Soundtrack Saturday: “Valley Girl”

So, I know I normally write about films with soundtrack albums that are out of print or hard to find. I’ve avoided writing about Valley Girl (1983) because A) part of the soundtrack is in print, and B) I’ve always felt like it’s kind of an obvious choice, and I try not to be obvious. But I watched this movie again the other night and decided to break my self-imposed rules and give it a little love.

Directed by Martha Coolidge, Valley Girl, along with the Frank Zappa song that inspired it, created a legion of young girls across the country who wanted to look and talk like they were from the San Fernando Valley. I admit that I used to be a valley girl, even if the valley I grew up in was the Miami Valley of Ohio. The phrases “Gross me out,” “I’m so sure,” “Like, totally!” “Freak me out!” and, of course, “Like, oh my god!” were part of my vernacular in my formative years, much to my parents’ chagrin. The funny thing is, I started talking like that way before I ever saw Valley Girl, but my Val-speak only got worse after viewing it for the first time at a friend’s house. My family was thrilled.

Deborah Foreman plays Julie, a Val chick who, when she’s not working at her parents’ (Colleen Camp and Frederic Forrest) health-food store, spends most of her time hanging out with her friends Suzi (Michelle Meyrink), Loryn (Elizabeth Daily), and Stacey (Heidi Holicker), shopping and ogling hot dudes. Julie has a boyfriend, a badass Val dude named Tommy (Michael Bowen), but she’s, like, totally bored with him. So she decides to break up with him, which totally bums him out. But Tommy’s not worried, because, like, no other Val dude can touch him!

One day at the beach when she’s with her friends, Julie locks eyes with total hunk Randy (Nicolas Cage, in his first film under that moniker). What she doesn’t know is that Randy is not a Val dude — he’s from Hollywood! (Like, barf me out!) Later that night Randy and his buddy Fred (Cameron Dye) crash a party thrown by Suzi. Eventually, Randy convinces Julie to leave the party with him, agreeing to her condition that Stacey join them. They head to Randy’s favorite Hollywood bar, and sparks continue to fly.

After that night Randy and Julie are inseparable, which exasperates her friends because they can’t understand why she’d choose a Hollywood dude over a totally bitchin’ Val dude like Tommy. They finally get to her, and she becomes confused about whether she should go with her heart and continue to date Randy or cave into peer pressure and get back with Tommy. But, like, you’ll totally have to watch the movie to find out what she decides.

As Julie tries to sort out her love life, her friends are, like, freaking out about their own lives. Suzi is trying to get preppy Skip (David Ensor) to notice her, though he seems to have the hots for her mother; Loryn is dealing with a guilty conscience about an incident with Tommy at Suzi’s party; and Stacey is, well, trying to compete with the other three.

Because Hollywood can’t leave well enough alone, a remake is in the works, and get this — it’s a fucking musical. Like, gag me with a spoon! I like musicals, but the idea of someone fucking with Valley Girl and turning it into a dumb-ass High School Musical abomination makes me want to barf.

Now, about the soundtrack. It’s full of incredible early-’80s pop and new wave and is notable for containing tracks by L.A. acts like the Plimsouls, who perform several songs in the film at Randy’s favorite bar, and Josie Cotton, who performs at Julie’s prom.

In the mid-’90s Rhino released two volumes of songs from the movie. The first volume included selections from the 1983 soundtrack album — which, due to licensing difficulties, was a very short “mini-album” of six tracks, the A and B sides being identical (though the UK version of the soundtrack was different from the one released in the U.S.) — and added tracks that were in the film but didn’t make it onto the LP. The second volume included a few more songs that were in the film but not on the ’83 soundtrack, as well as some songs that weren’t in the film but would have fit nicely. Rhino’s first volume is still in print today, but the second one isn’t. I considered just posting the second volume, but I decided it’s only fair to post the whole thing.

