 adequate tracks.

The super more than makes up for the satisfactory here though, giving the album a final score of:

Digital-speedometer

(out of 100)

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27 Comments
  1. Nice review, Geoff! I’m not sure that I’ve listened to this soundtrack…but with a score of 88 I shall give it a spin.

    If it isn’t too late to guess…might The Blues Brothers be included?

  2. Huey is what sold me on this soundtrack! What a great riff in the chorus…Hook as they call it! Great song…..

    • I didn’t realize Huey was in the film until a few years ago (as a talent show selection panelist) – I appreciate it on another level now!

  3. Y’know, I don’t think I have ever owned the soundtrack to this. Which is right peculiar given the songs on there – especially those featuring prominently in the movie itself. Aside from the Huey Lewis & The News numbers, Marty’s guitar strut at the dance is a stand-out moment!

    • Strut is the right verb! In part 2, there’s the neat scene where Marty is watching himself play Johnny B. Goode, brilliant stuff!

      • I’m in the mood to watch these now! One problem, though (well, three problems) … I don’t own the movies. Argh!

      • haha – that ‘one problem’ reminds me of a line in the movie I’m about to visit next!

      • Intrigued!

  4. 88 out of 100! Awesome.

    All three BTTF movies were on last weekend, so we watched bits and pieces of #1 and #3. Does it make me a heretic to say that #3 is my favourite? And I swear to God it’s not because of ZZ Top.

    Watching #1 I pointed out to my dad, the Huey Lewis cameo in the band audition scene. I pointed out the irony of him rejecting the band that was playing his real-life song.

    One “tune” not on this soundtrack:

    The guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen. And yes, that was really Eddie Van Halen:

    http://ultimateclassicrock.com/eddie-van-halen-admits-back-to-the-future-guitar-work-was-his/

    A bunch of noise? Maybe, Eddie, maybe, but we’d all still love to have it released on something, someday.

    • Haha, good to have that confirmed! It was clearly a tip of the hat to Eddie, neat to hear it was actually him playing the dance-floor stopping solo!
      Nothing wrong with Part 3, I didn’t used to like it as much, but it’s a great one.
      No need for heretic name-calling!

      • No Geoff it’s the scene when Marty sneaks into his dad’s bedroom wearing the “space suit”. He has a Walkman with a tape in it that says “Edward Van Halen” and he uses the guitar noise to torment his dad. Turns out that was really EVH all along. I always assumed it was fake.

      • Ahh yes, now that I’ve actually read the linked article I see – good to have that confirmed all the same though!
        The guitarist playing Johnny B Goode it appears is “Tim May” – but Michael J does a really good job miming, always thought it could have been him!

      • Yes I always loved that part of the movie.

        Now speaking of Back to the Future, please tell me you’ve seen A Million Ways to Die in the West….

      • I foolishly haven’t yet – but I gather Doc Brown makes a cameo for the ages!

      • Yeah so I won’t spoil it for you. It was a nice nod and a wink. (Very filthy but very funny movie, Liam Neeson is a great villain.)

      • I could see Neeson being a good growling bad guy – I saw one of his photos the other day co-opted as a real estate meme, Neeson on a phone saying, “I will find you…a qualified buyer for your home”

      • I like that! I honestly think he should try his hand at more comedy. He beat the crap out of Peter Griffin on a recent episode of Family Guy. (Turns out Peter HATES Liam Neeson. He was shooting a movie in town so Peter challenged him to a fist fight.)

    • There’s part #2 and #3? Okay, I have another project. I may go straight to the ZZ Top-infused part #3.

      • Both would qualify as time well spent!
        To borrow a van halen album name, fair warning: #3 might be a bit confusing without seeing #2 first

      • Part 2 is…not so good. Just so you know. It was just a jumble. And yes you can skip straight to part 3 without toooo much confusion. All you need to know is that they have a time machine, so that’s how they got a hoverboard and stuff 🙂

      • Haha, ok, got it 🙂

  5. Haha nice rating system. 1.21 GIGAWATTS!

    I’m with Deke. Huey sold this.

    Also, just to play devil’s advocate (I love this movie too) but at this point, since we can’t be objective anymore, things like this are refreshing (and interesting)!

    • Gigawatts, an even higher score!
      Interesting arguments in the video, I hear them with some of the creepiness of the mom storyline.

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