The 1980s featured some of the best movies ever made. Teen comedies – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Romantic date flicks – Say Anything. And the films that can only be described as “eighties” – Footloose and Dirty Dancing. And they all came with a soundtrack.
In their Eyes: ’90s Teen Bands vs. ’80s Teen Movies (Rhino Records) is a fresh, brilliant idea. The album features songs from the soundtracks of ’80s movies performed by hit bands of today. With ’90s teen bands recreating the songs from the classic films, the album shows the impact these movies had on a generation.
Cheap Date Records recruited some established bands and also hosted “The Cheap Date Virtual Talent Show” on the teen portion of America Online’s Entertainment Asylum to find bands to perform on the compilation.
But for some of the bands, the task of redoing classic hits was more than they can handle. In the end, these bands turn wonderful songs into, well, less wonderful creations. The Stinky Puffs ultimately destroy Peter Gabriel’s beautiful song “In Your Eyes.” Listening to the remix is painful. Ben Lee and Spitoon dole out another unsuccessful attempt at recreating a hit song. The band’s version of “If You Were Here” from Sixteen Candles is dull, lacking the energy of the original.
Other bands, however, succeed in creating entertaining remakes. The Grown-Ups energetically perform the theme song from Pretty in Pink. Crazy Glue adds new spunk to the hit from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “Oh Yeah.”
The idea for this record is superior to the actual album. But the rough-around-the-edges compilation accomplishes one thing – it sparks a sense of nostalgia for the ’80s. But for a better ’80s flashback, just listen to the originals.