Film studios in the late 80s were chasing the $$ still in the pockets of the teens who had taken in all those John Huges films. No doubt trying to cash in on Pretty in Pink and soon to be old to play a teen Jon Cryer was cast in the lead of the back to high school Hidiing Out, which started out as a intresting look at the trials of the American High School before falling into a mob hit man at the rally for class president grinder…. But I am not here to talk about the film, but about the soundtrack.
See in addation to movie tickets (and VHS rentals, tapes were expensive and it really took until the early 90s for the studios to understand that selling htem to viewer to own was a cash cow) those John Huges films also sold soundtracks. Pretty in Pink, and The Breakfast Club stand out as the winners in the soundtrack sweepstakes of that era, and so a film like hiding out needed a edgy soundtrack that would sell to the kids.
At the time what a good soundtrack really needed was vision, and a strong director who know the value of the music to their film. Cameron Crowe, John Huges and Penelopy Spheres all knew this and that is why their soundtracks all stand today as a part of their film, as a time capsule of the era. Hiding out n the other hand has some great songs, mostly by accident. As a collection it feels like there were one or two moments that helped the film, and were needed, but the rest were just tracks from bands with the right connections and ended up in the film.
The Roy Orbison and K.D. Lang version of Crying is the most memorable from the film, as it was used in a sequence at the school dance, but aside from the improved rap by students I can’t recall the scene where any of the other tunes are used. That’s not to say that there isn’t a couple of gems on the ablum. Public Image Ltd.(PiL) was rarely as accessible as they were with Seattle. Johnny Rotten’s post Sex Pistols band had their own majuc and place in music history, but they failed to connect with me over and over, this tune however remains one of my favorite PiL tracks.
Aside from Roy the biggest name on the album is a solo Boy George track. That’s a cultureal touchstone that I never got that meant nothing to me at the time, the whole Boy George, Culture Club thing I mean. To be fair I was growing up in a town that helped to spawn all that was rough and in your face about punk rock… not that I knew that at the time. In the years to come it was that heavier, grittier and more revolution based music that would appeal to me. Boy George was really just a shiny pop act, giving the world more pop confections at least at the time. I have no clue if this tune appeard on any of his albums, or if this was a case where they offered him some cash to record a tune for the soundtrack so they would have a newer name act in the film and on the soundtrack.
Catch Me (I'm Falling) by Pretty Poison (Hiding Out Soundtrack)
Catche Me (‘m Falling) is pure 80s electro dance pop, it is one of the forgotten gems on this album. A perfectly produced slice of alternativly tough and danceable fluff. I don’t know that I could take a whole album of the band Pretty POsion, but this song should have been on one of those Rhino Records New Wave Hits of the 80s comps.
Scarlett & Black channel a vaugly Brit New Wave feel with You Don’t Know, it’s one of those tunes that you know is like something else, but you just can’t put your finger on it. It has a mid tempo beat, and slightly soulful vocals, like OMD or Tears for Fears. Bang Your Head by Lolita Pop was a supriseingly enjoyable near ballad, that plays more like a manta than a full song, but the production never get’s too much and it’s over quickly enough.
The rest of the soundtrack is really not my thing, it sounds dated and reminds the listener of how good and how bad the music of the period could be.
Live My Life by Boy George
Bang Your Head by Lolita Pop
Catch Me (I'm Falling)by Pretty Poison
You Don't Know by Scarlett & Black
So Different Now by Felix Cavaliere
Run! Hide! by all that jaz:
I Refuse by Hue & Cry
Crying by Roy Orbison & k.d. lang
Crying (Prelude) - Jon Cryer, Keith Coogan
Max For President Rap by Lee Anthony Brisdon, David L. Robinson, Daryl Smith
Real Life by Black Britain
Seattle by Public Image Ltd.