Tuesday, August 15, 2006

John Hughes Soundtrack Retrospective

John Hughes, writer/ director, is the master of the teen movie. Growing up during the 80's I was drawn in by the Hughes movie magic. Make movies about teenagers, for teenagers. That formula never failed. I took a Vacation with the Griswolds, celebrated a birthday with Samantha, spent a Saturday in detention with the Breakfast Club, took a day off with Ferris Bueller and made a girl with Wyatt and Gary. Over the last twenty - three years I've seen them all over and over again retaining the same magic each time. I can quote most of them faster than the drop of a hat. So today I decided to do some research and relive some fond memories. The one thing that never really got Hughes credit was his knack for crafting the perfect soundtrack. A Hughes movie had a killer soundtrack, an eclectic mix of music picked to craft the movie rather than sell soundtracks.

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983). The Griswolds hilarious story of their road trip from Chicago to Wally World Theme Park in California. This one was only written by John Hughes based on his short story titled, "Vacation '58," which was loosely based on a real life trip he took as a child.
"Holiday Road" by Lindsey Buckingham
"Blitzkrieg Bop" by The Ramones
The first single ever released by the Ramones, November 1975.

Sixteen Candles (1984)
There were probably ten truly landmark teen oriented movies in the 80's... John Hughes directed or wrote probably half of them. With "Sixteen Candles" he did both. (Fast-Rewind.com)
Soundtrack is long out of print having been issued by MCA.
"If You Were Here" by the Thompson Twins
"Rebel Yell" by Billy Idol
"Happy Birthday" by Altered Images
"Young Americans" by David Bowie
"Lenny" by Stevie Ray Vaughn
How can you not picture a pizza on a turntable when you hear this song!
"Geek Boogie" by Ira Newborn and the Geeks
"Wild Sex In The Working Class" by Oingo Boingo
"Turning Japanese" by the Vapors

"True" by Spandau Ballet
"Sixteen Candles" by The Stray Cats
originally a billboard chart hit for The Crests in 1958.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

The original and best "Brat Pack" movie!
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds
"Don't You" was originally written for the film by Keith Forsey, Billy Idol and Bryan Ferry turned down the offers to record it first
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Billy Idol

Weird Science (1985)

John Huges wrote the movies screenplay in only two days!

"Eighties" by Killing Joke
Weird Science" by Oingo Boingo
Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo is now a world class film composer working steadily with Tim Burton
"(Oh) Pretty Woman" by Van Halen
"(Oh) Pretty Woman" was in the theatrical release of the film and was later removed from the T.V and VHS versions
"Tenderness" by General Public

Pretty In Pink (1986)

"If You Leave" by OMD
Orchestral Manuevers in the Dark originally wrote "Goddess of Love" for the movies end. However, the song seemed too redundant so "If You Leave" was recorded and used instead. As "If You Leave" was not done yet, the prom goers actually danced to "Don't You (Forget About Me)" from the Breakfast Club

"Pretty In Pink" by The Psychedelic Furs
The song that inspired the movie. Molly Ringwald first told Hughes about the song and it stuck with him.
"Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths
The Dream Academy's instrumental version of this Smith's song is heard in the art museum scene of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

The soundtrack was never released. John Hughes felt that it didn't work together as a compilation, the only ones that exist were given to the studio musicians who worked on the recordings.

"Danke Schoen" by Wayne Newton
"Danke Schoen appears multiple times during the film. Ferris actually sings the song in his shower and Principal Rooney hums it when ringing Bueller's doorbell
"Bad" by Big Audio Dynamite
"Love Missile F1-11" by Sigue Sigue Sputnik This single reached number two on the British charts.


Blogger heather said...

This is VERY COOL. The Thompson Twins song is a protected file - an m4p. You can burn it to a CD and re-import it back into iTunes to remove the copy protection. There may be easier ways as well but, as usual, I don't what they are. :)

Thank you for this! I love it.

August 16, 2006 1:41 PM  
Blogger Derek said...

OOPS! Track has been changed. - Derek

August 19, 2006 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You realy must add "Some Kind Of Wonderful" to that list. Even though it was acomercial failure I thought it was one of Mr Huges(writing only) better pictures. Eric Stoltz is a hottie and Mary Stuart Masterson plays a mechanic/ drummer and had all my lesbian friends weak in the knees. Plus a young Craig Sheffer w

August 24, 2006 4:58 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

What a cool find this post was! Awesome. Thanks for the tunes.

August 25, 2006 6:39 AM  
Anonymous Charlie said...

OMG, loved. I'll be putting on the Wayfarers and being too cool for school all weekend.

August 25, 2006 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice! Thank you for posting Killing Joke's "Eighties".

August 28, 2006 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Outstanding site!! I ran across this at USATODAY.com. Keep up the great work. Incidentally, I live in New Richmond, WI.

August 31, 2006 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Heather in Canada said...

I LOVE this site! I have an mp3 I can add for you - True, by Spandau Ballet. Remember in Sixteen Candles, Jake is dancing in the gym at the dance with Caroline? Every time I hear that song I think of Sixteen Candles! Lemme know if you want it, I got it! hdonovanatcphadotca

September 01, 2006 5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Do you happen to know what song and the artist is playing when Sam runs into Jake in the coat check! thanks.

October 10, 2006 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a post for person trying to find the coat check song from 16 candles that is played in TV version -- It is the Divinyls --but (at least from I-tunes) it is not "Ring Me Up" -- it is "Take a Chance".... I just bought both from I-tunes -- and the version from the movie is definately "Take A Chance"...either the movie or I-tunes mixed teh titles up ---

November 24, 2008 10:21 PM  
Blogger Christopher Harding said...

Great post! I referenced your blog post and posted a link to your blog in my John Hughes tribute in the Examiner this evening.

You can access it at:


Here's a toast to John Hughes, a wonderful filmmaker and a very decent guy.

August 06, 2009 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shore said...

Loved your post. I just posted regarding John Hughes as well and I rank my favorite John Hughes soundtracks. I'm also from Stillwater! Check out my site:
- Dr. Shore

August 06, 2009 10:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home