VARIOUS ARTISTS – VALLEY GIRL: MUSIC FROM THE SOUNDTRACK
Film Released April, 1983 – 33 years ago
Soundtrack Released 1994 – 22 years ago
One of the earliest and most influential 80s teen flicks featured a killer soundtrack that serves as a primer in new wave. Music rights access and budget overruns prevented a soundtrack to be released with the low-budget 1983 movie, however in 1994 the soundtrack as originally planned was finally released.
The Classic Pick is a weekly feature at 4pm M-F on The Home Stretch, sponsored by the Good Oak Bar and curated by Kris Kerry. Each Monday at 4pm Kris stops by KXCI’s studio to give us insight on this classic album at 91.3FM and kxci.org.
Valley Girl was a 1983 teen movie directed by Martha Coolidge. She got her start working for Francis Ford Coppola, and is credited for helping launch Nicolas Cage’s career (who is Coppola’s nephew). She was the first president of the Director’s Guild of America 2002-2003. Other movies that she directed include another 80s teen cult-classic, Real Genius (1985), The Twilight Zone (1986), and Lost In Yonkers (1993), among others. She also has directed episodes for several TV series, including Sex And The City, Weeds, and Madam Secretary.
Produced and written by Wayne Crawford and Andrew Lane, the plot was loosely based on Romeo and Juliet. This was arguably one of their most successful screenplays. Most of their other movies were of the B-horror types, such as Night of the Comet, Barracuda, and Snake Island.
Valley Girl was the first starring role for both Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman. Cage, of course, became a huge movie star after Valley Girl, starring in nearly 100 feature length films. He also appeared in several other 80s cult-teen movies including, Rumble Fish, Raising Arizona, and the teen movie that started them all – Fast Times At Ridgemont High, written by Cameron Crowe. Cage had a small part in Fast Times, working as a short order cook under Judge Rienhold’s manager character at Bronco Burger. This was Cage’s big screen debut, and he had yet to adopt the screen name of “Cage.” Film credits listed him as Nicolas Coppola. While Deborah Foreman did appear in a few other movies after Valley Girl, including Real Genius, her career was essentially over by the late 80s.
Originally, there had been an original motion picture soundtrack planned on Epic Records, however it’s release was cancelled due to music rights access and budget concerns. Instead a short six song EP on the small Atlantic subsidiary label, Roadshow Records, was planned. It was never commercially released however, but a few copies were leaked and are highly valued collector’s items. This early EP is so valuable that it has been counterfeited quite a bit. The most common counterfeit version is misspelled, reading “Vally Girls” instead of “Valley Girls.”
In 1994, Rhino Records finally released what had been planned as the original movie soundtrack eleven years after the film had been released. Titled Music From The Soundtrack Valley Girl, rather than Valley Girl Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, it charted for several weeks on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
Several songs appearing in the movie were commercially successful:
- Josie Cotton’s “Johnny Are You Queer?” and “He Could Be The One” were regional radio hits in Southern CA in 1981. “He Could Be The One” ended up reaching #74 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles in 1982.
- The Plimsouls’ “A Million Miles Away” rose to #11 on the Billboard’s Top Tracks chart in 1982.
- The Payola$’ “Eyes of a Stranger” got to #22 on Billboard’s Top Tracks in 1982 as well.
- “I Melt With You” by Modern English reached #78 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983, partly due to it’s prominent place in Valley Girls.
- “Love My Way” by The Psychedelic Furs charted on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1982 (on Forever Now release) and then again on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles in 1983 thanks to Valley Girl.
- Men At Work’s “Who Can It Be Now” was probably the biggest hit on the album. Originally released on the multi-platinum album Business As Usual in 1982 in the US. They ended up winning the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1983.
The ending movie credits show songs by The Clash, Culture Club, Bananarama, and the Jam, but songs by these artists didn’t make the final film edit as problems arose in acquiring the music rights.
Music rights altogether cost nearly $250,000 above the films budget of $350,000.
The Modern English song “I Melt with You” is seen twice in the movie. Martha Coolidge originally heard the song on the radio and thought id captured the spirit of the movie. She didn’t know the band and had to call the radio station she heard it on and sing it to them to find out the song’s name and recording artist.
Both The Plimsols and Josie Cotton appear in the Valley Girl.
The Plimsouls playing “Everwhere At Once” in bar scene:
Josie Cotton and band seen at end of prom fight scene: