A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the soundtrack to the 1986 John Hughes film Pretty in Pink is a compilation of new wave songs, many of which were already popular when this (now) period piece was released. Some of the songs, such as the title track by Psychedelic Furs, were reworked to sound more polished for the film. Like the movie, these songs give voice to teen feelings of alienation and romantic love. Most of the tracks lean toward emotional angst, often equating love with need and suffering, which may ring true to teens but can be a bit unhealthy. There are a few tame sexual references and nothing else objectionable in this music.
What's the story?
The soundtrack to the 1986 John Hughes film Pretty in Pink made use of several established new wave hits, including Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark's "If You Leave," Suzanne Vega's "Left of Center," The Smiths' "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want," Echo and the Bunnymen's "Bring on the Dancing Horses," and the title track by Psychedelic Furs. The Furs' 1981 hit was somewhat reworked for the film music, with a horn section adding polish to the original tough-sounding track. As the film depicts social and romantic challenges experienced by high schoolers, the music also expresses romantic longing and feelings of alienation that teens feel.
Is it any good?
The new wave music on the PRETTY IN PINK: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK music has contributed to this film becoming something of a period piece, but for those who enjoy '80s rock, there are some great quality songs on the album. Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark's "If You Leave" is a strong opening with those tell-tale but enjoyable '80s drums and synths. Other standouts include Echo & the Bunnymen's deeply poetic "Bring on the Dancing Horses" and the title track, a brightened up version of the Psychedelic Furs' powerful 1981 hit. You couldn't call these tracks "timeless," because they're definitely dated, but not necessarily in a bad way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the songs on the soundtrack reflect the emotions of the characters in the film. Do the songs help you understand how the characters are feeling?
New Order's "Shellshock" includes the lines "It's never enough until your heart stops beating / The deeper you get, the sweeter the pain." What do you believe this means in the song?
The Psychedelic Furs' song "Pretty in Pink" was a hit in the early '80s, before this film came out. What's this song about? How does the song relate to the film?
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