Sunday, August 4, 2013

Easy Money (soundtrack)

Welcome to another edition of Soundtrack Sunday.

This month marks the release of Easy Money, the 1983 movie about a hard-living man (played by Rodney Dangerfield) who stands to inherit ten million dollar. The catch: he has to give up drinking, drugs, gambling and every other vice he indulges so eagerly in. Also starring in the movie were Joe Pesci, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Candice Azzara, Jeffrey Jones, Taylor Negron and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The film grossed $29 million in box office and also produced a soundtrack album. Today, we'll take a look at the music on this compilation to mark the film's thirtieth anniversary.

Side one opens with the title track, performed by Billy Joel. "Easy Money", with its big and blaring Motown R&B vibe, was released as part of Joel's 1983 album An Innocent Man, which I will be reviewing later this week.

Scandal is up next with "Love's Got a Line on You", a mid-tempo rocker that first appeared on their 1982 debut EP Scandal (click here for that review).

The Weather Girls storm in with "It's Raining Men", the smash hit dance track from their 1983 debut album Success (click here for that review).

From down under, the Australian heavy metal band Heaven presents "In the Beginning" from their 1982 debut album Bent. It features roaring guitar rhythms and a thundering drum beat.

Nick Lowe closes the first half with "We Want Action", the opening track from his 1983 album The Abominable Showman (click here for that review). This lustful number perfectly fits Dangerfield's womanizing character from the movie.

Side two begins with the film's star Dangerfield and his rendition of "Funiculì, Funiculà", a classic Neapolitan song written by an Italian journalist and composer in 1880. He sings the track in the film during a wedding scene.

Canadian composer Howard Shore is next with the "Wedding Tarantella", a traditional Italian folk song with a fast, upbeat tempo.

The film's musical composer Laurence Rosenthal follows with a number of instrumental interludes: "Willpower", "Big Night on the Town" and "Julio's Honeymoon".

Dennis Blair, one of the film's four writers, is next with "Ordinary Man".

Rosenthal returns to close things out with "Monty's Triumph".

I remember watching Easy Money on HBO after its theatrical run, most likely when I was home on break from my freshman year of college late in 1983 or early 1984. It was one of those R rated comedies that cable channels liked to run over the late night hours. The soundtrack was definitely one of those that, if I had owned it, I likely would have only listened to one side (the first one). However, since all of those tracks were available on other sources, I would have certainly been swayed to skip this disk entirely in lieu of the original releases by the artists.

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