Bonnie Hayes with the Wild Combo – Girls Like Me
Gary Myrick & the Figures – She Talks in Stereo
Sparks – Angst in My Pants
The Flirts – Jukebox (Don’t Put Another Dime)
Felony – The Fanatic
Payola$ – Eyes of a Stranger
Eddy Grant – Electric Avenue
Bonnie Hayes with the Wild Combo – Shelly’s Boyfriend
The Psychedelic Furs – Love My Way
Pat Travers – I La La La Love You
The Plimsouls – Everywhere at Once
The Plimsouls – A Million Miles Away
Gary Myrick & the Figures – Time to Win
Modern English – I Melt With You
Sparks – Eaten by the Monster of Love
The Plimsouls – Oldest Story in the World
The Plimsouls – Zero Hour
Josie Cotton – School Is In
Josie Cotton – Johnny, Are You Queer?
Josie Cotton – He Could Be the One
Little Girls – The Earthquake Song
Men at Work – Who Can It Be Now?
Toni Basil – Mickey
Bananarama – He Was Really Saying Something
Thompson Twins – In the Name of Love
Culture Club – Do You Really Want to Hurt Me
Sparks and Jane Wiedlin – Cool Places
The Jam – Town Called Malice
Total Coelo – I Eat Cannibals
Rachel Sweet – Voo Doo
Valley Girls – Marina Men
Killer Pussy – Pocket Pool

There are a few songs that I can’t identify playing in the background of various scenes. First, there’s one during the scene where Randy sneaks into the bathroom at the party to wait for Julie; I’ve listened to every song on both volumes of the soundtrack and none of the lyrics match any of them. If anyone knows what it is, please share. Here’s a YouTube clip — the scene I’m talking about starts at about four minutes and 15 seconds in.

There’s also a song playing in the background in Skip’s bedroom when he calls Suzi, but I don’t know what it is. I tried to find a video clip but couldn’t. Gah!

And then there’s the background music in this scene, which may just be part of the score:

Li’l help? Much appreciated.




  • http://harpandthistle.blogspot.com RLB

    (oy, i hope i'm not about to doublepost. i like Disqus but this login sh-t needs improvement.)

    In that first clip, it's the Furs' “Love My Way,” which you've got on the list, unless I'm misunderstanding your question.

    In that last clip, the last few notes sound like the first couple of notes of the Get Smart theme, reworked in mega-80s-synth style! Have no idea if that's what it really is…

    My fiancee made me watch this the other night when I told her it's the one classic 80s movie I've never seen, even though I claim to be an 80s movie junkie. I didn't care for it. Ally Sheedy was right. Your soul does die. LOL

  • KellyStitzel

    I am a doofus. In that first clip, I messed up where the song was. It's at about 4:15.

  • Dan

    I really wanted to hear the music from The Big Night again, but I can only listen to the songs posted with the Valley Girl, Legend and Grace of My Heart entries. Anything before that gives an “error opening file” message. Is this by design? Or maybe it's just me. Hope not.

    Also…as long as I'm commenting…do you take requests? If you could come up with the soundtrack from Weekend at Bernie's II, that would be awesome. Can't find that anywhere.

    Thanks.

  • slippersock

    The song in the first clip sounds like it might be Systematic Way by Josie Cotton, but it's hard to tell for sure.

  • http://www.thetravelingskier.blogspot.com/ steven hatcher

    Is there a reason the Payolas song is only 1 minute long. That's the one I really, really like!

  • KellyStitzel

    Something must have happened to the file. It should be fixed now.

  • maxx

    other poster is on the money. i hear systematic way by josie cotton, too.

  • Bitchin

    The song in the second clip also plays over the dvd menu. So – like you said – it's probably just some score.

  • Mandy

    Hmm. None of the audio clips work. Do you still have them?

  • issunboshi

    Anyone else know what's up here? Nothing in these links. Any other place to d the st?

  • http://mulberrypanda96.blogspot.com rwcass

    Is that Harry Shearer providing the voice of the skeezy guy at the bar in “Marina Men”?

  • Elaine

    Aw, man. I am just now seeing this post. I don't know how I missed it.

    MAN

  • Brian

    And to add to the confusion, on the theatrical trailer, which is included on the DVD, there is a list of artists supposedly included in the film's soundtrack. The Clash and the Blasters, as well as Men At Work are listed,among others, and dont seem to be in either the movie or the re-released sountracks from Rhino. I've heard that Culture Club, Toni Basil, Jane Weidlin/Sparks, Bananarama, and Men At Work, were included in the theatrical release, but not on the video(and apparently DVD)release. Also, Eddie Grant and his single “Electric Avenue”, playing at the party scene, are not mentioned in the credits for the film, the trailer, or is it included in Rhino's soundtrack CD's, despite the song being a substancial hit back in 83'.

