Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Various Artists - Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Music from the Motion Picture (1982)

By request!

Unlike many teenagers, I completely ignored this soundtrack in 1982 because I thought the Classic Rock music didn't fit the New Wave vibe of the movie:

Elvis Costello and Devo posters in Damone's bedroom

Even back then I was a music snob.  Many, many years later, I purchased the DVD of the movie, listened to the commentary by writer Cameron Crowe and director Amy Heckerling and discovered that I was right:  one of the film's producers, Irving Azoff (manager of the Eagles), forced this music into the movie. 
"I had to use a lot of music that I totally, totally hated." - Amy Heckerling
Heckerling wanted Elvis Costello, Dead Kennedys, etc.  Her only victories were the Go-Go's We Got The Beat over the opening credits, an excerpt from Led Zepplin's Kashmir (neither on this soundtrack album, but would have been welcome additions) and Oingo Boingo.  Another great song in the movie not on the soundtrack: Tom Petty's American Girl.

I'm sure the thing sold well and I just missed it, but I'm listening to it for the first time today.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #54
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #48

Tracks:  19 tracks, 67 minutes, ranked in order of personal preference:
  1. Waffle Stomp - Joe Walsh
  2. Uptown Boys - Louise Goffin
  3. Never Surrender - Don Felder
  4. Raised On The Radio - The Ravyns
  5. Goodbye Goodbye - Oingo Boingo
  6. She's My Baby (And She's Outta Control) - Palmer/Jost
  7. So Much In Love - Timothy B. Schmit (#59 Pop, #27 AC)
  8. Fast Times (The Best Years Of Our Lives ) - Billy Squier
  9. Speeding - The Go-Go's
  10. Somebody's Baby - Jackson Browne (#7 Pop, #4 Rock) 
  11. I Don't Know (Spicoli's Theme) - Jimmy Buffett
  12. I'll Leave It Up To You - Poco
  13. Sleeping Angel - Stevie Nicks
  14. Highway Runner - Donna Summer
  15. Fast Times At Ridgemont High - Sammy Hagar
  16. Don't Be Lonely - Quarterflash
  17. Love Rules - Don Henley
  18. The Look In Your Eyes - Gerard McMahon
  19. Love Is The Reason - Graham Nash
I had never heard of Palmer/Jost.  From what I can find, the two came together only to make this recording.   Singer-songwriter David Palmer had previously worked in Steely Dan, and Phil Jost was a studio music engineer.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None for the soundtrack, but the movie was one of the first rated R movies I got myself into (I was underage in July '82 when the movie was released).

Cameron Crowe's 1981 book is long out of print and used copies are selling for a good piece of change on the secondary markets.  If you've got money to burn, do it.  If not, I strongly suggest you do what I did and get your local library to find you a copy through Interlibrary Loan (or click here until the site is taken down.)


  1. I remember the music and got the soundtrack on CD in the early 90's. There is some filler on it in my eyes too.

  2. Holy Guacamole, I dig this album, this flick and, to only a slightly lesser extant, the book. Have all three on my iPad.

    1. I have never read the book, Herc. Any good?

    2. It was a great read as a 15 or 16 year old me with entire characters and scenes missing from the movie.

      As literature however, Crowe's first book really hasn't aged well. His youthful writing about youthful comes off as choppy (like texting about texting) and his longer passages read like yearbook photo captions. Still. I've seen you review worse books. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

    3. Crowe maintains the rights to the book and as recently as 2011 in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter said he had no plans to republish it. He said he is happy with the crazy prices people are paying for original copies and sees it as sort of a legal bootleg, one that you have to look a little harder and pay a little more for.