Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1989: Capitol CDP 7 91736 2
Etta James & David A Stewart
Kisses from the Kremlin
In the go-ahead-and-judge-a-book-by-its-cover sense, obviously this is a CD to own not for anything related to the movie it’s for (which cannot have been anything but a dreadful byproduct of the “Dirty Dancing” days, judging from this album’s cover art and movie stills) but rather for the rarities on it: half of it seems to be a showcase for the band members of Eurythmics’s “Revenge” tour of 1986–87, with the never-released-elsewhere Eurythmics track “Revenge (Part II)” on top of it all (the version included on the Boxed edition/remastered version of Revenge is yet another version!).
I don’t know who Kisses from the Kremlin was, other than the “V Hudson/J Hudson” their song’s credited to, but I would have liked to hear a little more from them. Joniece Jamison’s solo outing here (“Meltdown”) gives her a chance to show that she can sing tenderly and not just belting out alongside Annie Lennox as on tour with Eurythmics, but the song itself is pretty forgettable. I liked Grace Jones’s “Bulletproof Heart” (“listed here as “Bullet Proof Heart,” probably in the same careless way Londonbeat is listed as London Beat) enough to then purchase her album by the same name, but that was an album where the Compass Point Studios magic was absent, so I tend to overlook that one in her portfolio.
There was one definite plus to this soundtrack, for me: Etta James. I hadn’t really been aware of her voice before, although the name rang a distant bell, and even though the title song was largely as dismissable as the poster and the film, I remember reacting to James’s voice when I first heard that track and thinking “damn! Girl’s got some stuff, there!” (more or less). I very belatedly saw that song’s video on YouTube in 2015 and appreciated what of her performance there managed to get through the dreadful onslaught of not only the bits of the obviously bad film but also the inspired-but-horrendous conceit of the video’s transitions being effected by means of graffiti sprayers spraying their cans directly at the camera. (p.s. I loathe graffiti and its perpetrators.)
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Comments © 2005 + 2015 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.