Keep you eyes peeled on HeyUGuys for loads more Back to the Future stuff coming up in the next few days.
When Back to the Future was released in the summer of 1985, I was 13 years old. I saw it in the theater and was immediately smitten with it. Since then I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of times I’ve seen this film. I’ll plop down on the sofa and watch it whenever it’s on. I’ve done the same with part two as well, but the sequels didn’t strike a chord like the first film did.
For me, aside of the thrilling story of course, the thing that stood out the most was the music. The film starts out based on music as a matter of fact. You see someone turning on an amp, the glitter of light off of a guitar pick, then we see Marty standing in front of that ridiculously big speaker. After strumming one chord, the force of the sound sends him flying backwards into a bookshelf. Shortly after that we see Marty’s band auditioning to perform at the school dance but are rejected by the teachers, one of which is none other than Huey Lewis himself, acting as a judge.
I remember having the soundtrack to the film and listening to it over and over and over again. Not only did I own the soundtrack, but I had it on LP. That’s right, it was an actual vinyl album. Ahhh the good ole days. I loved the soundtrack because A)the music was great, and B) it had a perfect blend of what was then, present day rock, and the oldies.
At the time of release, Huey Lewis and the News were on the top of the charts and in pretty much every home. The band itself and their two contributions to the soundtrack, The Power of Love and Back in Time, fit the musical personality of film perfectly. Fun, exciting and something you could get in to. It was a perfect marriage of sight and sound. I actually saw Huey Lewis and the News in concert about a year later and was treated to a live performance of The Power of Love. That is something I will never forget.
As the movie progressed and did indeed, go back in time, the music obviously changed as well. We were transported from the 80’s sound, the innocent sounds of the 50’s. The songs on the soundtrack were perfect representations of this time. As a child of multi-generational music, I have a love for the oldies. The Motown sound especially, which is what this soundtrack provided. Any soundtrack with Etta James is a good soundtrack in my opinion. Not to mention the tracks by The Starlighters. Those songs performed at the school dance were a perfect throwback to a long forgotten era. Earth Angel, Night Train and the film’s musical climax, Johnny B. Goode, fronted by none other than Marty himself, provided the soul to the soundtrack as well as a rollicking great performance by Michael J. Fox.
As if these two different types of music aren’t enough, the soundtrack is rounded out by two instrumental tracks from the original score. Both tracks, Back to the Future and Back To The Future Overture are those sweeping musical scores that you no doubt know the minute you hear them. Both are performed by the wittingly named The Outatime Orchestra and are what I consider to be in the upper echelon of instrumental film score classics.
For me, film soundtracks are a reminder. When I listen to the soundtrack of a film, be it the music from the film or the original score, it’s just music. I see the film and hear the music, but when I hear the music, I rarely see the film. This soundtrack was the first one I remember listening to that actually made me envision the scenes from the movie. I’d listen to the LP, and see it all play out in my brain again.
There really is nothing like a great soundtrack. Soundtracks can give you goosebumps and move you because the music is so grand and stirring. These emotions are normally related to scores. The Back to the Future soundtrack was a perfect blend of old, new and instrumental. While the movie certainly deserves it’s place in the realm of classics, the soundtrack does as well.