Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2020 September 14 • Monday

The 639th Soundtrack of the Week is the Repo Man album.

This is a collection of songs from the movie and like many a teenager in the 1980s, I owned this on cassette.

It's also possibly unique in its relationship to the movie. Universal releaseds Repo Man for one week in the late winter of 1984—the liner notes for the Criterion blu-ray release of the movie says February and Wikipedia says March—and after a week of not much happening at the box office, Universal pulled it and figured that was that.

But then the soundtrack album became something of a hit on its own, causing the studio to put the movie back into theatres later in the year.

The soundtrack album is really good, too.

Iggy Pop's title song is one of the best things he's done in the last forty years.

The other stand-out track for me is the majestic "Reel Ten" by The Plugz. In the movie itself, there's a fair amount of score from this great band that remains unreleased, as far as I know.

Their Spanish-language version of "Secret Agent Man", "Hombre Secreto", is here as well, as is the very high-energy and multi-faceted vocal number "El Clavo Y La Cruz".

Black Flag's "TV Party" is a classic of bored, suburban, adolecent snottiness while the Circle Jerks' hilarious "When the Shit Hits the Fan", heard here as it is in the movie, performed by the band itself, acoustic and with drum machine. The lyrics are really great, even if the presentation is intentionally shabby.

With "Coup d'Etat" you'll find the Circle Jerks in their usual punk/hardcore setting with pounding energy and politically astute and acerbic lyrics. (Also really nice panning for "A push from the left and a shove from the right".)

"Bad Man" by Juicy Bananas is a menacing soul groove number about dangerous living.

Fear's "Let's Have a War" is a classic hardcore political song: "Let's Have a War / So you can go and die".

"Pablo Picasso" by Burning Sensations is a funny and somewhat snotty song in a "Peter Gunn" zone while "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies is a howl of fear and rage with blistering energy.