Published on November 11th, 2020 | by Justin G.
At The Movies: The Soundtrack Of Your Life – Vol. 1 (self-released, 2020)
2020 hasn’t given us a lot to really get excited about, but the death of live music and quarantining that followed did allow some artists to get creative and put some surprise “lockdown projects” together. Case in point: At The Movies. Masterminded by guitarist/keyboardist Chris Laney (Pretty Maids), At The Movies gathers some top shelf European metal talent to pay tribute to some all-time classic ’80s movie soundtrack staples. Laney is joined by vocalists Bjorn “Speed” Strid (Soilwork, The Night Flight Orchestra), Linnea Vikstrom (QFT) and Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) as well as musicians like Alan Sorensen (Pretty Maids), Morten Sandagar (ex-Pretty Maids, ex-Mercenary), Pontus Egberg (Treat, Wolf) and Pontus Norgren (Hammerfall, Talisman).
As lockdown continued, At The Movies released a new cover song every week. It was one of the only things to look forward to at the time, and now they’ve collected all of the songs as The Soundtrack Of Your Life – Vol. 1. Here’s the track list:
- No Easy Way Out – Robert Tepper’s classic anthem from Rocky IV. Speed and company dial this epic fight song/training montage must-have all the way to 11.
- Maniac – Michael Sembello’s Flashdance hit. This works way better than it ought to. It’s upbeat and infectious.
- St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion) – John Parr’s megahit from the St. Elmo’s Fire soundtrack. Already an epic kind of song, the metal elements and Speed’s distinctive vocals make it that much more memorable.
- A View To A Kill – Duran Duran’s theme song from the James Bond movie of the same name. It’s a good addition, but doesn’t have quite the same impact that the other songs have.
- (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ theme from Dirty Dancing. You couldn’t escape this slow, sappy duet in the ’80s, but Speed and Vikstrom make it a bit more tolerable here.
- Wouldn’t It Be Good – An oddball selection Danny Hutton Hitters contributed to the Pretty In Pink soundtrack. Another one that sounds great metalized.
- We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) – Ronnie Atkins takes Tina Turner’s place on this Mad Max anthem, along with a massive backing choir. Atkins turns everything he touches into gold, and this is no exception. Bruce Kulick (ex-KISS) and Jacob Hansen (Pyramaze) lend their talents to this one.
- The Power Of Love – It’s only fitting that this retro-minded project cover a song from Back To The Future. You can cross “hearing Speed sing a Huey Lewis song” off your bucket list. This could be a Night Flight Orchestra bonus track.
- The Heat Is On – Glen Frey’s song from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack is a great addition, and another high-energy, upbeat, sing-along kind of song.
- The Neverending Story – Oh no they didn’t… oh yes they did! Move over, Dustin and Suzy from Stranger Things, Speed and Linnea Vikstrom pour their hearts into this ultra-cheesy Limahl song.
- Far From Over – This Frank Stallone gem wasn’t part of their weekly series. The Staying Alive classic was a bonus track for this release, and it’s a great addition.
This is such a fun collection of soundtrack covers. The idea is great, and so is the execution. First class musicianship, first class vocals, first class production and such an obvious love for the songs really shine through on The Soundtrack Of Your Life – Vol. 1. You can quibble with the track list (“Eye Of The Tiger” or “The Touch” would have been perfect), but that’s about all there is to complain about.
Even though it’s a collection rather than a “proper” studio album, The Soundtrack Of Your Life – Vol. 1 is a strong Album Of The Year contender. It’s an absolutely mandatory melodic rock album for anyone who grew up in the ’80s (or who just loves that era’s songs). Fans of Pretty Maids and The Night Flight Orchestra will get the most out of it, but unless you’re dead inside and/or hate fun, just about everyone should love At The Movies.
Summary: Album Of The Year?