Sunday, February 10, 2008

Soundtrack Sunday - "Fletch" (1985)

A few weeks ago, I did a post about Rupert Hine.

Today, I'll focus on a soundtrack that features one of the best songs from one of the most well-known acts he produced.

Believe it or not, it's from a Chevy Chase film.

That film would be Fletch (1985), either one of the decade's comedic masterpieces or a cosmic affront to the literary detective created by Gregory McDonald – depending on which person you talk to on any given day.

Released on MCA records, the album was an attempt to repeat the label's multi-million dollar
success with Beverly Hills Cop the previous year. And in several blatant ways too.

For example, most brazenly, you have Mr. "Axel F." Harold Faltermeyer producing the score. If he didn't compose it himself, Faltermeyer could have sued himself for plagiarism for both "Exotic Skates" and the "Fletch Theme." Bum-bum-be-bum, indeed.

Other repeats: Dan Hartman attempt a Glenn Frey impression with "Fletch, Get Outta Town." And Stephanie Mills – trying to keep up with the other 80s divas with crossover hits – channels Patti LaBelle (or the Pointer Sisters, take your pick) with the Faltermeyer co-composition "Bit by Bit (Theme from Fletch)" I've developed a certain fondness for this song because it has some nice hooks, so I'll put it here.

Play "Bit by Bit" by Stephanie Mills

The rest of the soundtrack is made up of leftovers from MCA artists such as Kim Wilde ("Is It Over"), John Farnham ("Running for Love") and The Fixx.

Their song "Letter to Both Sides" pretty much redeems the band in my eyes. It's got great swirling guitars, a killer chorus and a propulsive beat. And vocalist Cy Curnin, who annoyed me throughout the 80s to no end, does some of his best work. I have since grown to appreciate The Fixx more – they were, for example, more lyrically sophisticated than their techno-pop contemporaries – and perhaps this song has helped out in that respect.

Play "Letter To Both Sides" by The Fixx

There was a sequel called Fletch Lives (1989). And In the last 20 years or so, there have been plans to produce a third film based on McDonald's prequel book Fletch Won. But right now, it appears to be in development hell. Kevin Smith wanted to do it with Jason Lee in the title role. Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence wanted to pair up with Zach Braff. No go on all counts. Last I heard, Joshua Jackson (Dawson's Creek) and director Steve Pink (Accepted) were the major names affiliated with the project.

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