I recently picked up a cassette tape of the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack, and it reminded me what we’re missing by spending too much time with our ipods. Don’t get me wrong — if the house was burning down, my ipod would be the first thing I’d grab after my kids. My husband is well aware of the fact that he’d be third. But with the ipod, we’ve self-selected the music we hear, and I rarely listen to a full soundtrack anymore. Even with a CD, after listening a few times, I skip to the tracks I like the best. But skipping tracks on a cassette requires more effort so I tend to listen to the whole tape. This has proved fun with the Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack.
Grosse Pointe Blank starts and ends with Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes. The first, which is the orginal, is simple — guitar and drums, simple lyrics, short and fast. The last track is called Blister 2000, and is slow, more complex, and has what I like to call the “horns gone wrong” interlude which is a wonderful cacophony of off-key saxophones that almost sound like kazoos. The soundtrack includes a couple Clash songs, one by the English Beat and one by the Jam which I originally found odd but have come to like. Then there’s Under Pressure by David Bowie and Queen. I feel uncool extolling such a mainstream song, but I love the combination of David Bowie’s calm and Freddie Mercury’s tendencies toward the operatic.
As a lover of cover songs, I would be neglectful if I didn’t mention the Guns N’ Roses cover of Live and Let Die, which is one of my favorite tracks on the tape. I also love Pressure Drop by the Specials, which led me to listen to more of the Specials. Great Ska band! I also love the track El Matador by Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Finally, there’s a remix of Pete Townshend’s Let My Love Open the Door. At first, I was disappointed because it’s slow. I love the pep and the harmonies of the original. But I’ve come to like this more atmospheric version.
I listened to this tape almost constantly in the car (I had to fill the void left by the cancellation of NPR’s Day to Day) until my daughter threatened to seize it. Now I just have to see the movie……