The Lost and Found | Pretty in Pink Soundtrack

The Lost and Found-Pretty in Pink Soundtrack—1986


Recently watching too many old school skate videos, like the H-Street Hokus Pokus video and the New Deal’s Useless Wooden Toys, made me notice how well good music went along with the videos themselves. The music in sync with what’s happening on screen if done correctly can play a major role in the overall result.

The movie Pretty in Pink could not have been the same without its music—Echo and the Bunnymen, OMD, New Order, The Smiths and the Psychedelic Furs all shot further into the mainstream as people fell in love with the movie and its soundtrack.

Movie director John Hughes was good at connecting people with modern music and artist of the time through his classic movies. The music carries on through the movie and is just as memorable and important as the acting and cinematography. Other movies of Hughes Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Breakfast Club and Weird Science are movies that have a sort of magical syncopation and duality that brings it all together to capture a piece of what was going on in the 80s with fashion, slang and yes, the music.  

The movie starts off with the Psych Furs’ fan favorite and title of the movie “Pretty in Pink.” The song is now a radio staple partly because of the movie, but it’s a really catchy song that captures the overall theme of the movie—this beautiful state of melancholy that is initiated by the need to love or feel loved, in the 80s.

In Morrissey’s Autobiography he talks about how the popularity of the Smiths in the US was very underground because radio never really played their music—touring round the states is how the buzz got going. Didn’t the Moz know the Pretty in Pink movie was a huge hit?! The Smiths’ tender “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” was a perfect track for the character Duckie who sulks in his bedroom while he deals with teenage heartache.

Probably the most popular song in the bunch is OMD’s “If You Leave” as it comes at the end of the movie for its final scene. The prom dance floor is turnt up with some awkward dancing as the main characters of the flick finally get what they want. When this song comes out on the radio or at Walgreens when you’re buying the Big Flats, you can’t help but sing along or do some air drumming.

The track by Belouis Some titled “Round, Round” is a bit  new-wave crossing over into that new-romantic sound with its Bowie-esque vocal and danc-y beat. This little obscure song sits nicely in the middle of all these giants of the 80s like Echo and the Furs, but holds up just as good, but somehow is a track you don’t hear as much on the radio or blaring at some department store.

New Order’s “Shellshock” is a late night dance floor filler with its big chorus and synth exploration. The band hits a stride and is churning out danc-y hits in the mid 80s as they find their groove including this track with acid-house tinges and club life feel.

A lot of synths dominate most of the tracks because, that’s how the 80s music sounded—kind of like the future is here now and this is what it sounds like. A lot of modern musicians are going back to capture the sounds of the 80s because of its futuristic capacities and many singers are looking at this decade as well for inspiration—The Horrors, Part Time or the Mary Onettes could easily be mistaken for a band on this soundtrack.

Text: Daniel Salas

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