  • Brian

    And to add to the confusion, on the theatrical trailer, which is included on the DVD, there is a list of artists supposedly included in the film's soundtrack. The Clash and the Blasters, as well as Men At Work are listed,among others, and dont seem to be in either the movie or the re-released sountracks from Rhino. I've heard that Culture Club, Toni Basil, Jane Weidlin/Sparks, Bananarama, and Men At Work, were included in the theatrical release, but not on the video(and apparently DVD)release. Also, Eddie Grant and his single “Electric Avenue”, playing at the party scene, are not mentioned in the credits for the film, the trailer, or is it included in Rhino's soundtrack CD's, despite the song being a substancial hit back in 83'.

  • Pingback: Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the '80s, Part 68 | Popdose

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bruce-Garthe/100000095681458 Bruce Garthe

    Valley Girl's first soundtrack was on the EPIC label (FE-38623); a nine-song (pathetic!) version with one notorious holdout that caused the recall of the EPIC release: Culture Club's “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME”. Epic did release a five-song radio station promo, but I've only encountered one copy since 1991. Avatar, the UK subsidiary of Columbia Records, released the same nine-song Lp only without the CULTURE CLUB song that caused the Epic label's demise.
    God only knows what possessed the ROADSHOW version of the soundtrack: the SAME SIX SONGS on both sides of the LP and all songs in MONO!

  • rocco2rocco

    I've been searching high and low for this! My gf loves this and wanted to make her a mix cd wit lots of the songs from here? Anyway you can repost/rehost the songs pleeeeeeeease! =)

  • rocco2rocco

    Kelly is there any way you could repost/rehost the songs? Pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaseee!!! =)

  • rocco2rocco

    Nevermind i found it yaaaay!

  • rocco2rocco

    I've been searching high and low for this! My gf loves this and wanted to make her a mix cd wit lots of the songs from here? Anyway you can repost/rehost the songs pleeeeeeeease! =)

  • rocco2rocco

    Kelly is there any way you could repost/rehost the songs? Pleeeeeeaaaaaaaaseee!!! =)

  • rocco2rocco

    Nevermind i found it yaaaay!

  • angleturner58

    it is, in fact, systematic way.

  • Pingback: Bottom Feeders: The Ass End of the '80s, Part 92 | Popdose

  • http://www.thedisappeared.info/ The Disappeared

    “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs – wow!
    I remember seeing them play live at the Hacienda in Manchester, supported by the Sisters of Mercy. (This was some time ago, in my mis-spent youth, I admit.)

  • MDixon

    the song from the party when Randy sneaks in the bathroom is SYSTEMATIC WAY by JOSIE COTTON its from her album entitled “CONVERTIBLE MUSIC” i love this movie and have spents years gathering all the music on vinyl from the movie, on the original version on VHS ELECTRIC AVENUE is playin on this seen instead of the Josie Cotton song that plays on the DVD!!

  • Pingback: Soundtrack Saturday: Special Anniversary Video Mix Edition | Popdose

  • Hi21

    slippersock is right its Systematic Way!

  • Docvinyl33

    It is amazing how much a great soundtrack like Valley Girl is gotten incorrect by so many. For the hell of it I watched the movie, wrote down the songs and made a disc in my small recording studio. I used full length songs and segued most of the tracks. It sounds great. The list according to my ears is:
    1 GIRLS LIKE ME BONNIE HAYES & WILD COMBO
    2 ANGST IN MY PANTS SPARKS
    3 JUKEBOX (Don’t Put Another Dime) FLIRTS
    4 THE FANATIC FELONY
    5 EYES OF A STRANGER PAYOLAS
    6 ELECTRIC AVENUE EDDY GRANT
    7 SHELLY’S BOYFRIEND BONNIE HAYES & WILD COMBO
    8 WHO CAN IT BE NOW MEN AT WORK
    9 LOVE MY WAY PSYCHEDELIC FURS
    10 I LA LA LA LOVE YOU PAT TRAVERS BLACK PEARL
    11 EVERYWHERE AT ONCE PLIMSOULS
    12 MILLION MILES AWAY PLIMSOULS
    13 TIME TO WIN GARY MYRICK & FIGURES
    14 SHE TALKS IN STEREO GARY MYRICK & FIGURES
    15 MELT WITH YOU MODERN ENGLISH
    girls like me
    16 MONSTER OF LOVE SPARKS
    17 OLDEST STORY IN THE WORLD PLIMSOULS
    million miles away Heard twice in movie but recorded
    eyes of a stranger once.
    18 HE COULD BE THE ONE JOSIE COTTON
    19 SCHOOL IS IN JOSIE COTTON
    20 JOHNNY, ARE YOU QUEER? JOSIE COTTON
    melt with you MODERN ENGLISH
    Some songs were heard twice in the movie but I only included Melt With You twice as it ended the film.
    docvinyl

