Monday, July 21, 2014

Walter Hill's Streets of Fire

On the last episode of Songs to Learn and Sing I played two tracks from the soundtrack to Walter Hill's 1984 movie Streets of Fire. I've been listening to the rest of the album and I have to say that the record holds up far better then the movie. Don't get me wrong - I love the movie - but the soundtrtack is fantastic.

Walter Hill described the movie as "comic book in orientation, mock epic in structure, movie heroic in acting style, operatic in visual style,  and cowboy cliche in dialogue. In short a rock 'n' roll fable where the Leader of the Pack steals the Queen of the Hop and Soldier Boy comes home to do something about it."

The heroine is the singer Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), the villain is a biker-gang boss (Willem Dafoe), and the hero is a lone urban cowboy and Army veteran (Michael Paré). Ellen's band are The Attackers and the two songs that they perform in the movie were written by Jim Steinman. Lane's vocals were sung by Steinman collaborator Holly Sherwood. In typical Steinman fashion thery're both over-the-top Wagnerian mini rock operas.

The soundtrack also features two tracks from The Blasters (who appear in the movie performing them), longtime Hill collaborator Ry Cooder also contributes a song and wrote the score. One of the biggest radio hits of the 80s is also on the OST - Dan Hartman's I Can Dream About You. Overall it's a cheesy, overblown record - what's not to like.

Streets of Fire was the second time that Diane Lane had played a singer but more on that in another post.

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