The 80’s and 90’s saw the explosion of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Previously, soundtracks usually consisted of the film score (yawn), or a few songs by one artist (See: Simon and Garfunkel’s The Graduate, or the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever). But by the 80’s, movie studios and record labels were often owned by the same media conglomerate, which quickly realized that a soundtrack featuring a smattering of singles from their artists could be inserted in their films and soundtracks for double the exposure. That’s the kind of corporate synergy that brought us the ingenious food holocaust that is the KFCTacoBellPizzaHut combo restaurants.
Conveniently, I went from kid to teenager to young adult right as the soundtrack phenomenon was taking off before file sharing came along and set fire to the music industry, then urinated on its smoldering ashes. Do they even bother to release a soundtrack to whatever crappy movies come out now, like Eight Fast Eight Furious and Transformers Fourteen? But back in the glory days, sometimes a huge movie was made even hugelier by an awesome soundtrack that absolutely everyone buys. Like Cocktail or The Bodyguard. Sometimes, however, you are left wondering, years later, why you own the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves soundtrack.
I believe I can trace the rise and fall of this once-great marketing tie-in, as well as the musical autobiography of my young life, by going back through the soundtracks I have owned and examining what worked and what went the way of Corey Haim. Or Feldman. Whichever is the dead one. And thus I give you, my life in original motion picture soundtracks in two parts. Come back tomorrow for part 2: Continue reading