Wednesday, December 19, 2012


YEAR:  1992
LABEL:  Epic
TRACK LISTING:  Everybody Wants To Rule the World  -  Tears For Fears,  My Baby Just Cares For Me  -  Nina Simone,  You're My Best Friend  -  Queen,  Girls Just Want To Have Fun  -  Cyndi Lauper,  If You Let Me Stay  -  Terence Trent D'Arby,  Hungry Heart  -  Bruce Springsteen,  Don't Get Me Wrong  -  The Pretenders,  The King of Rock 'N' Roll  -  Prefab Sprout,  What's Love Got To Do With It  -  Tina Turner,  Give Me Strength  -  Eric Clapton,  Love and Regret  -  Deacon Blue,  Let's Stay Together  -  The Pasadenas,  Rio  -  Michael Nesmith,  Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)  -  Paul Young,  I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues  -  Elton John,  As the Days Go By  -  Daryl Braithwaite
IMPRESSIONS:    I usually watch PETER'S FRIENDS in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve.  Almost every year, in fact, I pop in the DVD because it's perfect viewing for the dwindling year.  Set on December 30th through January 1st, the film which has unfairly been called "the British BIG CHILL" finds a group of college friends (who graduated in 1982) who meet up again in the year 1992 with all their neuroses and baggage dragging along behind them.  The film, if you're interested, is much better than "THE BIG CHILL" and it's sure a whole lot funnier.  However, the soundtrack is one of the most perfect fits for any film I've seen.  Merely a collection of (mostly) 80's pop songs (a soundtrack practice for which I'm usually more than a little dubious), the selection of songs is so expertly chosen as to really compliment the film.  The "backward-looking" 80's songs naturally call up nostalgia for Peter's Friends themselves but also for those of us who were around in the 80s too; and the inevitable melancholy which accompanies these songs as they are juxtaposed with the "present life" of the characters speaks all the more clearly to the disappointment with the way their lives have unfolded.  Each song seems to fit perfectly its corresponding scene in the film:  the Tears For Fears song during the opening credits accompanies a "time capsule" of clips from the years 1982-1992, the Pretenders' "Don't Get Me Wrong" bouncing along during the joyous dinner scene, or the sedate early morning fog-enshrouded perambulations around the estate grounds to the strains of Eric Clapton's "Give Me Strength" are just a few of the nice touches.  Now, this isn't a perfect soundtrack album -- there are several songs which appear on the soundtrack which are not in the film at all and they can be safely skipped over -- but the songs on this soundtrack are so well-chosen that I even like the songs I don't really like!  For instance, I can't stand Bruce Springsteen but "Hungry Heart" gets a pass from me simply because it's in this film!  I will not listen to that song under any other circumstances . . . except if I'm listening to the PETER'S FRIENDS album.  Now, that's some accolade for a soundtrack album!
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  Everybody Wants To Rule the World  -  Tears For Fears,  My Baby Just Cares For Me  -  Nina Simone,  You're My Best Friend  -  Queen,  Hungry Heart  -  Bruce Springsteen,  Don't Get Me Wrong  -  The Pretenders,  What's Love Got To Do With It  -  Tina Turner,  Give Me Strength  -  Eric Clapton,  Rio  -  Michael Nesmith
FACT SHEET:  PETER'S FRIENDS - THE ALBUM is the soundtrack for the 1992 film written by Rita Rudner and Martin Bergman and produced and directed by Kenneth Branagh.  The film stars Stephen Fry, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Imelda Staunton, Alphonsia Emmanuel, Hugh Laurie, Phyllida Law and Tony Slattery.

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