At The Movies, by Kenny Loggins
While I was watching a video on YouTube I heard about a new album by Kenny Loggins that had been released on vinyl, and although I do not have a record player at this time, it was available as a playlist on Spotify so I listened to it while dealing with a night where the pain in my leg woke me up. This particular mini-album of nine songs is a testament to the fact that an important part of Kenny Loggins’ career as a pop musician in the 1980’s (and beyond) has depended on his involvement in popular soundtracks. Soundtrack pop is, I think, a particularly underappreciated genre of music, something I have written about at some length, and this album does the genre service by drawing attention to the importance of movies to Loggins’ body of work.
This mini-album consists of 9 songs, and there are a few things that can be said about this diverse selection of songs. One of the songs is a new remix of Playing With The Boys with an artist called Butterfly Boucher that reframes the song as an enjoyment of time spent with both boys and girls, according to the contemporary meta. The original is also included here, an album track from Top Gun. Most of the songs in here are hits, and most were from the 80’s heyday of the artist, other than “For The First Time” from the 1990’s. Some of the hits have endured well, like “I’m Alright,” “Footloose,” and “Danger Zone.” Others remain obscure, like “I’m Free (Heaven Helps The Man),” and “Nobody’s Fool,” even if they were hits at the time.
What all of these songs have in common, though, is the way that they demonstrate the skill and versatility of Kenny Loggins as a soundtrack artist. His ability to perform songs that could chart well and promote the movie while at the same time serving the interests of the plot itself through thematic elements was remarkable and it is not surprising that he was so much in demand for soundtracks for more than a decade. Hopefully this album, at least within the community that pays attention to such a release, can do for soundtrack pop what these songs did for Kenny Loggins’ reputation as a hitmaker.