Sunday, May 30, 2010

Yubiwaza!: A Tribute to Sho Kosugi

There was one word you could throw into a film title that would immediately spark my attention and enthuasim with when I was a kid growing up: NINJA.

Due to my interest in the black robed masters of stealth and assassination, I came to become a HUGE fan of what I've come to call the Sho Kosugi Quadrilogy, four ninja themed films starring action star Sho Kosugi, namely Enter the Ninja (1981), Revenge of the Ninja (1983), Ninja III: The Domination (1984), and Pray For Death (1985).

With this post, I'm sharing a compilation of music that was presented in those four films...I've taken the liberty of naming the tracks myself, with the exception of the Peggy Abernathy track "Back to the Shadows", which seems to be the only track amongst these that is titled. The rest is atmosphere music conducted by the respective films score composers.

Track Listing:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rooster: Spurs of Death! (Unauthorized OST EP)

I love this little gem of a forgotten film (which has never had a DVD release, and quickly went OOP shortly after it's early 1980s VHS release). Vince Van Patten as a hillbilly kid, a crazy midget, a visit to a whorehouse, slow motion chicken fights...what else could anyone want from a hixploitation flick (my word)?

What is a hixploitation movie? my definition it's any film that exploits the lifestyle and culture of rural folk...y'know...hillbillis. The last "minority" in American culture we still feel comfortable making fun of the stereotypes.

I discovered Rooster quite by accident...for years as a kid, it seemed like every little mom n pop video rental place in my small rural farmland community in West Union, Ohio had a copy...but they always for some odd reason had it stocked in their horror for years, I assumed it was some kinda crazy "nature goes wild" scary flick (that seemed to pop up alot in the 1970s) with chickens. Years later, I ran across my ancient VHS copy at a local fleamarket, and mistakenly assumed that it might have been a film that I'd read about a few years earlier (yet had not yet seen), the Monte Hellman directed/ Warren Oates starring Cockfighter, which I probably first read about in college while flipping through my dog-earred copy of Roger Corman's book, How I Made 100 Movies In Hollywood (and Never Lost A Dime)...I knew that Cockfighter had been re-released under a few alternate titles, and I thought that Rooster may have been one of them. Boy...was I wrong....

Track Listing:

01- Intro
02- You're the Proudest Bird (We Know You Can't Fly)
03- Death On Wings

Download Link

Mad Magazine Presents Up The Academy (Extended OST, 1980)

This is probably one of my favorite OSTs, not only from the period that it was produced, but quite possibly ever. It's a nice mix of early 80s power pop and the (then) fledgling scene of the American "New Wave". I'm a huge Cheap Trick and Sammy Hagar fan, and Hagar's "Bad Reputation" is one of my all-time favorites of his work.
Spurred on by recently purchasing a copy of the film on DVD (for 3 bucks at a local Big Lots, of all places) and re-watching it for the first time in probably 20 years, I was inspired not only to share my vinyl of this particular soundtrack, but also add a few tracks to it that appear in the film, but not on the OST.
Track Listing:

01- Kicking Up A Fuss (Main Title Theme) -- Blow-Up
02- X Offender -- Blondie
03- Roadrunner -- Johnathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
04- We Gotta Get Out Of Here -- Ian Hunter
05- Coquette -- Cheeks
06- Boney Moronie -- Cheeks
07- We Live For Love -- Pat Benatar
08- Bad Reputation -- Sammy Hagar
09- Midnight Rendezvous -- The Babys
10- Beat The Devil -- Blow-Up

Bonus Tracks:

11- Gimme Danger -- The Stooges
12- One Way or Another -- Blondie
13- Surrender -- Cheap Trick

Download Link

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Jefferson Starship- "Light the Sky on Fire" (from the Star Wars Holiday Special)

I recently came into possession of a copy of this promo vinyl, and thought about holding off until this Christmas on posting it, keeping with the theme carried by the infamous holiday special it's featured in...but decided against it because the song actually has nothing to with Christmas....

Oh, the 1970s were not kind to Jefferson Airplane...I mean, "Starship"....gone were the days of thoughtful free-form psychedelic ramblings (and by this point in time, so was Grace Slick) and the "in" things were weird sci-fi concept albums and studio-driven power pop attempts...

From Wikipedia:
Towards the end of 1978, Jefferson Starship (now without Grace Slick) recorded "Light the Sky on Fire" for The Star Wars Holiday Special and their forthcoming greatest hits album Gold. Gold, highlighting their work from 1974's Dragon Fly through to 1978's Earth, was released early the following year. "Light the Sky on Fire" (backed with Sears' and Slick's "Hyperdrive", from Dragon Fly) was included as a bonus single in the original packaging of album. (When Gold was issued on CD, both tracks were included on the album.)