In celebration, I thought I’d do something completely different. I’m not going to write a long post for you to read on a holiday weekend. I know you kids want to celebrate the end of summer liquored up and not laboring at all — and I know reading can be work.
So I thought I’d put together a big mix of some of my favorite videos for soundtrack songs. Some of these are videos that tie into the movies in which they are featured and some of them are official videos that have nothing to do with the movies in which they appear.
In any case, these songs represent some of my favorite soundtrack songs, as well as the good, the bad, the ridiculous and the stupid in soundtrack song videos. I hope you enjoy and continue to read this column when you’re not hungover from whatever shennanigans you were up to Friday night.
Also, as a special bonus treat, over the next few days I’ll be re-uploading five soundtracks from posts I’ve written over the past two years. Only, I’m not telling you which ones — you’ll have to find them on your own!
Thank you again to my readers and to the great Popdose staff. And a special thanks to Robert Cass for bringing me here in the first place — you’re the best.
Cyndi Lauper, “Goonies ‘R’ Good Enough,” from The Goonies
This video is epic, more of a short film than a music video — it ran in two parts! It takes the “Cyndi lives in a family full of wrestlers” story begun in “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and continues it with a take on the Goonies storyline: Cyndi’s family is in danger of losing their gas station to greedy developers and Cyndi heads into a hidden cave on an adventure with the Goonies. It’s really a lot of fun — if you’re willing to sit through all 12 minutes.
Elizabeth “E.G.” Daily, “Mind Over Matter,” from Summer School
How many of us have been trying to take a test and E.G. Daily shows up to sing a song on a hidden stage? I hate when that happens. I do really like this video, especially the fact that members of the cast are part of Daily’s band and the film’s director, Carl Reiner, shows up as an annoyed teacher. The only thing that would’ve made this video better is an appearance by Mark Harmon (other than in the film clips).
Pretty Poison, “Catch Me (I’m Falling),” from Hiding Out
The only thing I can think of while watching this video is that the lead singer is basically rocking the same look as Y Kant Tori Read-era Tori Amos, particularly the hair.
Howard Jones, “Like to Get to Know You Well,” from Better Off Dead
This video has nothing to do with Better Off Dead. I’m not really sure what is going on here, other than maybe it’s Jones having fun while getting his senior pictures taken.
Honeymoon Suite, “What Does It Take?” from One Crazy Summer
Another video that has nothing to do with the film in which the song appears. But that doesn’t matter because this video is, as my friend Aileen would say, “amazeballs.” The hair! The clothes! The white prison yard-like set! The lucite piano! The intense staring into the camera! If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this was Honeymoon Suite’s entry into the Eurovision Song Contest.
Chaz Jankel, “Number One,” from Real Genius
I had no idea this song even had a video. It’s not related to Real Genius at all, but does have a level of weirdness that echoes the film’s main character, Chris Knight (Val Kilmer). My favorite bits are the wide shots of Jankel doing his awkward white man dance.
Suzanne Vega, “Left of Center,” from Pretty in Pink
This video isn’t anything groundbreaking — the “let’s perform in a big empty loft” concept has been done a million times. But what I love about it is that, even though it has nothing to do with Pretty in Pink, the Suzanne Vega we’re seeing is reminiscent of Molly Ringwald’s character in the film. Also, this is my theme song.
Pat Benatar, “Invincible,” from The Legend of Billie Jean
That’s an awfully big shirt and and awfully long rat tail you’ve got there, Ms. Benatar. This song is the greatest, isn’t it? I wanted to provide a better quality video, but the one I had chosen had embedding disabled. So you get this crappier version that I think comes from someone filming their TV.
Lindsey Buckingham, “Holiday Road,” from National Lampoon’s Vacation
This video couldn’t have less to do with the films in which it appeared, which is probably a good thing since it’s basically been used in every Vacation film. I think it’s an interesting little video, definitely fitting with the general early-’80s brand of weird Buckingham seemed to enjoy.
The Plimsouls, “A Million Miles Away,” from Valley Girl
Not related to Valley Girl in a direct sense, but it definitely has an atmosphere that fits with the film. Except for maybe the goats. Also, at a quick glance, the blonde chick at the pool party looks like Jan Hooks.
Spandau Ballet, “True,” from Sixteen Candles
I sang this song at karaoke once. It did not go well. I think maybe I would’ve been more successful if my giant shadow had been projected on the bar’s wall or if some dude dressed in white playing a white piano would’ve been behind me. Oh well.
Sheila E., “Holly Rock,” from Krush Groove
I’m pretty sure this isn’t an official video, but I don’t care. I love this song, I love this movie and, in particular, I love Sheila E.’s outfit. If I could recreate the look, I would totally go as Romance 1600-era Sheila E. for Halloween this year.
Divinyls, “I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore,” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I don’t have much to say about this video, other than Christina Amphlett’s outfit is 1992.
The J. Geils Band, “Fright Night,” from Fright Night
This video is 100% silly and I 100% love it.
John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band, “On the Dark Side,” from Eddie and the Cruisers
You have no idea how shocked I was when I first saw this video as a kid and realized that the dude singing wasn’t Eddie (Michael Paré). Also, this song rocks my socks.
Huey Lewis & the News, “The Power of Love,” from Back to the Future
You guys ended up liking Huey, didn’t you? This video is so stupid, but I can’t help loving the song. I even have the 12-inch extended mix.
Madonna, “Gambler,” from Vision Quest
Early Madonna makes me so happy. This video isn’t that great, but I love the song — and it’s definitely one I think most people forget exists. I’m pretty sure I dressed as this particular Madonna for Halloween one year.
Wang Chung, “Fire in the Twilight,” from The Breakfast Club
I think this video is cute and I like the way the film was worked into it. I do think it would’ve been more fun had the cast of The Breakfast Club been involved more, maybe doing some of the backwards stunts.
David Bowie, “Underground,” from Labyrinth
Until a few days ago, I had no idea that there were official videos for any of the songs from the Labyrinth soundtrack — I’m so ashamed of myself. I’m a huge Bowie fan and I adore this movie, and its soundtrack, so I cannot believe I’ve never seen this. There’s another official video, for “As the World Falls Down,” but I don’t like it as much as I like this one.
Queen, “Flash,” from Flash Gordon
I love this video. It’s simple and understated, unlike the film and, well, most anything Queen has ever done. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a video that shows the band in the studio, recording the film’s score. Good stuff.
Kate Bush, “This Woman’s Work,” from She’s Having a Baby
Though the video isn’t directly related to She’s Having a Baby, it is eerily similar to the scene in which the song is played in the film.