Soundtracks I Have Loved: Pretty Woman

First in a series.

Before I was the hip savvy, music listener I am today, slavishly following great bands to small clubs where the few people willing to get off their fat asses on a weeknight seem more content to talk than to actually listen to the band, I loved soundtracks. Sometimes the soundtracks were well-known and purchased in large quantities across America. Sometimes they were the soundtracks to movies featuring Dan Aykroyd and that seemed like as good enough a reason as any to ask my parents for 10 bucks so I could buy the record, tape, or CD at Sam Goody, Tape World, Record Town, Strawberries, or any of the other long-gone, occasionally lamented chain stores of my youth.

In this ongoing series (this one will really be a series, I promise...just don't expect it to be on any sort of set schedule), I will assess the soundtracks of my youth and tell you why I loved them. And maybe you'll remember why you loved them, too. Or you'll start to question my musical tastes and/or sanity. Let's just see what happens.

Soundtrack: Pretty Woman
Year Released: 1990
I Bought It On: CD
Do I Still Own It?: No, but when I heard "King of Wishful Thinking" on Sirius this morning, I kinda wished I still did.

Track List:

1. Wild Women Do-Natalie Cole
2. Fame 90-David Bowie
3. King Of Wishful Thinking-Go West
4. Tangled-Jane Wiedlin
5. Must Have Been Love-Roxette
6. Life In Detail-Robert Palmer
7. No Explanation-Peter Cetera
8. Real Wild Child (Wild One)-Christopher Otcasek
9. Fallen-Lauren Wood
10. Oh Pretty Woman-Roy Orbison
11. Show Me Your Soul-Red Hot Chili Peppers

I'll be honest. I don't recall about half of the tracks. And a quick run-through on YouTube of the songs I don't know isn't ringing any bells. But that may be a testament to how much I liked the other songs on the soundtrack. It is also probably because this was one of the first CDs I ever owned, so I was probably really enjoying the thrilling, new ease with which one could skip tracks on a CD. Exciting!

Anyway, going into the CD, I knew I would already like "Oh Pretty Woman," because in 1990, I was, like all normal 13-year-olds really into Roy Orbison. I mean, every teenage boy in the 1990s listened to a homemade tape that had all the great Roy Orbison sad songs before going to bed, right? What? That was just me? Weird.

But since Roy was buried deep on the CD (next to last seems to be an odd placement for what is pretty much the title song of the movie, but I guess Roy's not as sexy as Roxette), I probably didn't make it to "Oh Pretty Woman" often when I was listening to the CD. In fact, with the exception of "Real Wild Child (Wild One)," all my favorites on this one are in the first half. I inexplicably liked "Wild Women Do" (another thing that makes me wonder about my alleged heterosexuality) and since I probably hadn't heard the original "Fame" at this point, the "Fame 90" version was just fine with me.

But, without a doubt, my top two jams on the CD were "King of Wishful Thinking" (the second Go West song I liked, after "Don't Look Down") and another in the long line of classic soundtrack weepers, Roxette's "Must Have Been Love," which was also on the mixtape with Roy Orbison songs. Look, I was a very sensitive young man not having a good time adjusting to all that comes with puberty. Those days of Junior Teen Center dances were not kind to me. Get off my back.

Anyway, if I have to pick my favorite of the two, I'm siding with Go West, probably because it's a slightly more manly song and I'm not sure I can bring myself to have Roxette win any battle, even one with a strong whiff of nostalgia.

But, hey, you decide:

They're both good, and the movie wasn't half bad either.

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