The 80s: Pretty In Pink Soundtrack

pretty-in-pink2In 1986 the feature film Pretty In Pink, a romantic comedy starring Molly Ringwald as Andie, a working class girl from the other side of the tracks who has a crush on one of the rich, preppie kids at school, Blane, played by Andrew McCarthy, hit the big screen.  The film also featured Jon Cryer as Andie’s friend “Duckie,” and James Spader, who plays Steff, Blane’s somewhat villainous best friend.  The movie was written by the late John Hughes, the director, producer, and screenwriter who also wrote and directed classic 80s films such as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Weird Science.  The movie was a box office hit, making over $40 million in the U.S. As with many of Hughes’ films, the music was an equally big hit.  The soundtrack for Pretty In Pink was a collection of rock, pop and new wave tunes that included a list of artists now considered 80s royalty.  Among them was Suzanne Vega with a tune entitled “Left Of Center,” the group New Order with the song “Shellshock,” Echo & the Bunnymen with “Bring On the Dancing Horses,” the band INXS with “Do Wot You Do” and Jesse Johnson, delivered a rocking little number entitled “Get To Know Ya.”  Six singles were released from the album, occupying various positions on the charts in the states and worldwide.  The two biggest hits came from The Psychedelic Furs, whose song “Pretty In Pink,” just missed the Top 40, peaking at number 41, and the group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (or simply OMD if you’re really an 80s fan), whose song “If You Leave” went to number four on the Billboard Hot 100.  The soundtrack has been on several “best of” lists, including Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, currently working on a Masters in Marketing degree. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

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