Movie Soundtracks: Streets of Fire

Posted: September 17, 2014 in Soundtracks
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A critical and box office failure upon its release in 1984, the movie Streets of Fire has since gone on to obtain cult status, mainly due to the film’s soundtrack. Taking place in an “unknown” place and time and promoted as a rock & roll fable, the movie has a futuristic retro look. There was high hopes for the film and with its fast pace and musical performances that jumped off the screen, it was certain to be a success with the MTV crowd. In the end, it might have been a case of the music being more than the movie.

Directed by Walter Hill, the film stars Michael Pare as the stone-faced hero, a very young Diane Lane as the rock star in distress, and Willem Dafoe as the slithery villain. The soundtrack is an odd mix of rock & roll, Motown, and over-the-top operatic power pop, which adds to the timeless feel of the film. The soundtrack did produce one major hit, Dan Hartman’s “I Can Dream About You.” The song reached #6 on the Billboard charts and had heavy rotation on MTV. Other artists who contributed to the soundtrack include Stevie Knicks, The Fixx, The Blasters as a bar band (they forwent the opportunity to perform in the movie 48 Hours to be in the film), Ry Cooder, and Maria McKee of the band Lone Justice.

“Nowhere Fast” is the first track of the film, and features Diane Lane at her rock & roll best. It’s a pulsating, energetic song written by Jim Steinman. The song is performed by Fire Incorporated, a studio band put together for the movie.

 

The final performance of the movie is another Jim Steinman number, “Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young,” also performed by Fire Incorporated. The song is bursting with all the melodrama you’d expect from Steinman and provides the perfect ending to the film.

 

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