Friday, July 28, 2017

"The Wild Life" by Bananarama

Song#:  2114
Date:  11/10/1984
Debut:  94
Peak:  70
Weeks:  8
Genre:  Pop, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  Bananarama grabbed their first US Top 10 hit with the #9 "Cruel Summer," taken from their self-titled second album. Prior to that song becoming a hit, the trio got a request to supply a theme song to an upcoming comedy film titled The Wild Life. Together with their production team of Jolly & Swain, they wrote this song within a couple of days and got it recorded. With the singles from their album exhausted and the film already running in theaters, it was decided that this tune would be issued to help promote the film and the soundtrack. It spent a couple of months on the chart, but just couldn't get out of the basement.

ReduxReview:  While this song is not too terribly memorable, hence the low chart peak, there is something about it I kinda like. When I first heard it, I thought it was rather pedestrian with a draggy tempo. Then on further listens there were elements that started to stick out like the interesting harmonies/notes on the background vocals in the chorus. The more I listened, the more I liked it. However, it's not a good song for a single. There is just nothing here that would hook radio listeners.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Cameron Crowe's first film as a writer, 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High was a success as was the associated soundtrack. The movie allowed Crowe to move into the producer's chair for his next screenplay, The Wild Life. The comedy would star Christopher Penn (Sean's brother), Eric Stoltz, and Lea Thompson. As with Fast Times, Crowe, who had been a writer for Rolling Stone, helped to assemble a soundtrack for the film. One major boost came when Eddie Van Halen jumped on board to provide a few instrumentals for the score. Only one of them, "Donut City," would appear on the soundtrack while the balance was filled out with songs by some new, up-n-coming artists like Charlie Sexton, Peter Case, and Van Stephenson. Unfortunately, this time around the film wasn't a significant success and without a major hit the soundtrack disappeared quickly. Luckily, Crowe's next film, 1989's Say Anything..., which would be his first directorial effort, would do very well and boast a more popular soundtrack.


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