Soundtrack Saturday: “Sixteen Candles”

When I started the Soundtrack Saturday feature in 2006 on my old blog, I did so because I’d discovered that most of the movies that were pivotal to my coming of age have amazing soundtracks that were either never released in full, are long out of print, or both. Several of those soundtracks come from John Hughes flicks, like this week’s subject, Sixteen Candles (1984). I’ve been wanting to post about this movie for some time, but it took me a while to get my shit together.

Sixteen Candles might possibly have been my first “favorite” movie as a kid. After Star Wars, that is. I was lucky enough to have parents who didn’t mind my brother and me watching movies rated PG-13 or higher as long as the boobies were kept to a minimum, but Sixteen Candles was only PG, despite the boobies it featured, so it got a thumbs-up in my house. In fact we often watched it together — quality family time!

If you’re a Popdose reader and you don’t know what this movie is about, then I have to wonder about you. And in case you’re someone who hasn’t seen it yet (so sad), here’s the lowdown (if you’d rather skip my synopsis you can just read the movie poster above): It’s Samantha Baker’s (Molly Ringwald) 16th birthday, and in the midst of the hubbub surrounding her older sister Ginny’s (Blanche Baker) wedding, her family has forgotten all about it. To add to Samantha’s misery, she has a crush on senior Jake Ryan (Michael Shoeffling) but is pretty sure he has no idea she exists; she’s constantly being hounded by the king of the nerds, a.k.a. Farmer Ted (Anthony Michael Hall); and she gets stuck entertaining her grandparents’ cuckoo foreign exchange student, Long Duk Dong (Gedde Watanabe), at the school dance.

Of course, as with many John Hughes comedies from the ’80s, wackiness ensues over the course of the evening for several characters: Long Duk Dong meets the woman of his dreams and they wreak havoc wherever they go; Farmer Ted gets the privilege of driving Jake’s drunk girlfriend (Haviland Morris) home from a party she threw at Jake’s house; Jake decides he likes Samantha and tries to find out if she likes him; and Samantha tries to forget the entire night ever happened. Samantha’s nightmare seemingly continues the next day at her sister’s wedding, but things eventually turn around, leaving the film with a happy ending.

As I mentioned earlier, the official soundtrack album is out of print and tragically incomplete — the original release only contained a fraction of the songs featured in the film. I tried to find everything, but I’m missing a couple of tracks, most notably “Geek Boogie” by Ira Newborn & the Geeks. I know that a complete version of this soundtrack is something many ’80s movie buffs have sought out over the years, so I did my best to provide that for you here.

Kajagoogoo – Kajagoogoo (Main Title Song)
AC/DC – Snowballed
Darlene Love – Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry
Paul Young – Love of the Common People
Altered Images – Happy Birthday
The Temple City Kazoo Orchestra – Kazooed on Klassics
Ray Anthony and His Orchestra – Dragnet
Night Ranger – Rumours in the Air
Ray Anthony and His Orchestra – Peter Gunn Theme
Spandau Ballet – True
Oingo Boingo – Wild Sex (In the Working Class)
The Specials – Little Bitch
Tim Finn- Growing Pains
Nick Heyward – When It Started to Begin
Stevie Ray Vaughan – Lenny
Nick Heyward – Whistle Down the Wind
Divinyls – Ring Me Up
Nino Rota – Love Theme From The Godfather
The Vapors – Turning Japanese
The Revillos – Rev Up
The Premiers – Farmer John
Annie Golden – Hang Up the Phone
Patti Smith – Gloria
Frank Sinatra – Theme From New York, New York
Wham! – Young Guns (Go for It)
Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
David Bowie – Young Americans
Thompson Twins – If You Were Here
The Stray Cats – Sixteen Candles

Kelly Stitzel
After shutting down her own blog, Looking at Them, in mid-2008, Kelly migrated over to Popdose, bringing with her Soundtrack Saturday, the most popular column from her old site. Kelly makes a living as a fashion and marketing copywriter, which takes up a lot of her time. However, when she is able to write about things that have nothing to do with her day job, she contributes reviews and musings on music, film and a variety of other topics. In addition to Soundtrack Saturday, columns she's written include Filminism and Pulling Rank.