Various - Back To The Movies
Whereas compilations such as the Now series openly rely on a painfully tried-and-tested formula, other compilations are trying to strike a different chord with the music-buying public, and top marks for Back To The Movies for carving out their own niche. Essentially, the compilation culls all of those 'classic' songs from Hollywood movies. Nothing extraordinary about that you might say, but Back To The Movies deliberately targets eighties' movies only, or at least pretends to.
Initially, the collection is a retro-listener's wet-dream, especially upon detection of a compilation that bands together such distinctive eighties' hits as Up Where We Belong (from An Officer And A Gentleman), Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (from the very-eighties and very-forgettable Mannequin) or Peter Cetera's solo-breakthrough Glory Of Love, which manipulated us whilst watching The Karate Kid. Yep, this is a compilation that packs in all of those movie songs from a much-derided decade in the industry. Most bases are covered, from Rocky (James Brown's Living In America and Survivor's pulsatingly-brilliant Eye Of The Tiger) to Back To The Future (Huey Lewis & The News' Oscar-nominated The Power Of Love). Teen movies such as Pretty In Pink and Grease (the latter not technically an eighties film but we'll forgive it considering it probably took the lion's share of eighties' box-office take).
However, as a compilation Back To The Movies occasionally (and very frustratingly) breaks its own rules. Firstly, why the hell is Wet Wet Wet's dismally overplayed cover of Love Is All Around featured? It's a nineties song from a mid-nineties film (Four Weddings And A Funeral, and taints the songs it is squeezed between. Secondly, if films such as The Wedding Singer count because they are set in the eighties as opposed to being made in that decade, why isn't Tears For Fears' brilliant Head Over Heels, a song that was so memorably featured in Donnie Darko, featured? And yes, Good Morning Vietnam was made in the eighties but it is set in the sixties and contains sixties songs, so surely its right to be here is tenous? No matter, because any eighties compilation that blissfully avoids chart placings and opts instead for nostalgia is a fine thing indeed, particularly when it contains classic cuts from the decade such as Prince's Purple Rain or Blondie's Call Me. Back To The Movies is certainly worth owning, providing you have a CD player that can be programmed to omit four or five of the tracks on offer.