A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while the movie Stand by Me and the Stephen King novella on which it was based are fraught with adult themes, the soundtrack is classic '50s/early '60s pop, a note-perfect audio snapshot of the world in which the action unfolds. There's sexual innuendo in some of the lyrics -- Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire" with its lyric "You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain / Too much love drive a man insane," etc., and "Let the Good Times Roll" with "Feels so good when you're home / Come on baby, rock me all night long." There are also two of the original misunderstood-teen 'tude tunes: "Yakety Yak" and "Get a Job."
What's the story?
You don't need to know anything about the coming-of-age drama Stand By Me to appreciate this soundtrack, which does its intended job of bringing to life the feel and vibe of '50s/early '60s small-town life through the music that kids of the time used as a soundtrack and a lifeline. For those who grew up with these tunes, it's an instant flashback; for younger listeners, it's a window into a different era.
Is it any good?
The Stand by Me Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album draws a few complaints for its short running time (23 minutes) and the fact that its 10-song list leaves out a few tunes that appeared in the movie. That said, it's hard to find fault with a single track in the collection, which includes not only pop confections -- "Lollipop," "Mr. Lee" -- but all-time classics: Buddy Holly's "Everyday," Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire," the Del Vikings' "Come Go With Me," and Ben E. King's lush, heartfelt title song.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "Yakety Yak," "Get a Job," and whether they still reflect common conflicts between parents and kids.
Do you like the song "Stand by Me"? Have you heard other versions? Why might other artists find this song appealing?
If you've seen the movie Stand by Me, do you think it does a good job of using the music to help create the atmosphere and tell the story?