“When everybody keeps retreating, but you can’t seem to get enough...”
What I Spun:“Empty Glass” (LP) by Pete Townsend
Best Use for This Record:
Listen to it, it’s pretty good.
Thank you, Random Number Generator! I really can’t think of a better place to start the new leg of “Revisiting Vinyl” than with this. I remember exactly where I was the first time I ever heard the song Let My Love Open the Door.
At best, I’m only a casual fan of The Who. At worst, I’m a detractor who thinks they have one of the most obnoxious fan bases of all time. (Seriously, when you became famous thanks totrendy rich kids on scooters, where do you go from there?) So, my knowledge of their catalogue is pretty much limited to whatever plays on classic rock radio and oldies stations.
1997 marked the point when we were far enough removed from the eighties that nostalgia for the decade became appropriate and chic. Movies like “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion” and “The Wedding Singer” offered little more than (Mira Sorvino’s cleavage and) “hey, remember this thing from fifteen years ago?”, but the formula worked really well.
My favorite film from that weird little genre is “Grosse Point Blank.” It’s not just a reminiscence of the eighties. It’s also about a hit man returning to his hometown to complete a job. And it’s about the oddness of going back home after you’ve changed, but those who stayed really haven’t. But mostly, it’s about music.
I have mentioned before that another John Cusack film, “High Fidelity”, is just one big love letter to pop music. “Grosse Point Blank” is clearly the rough draft for that. Music pervades every aspect of the movie. The best joke in the picture is nothing more than a Guns n’ Roses song, and it’s a great joke. “GPB” marries sound and image so beautifully and absolutely that I will never hearUnder Pressure again without seeing a smiling baby. And that happens with several of the songs used in the film.
Every time I hear one of those songs, my memory bank instantly uploads a visual cue – people dancing or a car driving down the highway or an odd-looking thug getting slammed into a locker and stabbed with a pen. Okay, so sometimes it’s a little weird, but it’s also kind of fantastic.
I can’t really explain it, but the story is at such a great place when Let My Love Open the Door’s little synth intro starts, it just makes you smile uncontrollably. It’s a good scene that has been building for a while, but when you add the perfect piece of music onto it, it transcends to something amazing. I highly recommend checking it out. There are too few things that just make you smile uncontrollably.