  • http://www.facebook.com/danlares Daniel Lares

    What an awesome soundtrack! I bought both Valley Girl cds back in high school in the mid’90′s. One of my greatest music investments! I was looking for the lyrics to Marina Men when I stumbled upon this. Thanks for posting!

  • Heekiesavin

    Like you Docvinyl33, I too wanted an accurate soundtrack.  Between the 2 volume CD soundtrack that we know all has additional songs that weren’t in the movie…what’s listed in the movie credits…and what’s listed in the soundtrack on IMDB, I had no idea what to think.  So I DVR’d the movie on EPIX the other night, and wrote down the songs as they played.  Here’s what I came up with:

    Girls Like Me (Opening Credits)
    Love My Way (When Julie and Stacy are changing for Suzie’s Party)
    Angst In My Pants (1st party song / while Suzie tells her mom about Skip)
    Jukebox (2nd song / when Tommy hits on outside of bathroom)
    Fanatic (3rd Party song / when Randy & Fred arrive at party)
    Eyes of a Stranger (4th party song / when Randy & Julie meet)
    Electric Avenue (5th party song / when Tommy fights Randy for talking to Julie)
    Shelly’s Boyfriend (6th party song / when Randy returns and sneaks into bathroom & shower)
    Systematic Way (7th party song / while Randy waits in shower)
    Love My Way (8th party song / when Randy meets again with Julie)
    I La-La-La Love You (when Randy Julie Fred & Stacy are driving the strip)
    EverywhereAt Once (1st club song / talking about what they do for fun in Valley – Hollywood)
    Million Miles Away (2nd club song / Randy and Julietell their feelings, then kiss)
    Time To Win (when Randy Julie Fred & Stacy are parked at hill overlooking city)
    She Talks In Stereo (when Skip delivers groceries and Suzie’s mom hits on him)
    Melt With You (plays during flash scenes of Randy and Julie dates)
    Girls Like Me (1st song playing at pajama party at Suzie’s)
    Shelly’s Boyfriend (2nd song playing lightly in background while Suzie talks to Skip on the phone)
    ????? (Unknown keyboard song that plays when Skip talks to Suzie on phone)
    Monster Of Love (When Skip is riding on his bike to Suzie’s house / bedroom sex scene)
    Oldest Story In The World (1st club song after Julie breaks up with Randy / sex with Samantha)
    Million Miles Away (2nd club song / after Randy has sex with Samantha in Bathroom)
    Eyes Of A Stranger (request Randy sends Julie over radio when he tries to get her back)
    Synth version of Get Smart (Randy is movie usher and fast food server trying to get Julie back)
    He Could Be The One (1st prom song)
    School Is In (2nd prom song / when Randy & Fred arrive to crash prom)
    Johnny Are You Queer (3rd prom song / Randy & Fred Let’s Crush That Fly)
    He Could Be The One (4th prom song / after Tommy & Julie are announced as  prom king & queen)
    Melt With You (closing credits)

    I do remember Who Can It Be Now by Men At Work as one of thet party songs back when I had the VHS video in the 80′s.  But it wasn’t on this version.  Aside from listing most of the songs above, the movie credits also listed (but definitely weren’t featured) are: A Town Called Malice by The Jam; Rock The Casbah by The Clash, He Was Really Saying Something by Bananarama, Who Can It Be Now by Men At Work, and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me by Culture Club.  Not sure if they were in the original theatre showing, or if they were in 80′s VHS versions.

  • lilbrucems43

    EPIC Records DID publish a Valley Girl soundtrack edition in late ’82 – entitled “SELECTIONS FROM VALLEY GIRL”. It was a five-song DJ white label promo album and had five songs – 3 on the A-side and 2 on the B-side. The cover had a white border and a movie poster cover. Source: Paulie Lichotta, used record manager of Sam’s Jams Records in Ferndale, MI. It was in a stack of records he received from Chicago in 1991 and was “hammered” but he sold it for $40. I missed it by two weeks!