The biggest, brightest marquee names in TV / movie pop culture, according to Alvin and the Chipmunks circa: 1982 are as follows: 9 to 5, Grease, The Greatest American Hero, Fame, Annie, The Dukes of Hazzard, Chariots of Fire, ET, Arthur, and Rocky.
It’s comforting to acknowledge how prolific and timeless The Chipmunks Go Hollywood still remains, given the immortal impact of these groundbreaking examples of visual brilliance. Why, just the other day while shopping for Boston Baked Beans at the corner 7-Eleven (the ‘Sev), I overheard a youth (a shaggy-haired runt in knee-high tube socks) exclaim to his dopey-eyed, sugar-pack-hoarding cohort, “You know Sly, I’ve been thinking, The Greatest American Hero is, in my humble opinion, the greatest American television show of all time. Wouldn’t you agree, good chap?” To which the sweaty wingman replied something inaudible, just before knocking over a wicker basket full of week old fruit.
The youth, like the Chipped Munks of 1982, got it, and The Chipmunks Go Hollywood still remains one of the most important works of modern day artistic expression, but that, of course, goes without saying.
Would Rocky III still be considered the single greatest motion picture achievement had it not featured Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger? This seemingly innocent question has been the catalyst for civil wars throughout many Philly-loving cliques since this song’s release back in 1982. Did Robert “Rocky” Balboa have enough momentum going for him with the victorious releases of Rocky and Rocky II (1976 and 1979), or can the silver-screen-crowning-victory-belt be awarded to the Chicago-based arena rockers? A solid case for both parties can be made, but what matters most here is Rocky III. For without Rocky III, the world would not be blessed with Rocky IV, Rocky V, or even the 2006 rehash, Rocky Balboa. Is that the kind of world you’d like to live in? It certainly isn’t one I’d want to live in. Thank you, Rocky III, for all that’s right with the world.
Q: What do killer whales, boxing legends, watered down martini drinking international spies, and the greatest science fiction story ever told all have in common you ask?
A: Why, this compilation of disco-fied movie themes from the late 70s, of course!
I mean, let’s be honest. What kid doesn’t want to hear the Marty Gold Orchestra perform the main theme from The Deep? I know for damn certain this here kid does! A self-proclaiming “Stupendous!” “Far out!” and “Exhilarating!” collection straight out of Newark, New Jersey, Themes from the Movies combines the disco fever that made the decade of brown and orange famous, with the silver screen classics that made film executives filthy rich… but, you know, marketed to kids via Peter Pan Industries. Nothing says kid-friendly-jams quite like a disco version of the Theme from Orca, am I right?
As “a galaxy of celestial delights,” Themes from the Movies is certainly one of those niche records (AKA “best album on the market” as the back cover exclaims) that is better left on the shelf at the record store.