Unknown Contributor Roles: Danny Hutton; David Anderle; Echo & the Bunnymen; INXS; Jesse Johnson; New Order ; Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark ; Suzanne Vega; The Psychedelic Furs; The Smiths; Belouis Some.
As the auteur of post-punk suburban adolescence, director John Hughes appropriately enhanced his '80s movies with relatively harmless new wave soundtracks. Where earlier films like The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles included the occasional Wang Chung or Simple Minds track, though, 1986's Pretty in Pink boasted a full lineup of "rock of the '80s" highlights. Foremost, of course, is the Psychedelic Furs' breakout remake of their 1981 college radio favorite "Pretty in Pink"; while it pales in relation to the raw and electric original, this new version still holds up even with some added horns and a general glossing over of the once hard-driving guitar and drum parts. Even better are tracks by OMD ("If You Leave"), Echo & the Bunnymen ("Bring on the Dancing Horses"), and the Smiths ("Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want"). These era-defining sides certainly help make lukewarm additions like New Order's "Shell-Shock," INXS' "Do Wot You Do," and Belouis Some's "Round, Round" easy to get through. And for more marginal new wave fare, there's Jesse Johnson's Prince-inspired "Get to Know Ya" and Danny Hutton's pop/rocker "Wouldn't It Be Good." Topped off by Suzanne Vega's respectable reworking of her hit "Left of Center," Pretty in Pink qualifies as one of the more relevant youth culture soundtracks. ~ Stephen Cook