Soundtracks I Have Loved: Dragnet

Soundtrack: Dragnet
Year Released: 1987
I Bought It On: Vinyl
Do I Still Own It?: You're damn right I do.

Track List:

1. Just the Facts - Patti LaBelle
2. City of Crime - Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks
3. Dragnet: Danger Ahead/Dragnet March - Art of Noise
4. Helplessly in Love - New Edition
5. Dance or Die - Dan Aykroyd and Pat Thrall
6. This Is the City/Danger Ahead/Dragnet March Medley - Ira Newborn
7. Looking for Muzz - Ira Newborn
8. Pagan Tension - Ira Newborn
9. Pagan Fight - Ira Newborn
10. Dairy Apologies - Ira Newborn
11. Joe Gets Fired - Ira Newborn
12. Tank - Ira Newborn
13. Dragnet End Credits - Ira Newborn
14. Kill Me Instead - Ira Newborn

My dad went to the movies with me once. I'm not complaining about that, just stating a fact.

He took me to the movies a lot, dropping me off and/or picking me up on many a Friday and Saturday night at the UA theater, lovingly situated mere feet away from the Fresh Kills landfill. He even drove me to and fro for what I'm still not entirely sure was my first date, to see Aladdin. I'm about 90% certain it was a date, but given that nothing happened that was even the least bit romantic, I can't be positive.

But let's not speak anymore of my pathetic teen years. We did plenty of that last time. What I'm trying to get at is that my dad served his time when it came to me and the movies. He just didn't much care for going inside the theater. I only recall him going to see one movie with my mom, Goodfellas. It's not that he disliked movies; he just could take them or leave them. I am my father's son in that regard, and also in the way that once I have seen a movie, I will almost always watch it again if it's on TV, regardless of whether I actually liked it or not. The Sigman men...we're enigmas. In fact, our name is in "enigmas." I just blew your mind.

But back to the matter at hand: I was surprised in late June/early July 1987 when my dad agreed to not just drive me to the Fairview Cinema in Hudson, NY, and then browse through Ames or drive around for 90 minutes until the movie ended, but to actually join his 10-year-old son for a showing of Dragnet, starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks.

For some reason, I was really psyched to see Dragnet. I even bought the movie magazine that featured a foldout poster, which soon hung on my wall. I don't think the makers of "Dragnet" were aiming for the 10-year-old demo when they were making the film (and, honestly, based on the final product, I'm not really sure what demo they were aiming for), but they got me. And they also got my 45-year-old dad, who loved the old TV show and somehow was curious enough to know how they updated the story that he was willing to venture into a movie theater.

So my dad wanting to see Dragnet made a little sense. My desire is still a bit of a mystery. But if I really stop to think about it, my interest in Dragnet was probably piqued by one thing (besides my willingness as a young boy to see anything involving Dan Aykroyd): the "City of Crime" video that was getting heavy rotation on MTV. If you've never had the pleasure of hearing Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks "rap," now you will:

I tend to think I bought the soundtrack right after we got out of the movie (I don't recall my dad and I talking much about the movie, but I doubt my dad was all that taken with it, since it bore little resemblance to the TV show) at the Strawberries two doors down from the theater, where I also made my one and only Grateful Dead purchase, the grey-vinyl 45 of "Touch of Grey" (long since gone). I needed to have "City of Crime" to enjoy at any given moment. There were some other decent songs on there--well, really one, Patti Labelle's "Just the Facts"--but the bulk of the soundtrack was from Ira Newborn's score, and who doesn't love listening to scores for comedies? (to be fair, there was also Art of Noise's update of the "Dragnet" theme and a New Edition song that I guess isn't terrible).

So it wasn't a very exciting soundtrack, and I doubt any of the vinyl grooves other than "City of Crime" got much play. But I still hold a fond place in my heart for the soundtrack. Part of that is because, let's face it, "City of Crime" is awesome. But part of it is because it reminds me of the day my dad and I went to the movies.

And memories of that make me happier than even the sound of Dan Aykroyd rapping can.

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