Hair metal fans rejoice, for the soundtrack to Bad Channels has arrived on vinyl.
Largely put together by Blue Oyster Cult, it’s safe to say that this double vinyl release is far, far better than the sadly uber-disappointing 1992 film that it’s taken from. This Wienerworld package is certainly a mixed bag, although that’s infinitely better than the utter dross that was Ted Nicolaou’s movie.
The divide in quality between the Bad Channels record is easy to see. Basically, the first vinyl is the actual soundtrack to the film and is fist-pumpingly nostalgic for those of a certain musical leaning. Then there’s the second vinyl, which is the actual Blue Oyster Cult-written score. It’s with the score, however, that things suffer a drop in quality. Largely made up of brief, interlude-esque jingles of no real quality, the score element of this release has scarcely few bright spots even when taken in context of the Bad Channels movie. Although Bad Channels Overture and Remodelling stand out as big hitters, the rest of the score is often made up of simple sound effects and short bursts of action that are lost when the score’s listened to as a standalone piece. Most scores have similar sorts of brief blasts, but the Bad Channels effort has so many that it juts away at the listening experience, ultimately making this part of the package an erratic chore to listen to.
What saves the day here, though, is the excellent, sturdy, blue-coloured first portion of this impressive looking release. This is the soundtrack element, with the high-octane guitars, eye-squinting harmonies, and soft rock joys offering something to smile at for those raised under the shadow of 1980s denim-clad, bandana-wearing rock fans. Not only did Blue Oyster cult provide two new songs for the film (Demon’s Kiss and The Horseman Arrive), but there are also some far-too-catchy efforts from the likes of Joker, Fair Game, and DMT.
Songs like Joker’s That’s How It Is and Jane Jane (The Hurricane) and DMT’s Touching Myself Again will have feet tapping and heads a-nodding, whilst the more funky and bizarre is accounted for by Sykotik Sinfoney’s Al Yankovich-meets-The Time contributions, and then an offering such as Fair Game’s Somewhere in the Night will offer listeners the more softer, ballad-esque, faux-emotive side of hair metal.
Bad Channels itself is a spoof of a movie, and this soundtrack could be taken in the same way for those coming across it for the first time. Either way, it’s certainly got plenty of appeal to a certain demographic; largely those who group up in and around the time of Bad Channel’s initial 1992 release.
BAD CHANNELS / COMPOSER: VARIOUS / LABEL: WIENERWORLD / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW