MP3 of the Day: The Music of Back to the Future

[Note: The scene at 00:47 is a scream.]

Tonight The Mink's weekly Movie Nite brings us back to 1985, when Michael J. Fox was still known as that smug neocon bastard on Family Ties and Crispin Glover wasn't the batshit auteur he is these days. A screening of Back to the Future starts around 9 p.m. in the venue's Backroom.

BTTF was the first movie that Rocks Off saw at the movie theatre when he was a child. Well, 'see' in the most basic sense of the word, we guess. All of two years old, we probably only saw flashing lights and heard the loud din of Huey Lewis for two hours. At that age movies you see movies with the same cognizance as you would if you were a full-grown adult on acid. But even still, we were there - so suck it, Trebek.


Aside from the borderline incestuous storyline, acutely '80s-era nostalgia for that late, lamented Nuclear Decade and a plot rife with product placements, the one thing that stands out from BTTF is the soundtrack. Buoyed by two stellar Huey Lewis & The News tracks, an appropriately weird Lindsey Buckingham solo joint ("Time Bomb Town"), and a quasi-throwaway Eric Clapton cut ("Heaven Is One Step Away"), the compilation includes renditions of "Johnny B. Goode" and "Earth Angel" by Marvin Berry & The Starlighters. You may remember that Berry's cousin Chuck stole the riffs over the phone of "Goode" and subsequently created rock and roll.

It's the Huey Lewis songs that have proven to be hella timeless. "Power Of Love" and "Back in Time" both swing with that distinctly dorky Lewis vocal flavor, white-geek faux-R&B jamming and overtly literal lyrics. Rocks Off has always loved Huey Lewis, but for probably all the wrong reasons. He maybe one of the only dudes on Earth who may be whiter than us. So if anything, we pity him somehow.

Between those two singles, it's hard to pick our favorite, or discern the difference between them. Both sound about the same when sung drunkenly or hummed lightly while folding your laundry. Yet again, this isn't a bad. It just means that they are Huey Lewis songs, which sound infinitely better when you are shit-faced. Listening to his music stoned, each song is as intricate as a Pink Floyd song. Just try it.

Now word yet if the Movie Nite crew plans on playing the other two movies in the BTTF trilogy. Sadly, the best thing about the third film in the series is ZZ Top playing a bunch of Wild West guitar pickers. OK, and maybe the gunfight at the end with Biff Tannen's great-great granddad.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty