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  A.O.R. in movies 

In all our seven Past-issues appear reviews of movies that featured AOR songs. We had about 50 movies featured in this item. In the next coming months most of these will be placed here. A lot of unknown movies that featured some brilliant AOR songs. In the new Past-issue Magazine, issue 8, appear also many reviews of movies that featured AOR. They will not be printed here at this moment, maybe later this year. If you're interested in that, you must get yourself a copy of that new issue. For details CLICK HERE

Below you can read some reviews of movies that featured AOR. These reviews appeared in issue 7 of Stutter'zine-the past- magazine. 

The lost boys (USA/1987/Atlantic)

If you see names like Richie Zito,Beau Hill,Bob Clearmountain... appearing on a CD as the producers, usually it is some great 80’s A.O.R. Well, on the original soundtrack of this movie they appear, but actually it is a very disappointing soundtrack,because there is only one real great A.O.R.-song. That is the song from LOU GRAMM (Foreigner),who is singing “Lost in the shadows(The lost boys)”, a really great pure movie-AOR-rocker.

The other 9 songs are either poppy and weird or disturbed by a sax. EDDIE AND THE TIDE appears with the song “Powerplay”, a soft poprocker(midtempo) a la Eddie Money,disturbed by a saxsolo, but the song is just average, so no worries! I liked their 2 LP’s this band released in the 80’s and this song doesn’t come close to what they did on those albums.

Richie Zito produced a guy called TIM CAPPELLO,whose song “I still believe” is a bit pop-orientated poprock like JOHN PARR on his 2nd album. So, not really interesting stuff.
The remaining tracks are even worse. So, the conclusion is that this soundtrack is only recommended to the die-hard LOU GRAMM/ FOREIGNER-fan, because that track of Lou Gramm is the only really interesting track of this soundtrack, believe me!

He’s my girl (USA/1987/Scotti Bros.)

DAVID HALLYDAY released a couple of aor/pop/rock-albums in his musical carreer. After seeing this movie,it is clear to me that he will never become a famous actor. He is one of the worst actors I’ve ever seen. I can also add that this is a really stupid movie. But we’re hear to talk about the music. David made a couple of nice songs on his solo-albums, I remember a fantastic song called “Can’t deny” which was pure AOR like Stan Bush&Barrage, but not all his songs were that good. On this soundtrack are 3 songs of David. 2 great AOR-songs titled “Rock revival”(his heaviest track ever recorded) and “Church of the poison spider”. The third song “He’s my girl” can be forgotten,stupid song.

The rest of the soundtrack is not interesting, although I have my doubts about Sylvie Vartan and Micky Barrera which come close to poprock, but contain also some elements of new wave, so not really something to look for. But there are 2 great AOR-tracks on this CD and so it is kind of interesting for the ‘rich’ AOR-fan!

Rude awakening (USA/1989/Elektra)

FRANKE&THE KNOCKOUTS has lately been mentioned a lot. Their 2nd and 3rd album have been re-issued on CD (review in this past-issue). So, here’s some more news about this classic-AOR-band. On the original soundtrack of this movie appears a song of FRANKE&THE KNOCKOUTS that cannot be find on any album of the band. The song is titled “We the people”, a nice calmer A.O.R.-song that doesn’t have the quality of their 3rd album, but is nice to hear as a FRANKE&THE KNOCKOUTS-fan. The song was produced by Phil Ramone and Franke Previte. The song was made in 1989, and their last album was released in 1984. This means that between 1984 and 1989 they existed, but didn’t record an album. Maybe they recorded some demos, if that’s so then it could be possible that a recordlabel will release that on CD. Let’s hope it!

Anyway, besides this unreleased FRANKE&THE KNOCKOUTS-track, there also appears a track of KIM CARNES titled “Comin’ home”, an average poprockballad. The rest of the material on the soundtrack isn’t interesting. But for the fan of FRANKE&THE KNOCKOUTS, this soundtrack is rather interesting, because there’s an non-album track of the band on it.


On the original soundtrack of this movie are 10 tracks. 3 tracks are interesting for the AOR-fan.
First one is the titletrack “Sing” which is performed by MICKEY THOMAS of Starship. “Sing” was written by Jonathan Cain(JOURNEY), Martin Page,Dean Pitchford. The musicians on the song are Peter Wolf(Starship) on Keyboards and Bass,Michael Baird(Van Stephenson, Airborne) on Drums,Vivian Campbell(Def Leppard) and Peter Maunu on Guitars. The song itself is a good uptempo A.O.R.-rocker with some touches of poprock like BRYAN ADAMS.

Also featured is KEVIN CRONIN of Reo Speedwagon with the song “(Everybody’s gotta)Face the music” which was written by Richard Marx and Dean Pitchford. Session musicians played on this song, namely Jeffrey Vanston(Keys),Bruce Gaitsch(Guitar),Mike Baird (Drums),Randy Jackson(Bass),who are all well-known for playing on hundreds of A.O.R.,Pop and Rockalbums. On backing vocals we hear Tommy Funderburk. The song “Face the music” of Kevin is in the style of the REO SPEEDWAGON-album ‘Life as we know it’, which means radio-orientated AOR-rock with smooth melodies and nice lead vocals of Kevin.

But the best song comes from BILL CHAMPLIN with the song “Somethin’ to believe in”,a fantastic uptempo A.O.R.-rocker with a chorus that is so catchy that you’ll always remember it after hearing it once. It was written by Desmond Child,Diane Warren and Dean Pitchford,and it has that typical Child/Warren-structure which means a lot of great harmonyvocals. The musicians on this song are unknown,except for drummer Bobby Chouinard, who played with Billy Squier and Gary Moore. On backing vocals we can hear Louis Merlino(Beggars&Thieves),Myrian Valle(Desmond Child and Rouge) and JON FIORE(Fiore and Preview).

Songs like “Somethin’ to believe in” aren’t made anymore,it’s not a classic-song,but just a happy AOR-rocker that is always nice to hear. The other 7 tracks are pop-based,even though you see a lot of well-known names such as Tom Kelly,Jeff Porcaro,Terri Nunn, Marilyn Martin,Lenny Castro,Dann Huff ...

Only the 3 mentioned tracks are interesting for an AOR-freak. It becomes clear that the music is very important in this movie, because almost the whole session-scene of L.A. and New York have been brought together to make this a winner. But I don’t believe it was such a big success.
The soundtrack is available on CD released by CBS Records.

Quicksilver (USA/1986/Atlantic)

I haven’t seen this movie,but there appear some aor/poprockers that are pretty typical for 80’s-movies. Actually,on the original soundtrack which was released by Atlantic Records, only side-A is interesting. The titlesong is sung by ROGER DALTREY,who was once a member of THE WHO. His song “Quicksilver lightning” is a nice typical 80’s AOR/Poprocksong a la JOHN PARR with many keys and sadly an irritating sax. The song is reminiscent of some of his solo-albums of the 80’s where he was helped by John Parr, therefore the comparison to John.

Next song is very interesting for all the fans of female-aor, because FIONA appears with the song “Casual thing” and this is a classic mid-80’s uptempo AOR-rocker a la TANE CAIN and is actually very good. It isn’t on any album of her,so I guess you can say that every Fiona-fan must grab a copy of this soundtrack,because this track is one of the best ones she did.

PETER FRAMPTON is featured with the track “Nothing at all” which is good typical 80’s aor/poprock that reminds me of NICK GILDER on his album ‘Nick Gilder’ from 1985. The song of FISH is stupid and the closing track of side-a is from JOHN PARR and MARILYN MARTIN who are singing a duet in the radio-ballad “Through the fire” which has a saxsolo. The 5 songs on side-b are terrible and can be forgotten. Conclusion is that side-a captured a few fine songs,with the Fiona-song as the best one and side-b is totally not interesting. It’s the same story as the soundtrack of ‘St.Elmo’s fire’.

Age isn’t everything (USA/1991)

In this movie you can hear the song “Dreamers” of Elaine Caswell. A calmer AOR-ballad like CONNIE SCOTT. Only interesting for die-hard fans.

Charlie&Louise (Germany/1993)

This is something totally different than the usual things we discuss. This is a German movie that includes 1 very good song sung in the German language. It is the titlesong “Charlie und Louise” of LESSMANN/ZILLER. Claus Lessmann and Hans Ziller are 2 BONFIRE-members,so you can say that this is an unreleased BONFIRE-song. And the song is pretty good, an AOR-ballad like BONFIRE. Lessmann/Ziller also released 1 CD together,but I don’t know if this song is on that CD. Anyway, for a fan of BONFIRE,this song is a must to have.

Disorderlies (USA/1987/ Warner Bros)

On the original soundtrack of this movie we can find 2 songs that are interesting for the fan of melodic rock/aor. TOM KIMMEL has a bit weak poprocker titled “Tryin’ to dance” which is not much better than his 2 solo-albums and is similar to the material of JOHN PARR.

The other song is very good and interesting, although many people might say that it is too commercial. It is namely the song “Edge of a broken heart” of BON JOVI. Well, this song is not available on any album of the band and is just a great uptempo melodic AOR-rocker like the first 3 albums of the band. Although it is BON JOVI,I think nobody knows this great song.

For a die-hard BON JOVI-fan a not-to-be missed song,but this time I can also recommend the song to the average AOR/Melodic Rockfan, because “Edge of a broken heart” could also be a song of bands like SURGIN,MESSAGE,TOUR DE FORCE or whatever and bands like these are the favourites of the average melodic rockfan,so why not listen to this great unknown song of BON JOVI. So,if you ever see the soundtrack of this movie,just have a listen to that BON JOVI-song.

Tequila sunrise (USA/1988/ Capitol Records)

There are 2 very interesting AOR-songs in this movie. The first one is “Surrender to me”,a great AOR-ballad-duet between ANN WILSON(Heart) and ROBIN ZANDER(Cheap Trick). “Surrender to me” was written by Ross Vannelli and Richard Marx, and produced by RICHIE ZITO(Heart,Bad English) The other song is titled “Dead on the money”,which is performed by ex-Duran Duran Guitarist ANDY TAYLOR. Following the style of his first solo-album,which contained some great AOR-rock,this song is a great uptempo AOR-rocker in the style of artists like JEFF PARIS(his 80’s material) and STAN BUSH(like his Barrage-album). “Dead on the money” was written by S.Diamond and Todd Cerney. 2 songs that are very interesting for every AOR-fan. The rest of the soundtrack is pure pop.

Highway to hell (USA/1992)

This isn’t so interesting,but I like to mention every movie that contains an AOR-orientated song. This movie contains 1 interesting song titled “Maybe the next time”,which is performed by a girl called DEBRA CANDLE PARSON. This song is a nice(bit soft) semi-ballad a la BIG TROUBLE and some ROBIN BECK-influences in the vocals of Debra. But it isn’t really special to look for,but for the die-hard fan a nice fact.

Don’t ask too much of love (USA/1992)

Does anyone remember the band THIEVES? This was a female-fronted AOR-rockband that released in 1979 1 album titled ‘Yucatan’, an album with music in the style of HEART, TORONTO...

Well, lead vocalist of THIEVES was Andrea Robinson. She is singing the titlesong of this movie called ‘Don’t ask too much of love’. A nice semi-AOR-ballad like ROBIN BECK/CHER ... Not so heavy,but still nice. The song was written by a guy called Robert Folk,who also produced the song. I don’t know if Andrea has recorded more solo-material,but if you’re familiar with the 70’s band THIEVES, you’ll now know what happened to their female-lead vocalist.

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