Film director Alfonso Cuarón's dystopian science fiction thriller Children of Men is about a near future in which human fertility has nearly ceased, and to represent a setting that is familiar yet disturbing, the compilers of this various-artists soundtrack (there is also an album of the score) have chosen some rock and pop songs by well-known artists dating back to the '60s, some of them, however, presented in versions not so well known. Everybody knows the heavy metal band Deep Purple, but the band's initial American hit, a cover of Joe South's "Hush," doesn't sound much like its more successful "Smoke on the Water" phase. The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" are iconic '60s songs, but they are here performed by Junior Parker and heavily accented Italian singer Franco Battiato, respectively. John Lennon's "Bring on the Lucie (Freeda Peeple)," a song featured on his 1973 album Mind Games, is not one of his more celebrated numbers, despite its anthemic appeal; the version heard here is a rehearsal take that first appeared on the Lennon Anthology box set in 1998. There are also rap and reggae toasting tracks, and some electronic music, adding to the sense of dislocation called for in the film.
efore her well-known collaborations with Meat Loaf producer Jim Steinman, Welsh-born singer Bonnie Tyler (born Gaynor Hopkins) performed off and on in her homeland with the R&B band Mumbles; nodules on her vocal cords prevented her from singing full-time until 1976, when she underwent an operation to have them removed. The surgery left her with a raspy, husky voice that proved an effective instrument and drew notice from writer/producers Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe, who became her managers…
While the music made by Bill Bruford's earlier Earthworks band was consistently more interesting, his current lineup continues to make great strides given its more traditional stance (post-bop acoustic piano/saxophone quartet verses ultra-modern Euro-jazz fusion). On the live Footloose and Fancy Free, the group exceeds its own studio performances with room to spare. The lovely ballad "Come to Dust" is a fine showcase for pianist Steve Hamilton, and Bruford's punchy drumming moves a complex "Triplicity." Even non-Earthworks tunes from Bruford's late-'90s collaborations with Tony Levin ("Original Sin") and Ralph Towner ("If Summer Had Its Ghosts") get inspiring interpretations as well, thanks to the well-seasoned playing of both tenor/alto saxophonist Patrick Calahar and Hamilton.
Footloose was a throwback to '50s rock & roll movies, with a silly plot about a town where it was illegal to dance. It was a major hit, as was its soundtrack, which spent a grand total of ten weeks at number one and sold over seven million copies. It's easy to see why – the album delivers its mainstream pop, anthemic rock, and light dance-pop with style and an abundance of hooks. Six of the nine tracks became Top 40 hits, and three – Kenny Loggins' bouncy title song, the excellent power ballad "Almost Paradise" (a duet between Loverboy's Mike Reno and Heart's Ann Wilson), and Deniece Williams' frothy, charming "Let's Hear It for the Boy" – shot into the Top Ten. The sound and production of Footloose has dated badly – there is a reliance on synthesizers and drum machines that instantly announces that the record was made in 1984 – but that isn't necessarily a weakness. Not only does it function as a time capsule of a certain moment in pop music history, but many of the songs are catchy enough to transcend their production.