Some movie soundtracks transcend the film they are part of. Though Some Kind of Wonderful is one of my favorite John Hughes’ movies, it’s not among the universally agreed upon “best John Hughes”, not like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 16 Candles, and even Pretty In Pink are. For some reason, Some Kind of Wonderful gets forgotten. Maybe its because it came later, or it could be its lack of Molly Ringwald or any of the so-called Brat Pack. Whatever the reason, it tends to get overlooked.
Some Kind of Wonderful – Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987)
The soundtrack might be overlooked, too. It’s hard for me to say, as it’s always been one of my favorite movie soundtracks. It would even be on my list of quintessential albums. The soundtrack to Some Kind of Wonderful is utterly unforgettable, to me. Tied closely with Pretty In Pink, as the best Hughes’ movie soundtracks of all-time.
Released on MCA Records in 1985, the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack features songs by Pete Shelley, Flesh For Lulu, Stephen Duffy, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The March Violets, among others. The soundtrack is full of lesser-known, “alternative” (before the term became a “genre”) bands and artists that have this unmistakable cool-factor. This helped keep the compilation fresh sounding (still is) and not crammed full of stereotypical ’80’s hits that many of us have had our ears over-filled with.
Every song on the soundtrack fit perfectly into the moments and scenes they accompanied in the movie, from the attention-grabbing opening track to the nightclub scene, the kissing lesson/first kiss scene, the climactic party, and finally, the unusual and beautiful cover of the Elvis classic, “I Can’t Help Falling In Love” which starts up at the ending of the final scene, and then plays in full over the closing credits. Every song appears to have been chosen with meticulous precision, acting as part of the scene itself, if not as a supporting character.
The end – Some Kind of Wonderful
The songs on this soundtrack remind me of the “Imports” section in my favorite record stores during my teen and twenty-something years. The bins where I discovered bands and artists that weren’t getting airplay on even the edgiest radio stations of the time. I loved mining for these albums, uncovering new favorites that I would devour, and share with other music obsessive friends of mine. This soundtrack is full of just those kinds of bands and artists.
Furniture’s melancholic “Brilliant Mind” and Flesh For Lulu’s pop-culture laden “I Go Crazy” were my first-listen favorites, when I first bought the album. These were tracks I immediately started including on mixtapes made for myself and others.
I remember thinking it was refreshing to hear a Stephen Duffy song other than “Kiss Me”, and to have other people start finding out who Pete Shelley was. Oh, and The March Violets’ version of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss Amanda Jones” and Lick The Tins rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” quickly became part of my endless collection of best-loved cover songs.
Do you have any favorites from the soundtrack?
Top 5 Some Kind Of Wonderful Songs
1.”Brilliant Mind” by Furniture, featuring David Jacob
2. “Do Anything” by Pete Shelley
3. “I Go Crazy” by Flesh For Lulu
4. “She Loves Me” by Stephen Duffy
5. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Lick The Tins