It may be the height of over-sharing to admit this, but Revenge of the Nerds was a movie that really spoke to me in high school.  As a computer-loving, comic book-collecting, Dungeons & Dragons-playing sophomore, I certainly related to Lewis and Gilbert and their struggle and desire to fit in.  Maybe I wasn’t as persecuted as they were, but I certainly felt a kinship for being teased for being smart and not athletic (not that I was any sort of genius, mind you).  While the movie was meant to be another Animal House-style comedic romp, the background and weight given to the lead characters led to a few actually somewhat poignant moments.

But for all those thoughtful moments, Revenge of the Nerds was most certainly primarily a comedy, with plenty of classic, repeatable lines (“What the fuck are ‘robster craws?'”) and memorable scenes, such as the infamous panty raid as pretext for hiding cameras in a sorority (talk about predicting the future of the Internet early!).  Also memorable was the movie’s soundtrack, a hodgepodge of minor New Wave also-rans and never-weres, like Gleaming Spires and Bone Symphony.

Gleaming Spires began life as a band called Bates Motel, gigging around Los Angeles in the early ’80s.  It was there they were discovered by Ron and Russell Mael, and Bates Motel became the new backing band for Sparks, playing on Whomp That Sucker, Angst in My Pants and Sparks in Outer Space.  During this period, with an okay from the Maels, the group began recording on their own again under the name Gleaming Spires, releasing a few albums and a novelty New Wave number called “Are You Ready for the Sex Girls,” (download) which got some airplay on KROQ.  A year or so later, it also ended up being used in Nerds during the Lambda Lambda Lambda/Omega Mu bash.  Gleaming Spires recorded one more album after their Nerds exposure, then faded away.

Bone Symphony was a synthpop combo with one EP under their belt when their Bowie-wannabe song “One Foot in Front of the Other” (download) also made the Nerds soundtrack.  The motivational tune was used during the scene where the nerds fix up what would become the tri-Lambs’ frat house:

There’s not much more info about Bone Symphony out there, but a quick search of eBay shows a lot of copies of another single, “It’s a Jungle Out There,” for sale.  Buy ’em up!

As for highlights from the rest of the Revenge of the Nerds soundtrack, you’ve got something called Ya Ya contributing a couple of bland ’80s-by-numbers numbers and famed power-pop combo the Rubinoos imitating Devo, of all people, on the movie’s theme song.  Unfortunately, the soundtrack is missing the greatest song from the film — while it does feature the original track (“They’re So Incredible,” by Revenge – not the Peter Hook project), it doesn’t feature the incredibly awesome Nerd rap version of “Incredible” featuring a rap by none other than the fabulous (and only nerd to get laid regularly) Lamar!! Breaaaaaaaaaaak…

Nerds did well enough to spawn one theatrical sequel and two made-for-TV sequels, none of which are really worth mentioning.  But I have to bring up the particularly vile Revenge of the Nerds TV pilot produced in 1991 for Fox — thankfully, saner minds prevailed and it never aired, only surfacing as a bonus feature on last year’s re-release of the original Nerds movie on DVD:

Robby “Cousin Oliver” Rist as Booger?!?  HERESY!!

Neither song charted.

Get the “Revenge of the Nerds” Soundtrack at Amazon or on The Rubinoos - Revenge of the Nerds (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)