You can thank tonight’s dueling presidential town halls for the late post. Not sure why I get so wrapped up in this trying to be an informed citizen stuff when I already dropped my ballot in a ballot drop box nearly a month ago. I’m not getting into this tonight.
We have a unique Prince song tonight. “Good Love” was recorded in October of 1986. It features Prince’s “Camille” voice. If you’re not a frequent reader, Camille is a voice that Prince created by raising the pitch of his vocals. I’ve seen Camille referred to as his alter ego, but I believe that’s a misnomer. An alter ego would imply that Prince was pretending to be someone else or displaying a secondary personality. I don’t think Prince’s personality was any different when he performed as Camille as it was when he was using his regular vocals. He was just playing with the pitch of his voice. Whatever. If you want an example of Prince’s Camille voice click play on the YouTube link above. His most popular Camille songs are probably “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and “Housequake” from 1987’s Sign O’ The Times. Prince actually planned to release an entire Camille album in early-1987, but he scrapped it and instead chose some of the songs for SOTT.
One of the songs that didn’t make the cut was “Good Love.” If you wanted to pick a song from the mid-80’s to put in a time capsule representing the sound of upbeat pop music, “Good Love” would be a solid choice. It might not have been incredibly popular, but the instant the song begins you know exactly when it was recorded. This is all my polite way of calling it very dated.
Once “Good Love” was passed over for SOTT, Prince did something surprising with it: He gave it away for use on a soundtrack. Prince had plenty of soundtrack music for his own movies. His most popular album is a soundtrack. He also did the entire Batman soundtrack. Up until “Good Love” he had not given an unreleased song to a movie. It was the first track on the soundtrack to the 1988 Michael J. Fox movie Bright Lights, Big City. I have not seen Bright Lights, Big City nor do I intend to. It may have been beloved at the time of its release, but I think I’d remember that. I enjoyed Michael J. Fox’s work in Family Ties and Back to the Future. I have a theory on movies from the 1980’s: If you didn’t watch them then, they’re terrible now. There are exceptions and Back to the Future is one of them, but for the most part movies from the 80’s are terrible. Best example I can think of: Everyone talks about Caddyshack like it’s the funniest shit they’ve ever seen. I finally saw it 25 years after its release and here’s my one sentence review: It’s fucking terrible. Here’s one sentence summarizing how I feel about 80’s movies: You had to be there. If you didn’t watch it then and it doesn’t give you that feeling of nostalgia, don’t watch it now. The only 80’s movies you need to bother with are the Star Wars sequels, Purple Rain, Back to the Future, Karate Kid, Ghostbusters, and Coming to America. I might be missing a movie or two, but that list is long enough. Everything else is terrible. Rottentomatoes.com rates “Bright Lights, Big City” a 60%, but the audience gives it 38%. I rest my case. I guarantee that 38% saw it in the theater on a date in 1988. If they saw it again now they’d withdraw their positive review. Here’s the synopsis:
In this adaptation of Jay McInerney’s novel, Jamie Conway (Michael J. Fox) moves from small-town Kansas to New York City to work at a magazine. However, a number of things are making him miserable: He would rather be a writer, his wife (Phoebe Cates) has left him and his mother (Dianne Wiest) has recently died. So he takes to partying with his yuppie friend Tad (Kiefer Sutherland), abusing alcohol and cocaine. But he quickly finds himself becoming more and more dependent on drinking and drugs.
In hindsight, a coked up MJ Fox and Kiefer Sutherland listening to Prince probably makes for an entertaining movie. I might need to reconsider. This was an interesting choice for Prince’s first contribution for a soundtrack to a non-Prince movie. His song wasn’t even in the trailer. Prince would go on to provide the entire soundtrack to Spike Lee’s 1996 movie Girl 6 using mostly previously released work, but he did put a few unreleased songs there as well. He also won a Golden Globe in 2007 for “The Song of the Heart” off of the soundtrack to the children’s animated movie Happy Feet. That’s the extent of Prince’s soundtrack work for non-Prince movies that I’m aware of.
In 1998 when Prince released his triple album Crystal Ball full of vault tracks, remakes, and rarities, a slightly edited version of “Good Love” was included. If you’re looking to add an album with this song to your music library without having to hear music by Depeche Mode and New Order, that’s where you’ll find it.
“Good Love” is not a good song in my opinion. A rare mid-80’s miss from Prince. Much of his best music sounds timeless, but this song is forever stuck in the 1980’s, and not in a good way. Sadly, it fits perfectly on a (I’m assuming) bad 80’s soundtrack to a (I’m assuming) bad 80’s movie.