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Smooth Hits of the '80s Make 'Dirty Girl' Soundtrack Memorable

Dirty Girl
Weinstein Company

There are a few things you need to get right if you're going to make a movie set in the '80s: the fashion, the lingo and, without question, the music.

Every classic "Hey, weren't the '80s wacky?" film has leaned heavily on its soundtrack, and the folks behind the upcoming indie flick and Toronto Film Festival favorite "Dirty Girl" have apparently been taking notes. The soundtrack to the movie is stocked with pop cheese that will set off pastel-hued flashbacks in nostalgia buffs and entertain anyone who's into the whole yacht-rock revival that seems to be going on these days.

The first thing you'll notice about the "Dirty Girl" soundtrack, however, is how heavy it leans on a relatively obscure pop singer named Melissa Manchester. A favorite of one of the movie's central characters, Manchester lands five of the album's 14 tracks, including her best-known song, the 1982 No. 5 hit "You Should Hear How She Talks About You." The rest of her contributions come off as somewhat generic, but special notice should be given to "Still Myself," a subtle and heartwrenching ballad that's effective exactly because it lacks the bombast of a lot of Manchester's other included work.

Also Check Out: Watch the "Dirty Girl" Trailer

Fortunately, even for those who don't fall under Manchester's charms, there's a lot to latch onto here. The soundtrack kicks off with a bang thanks to Pat Benatar's awesome "Shadows of the Night," which has always deserved a higher spot in the '80s pantheon. We also get the instantly recognizable "I Want Candy" from Bow Wow Wow, and a pretty nifty acoustic version of The Outfield's "Your Love." Sheena Easton, Tanya Tucker and Teena Marie round out the old-timey lineup, and fans of smooooth music will appreciate Rita Coolidge's take on Yazoo's "Only You."

The one newly recorded track is an interesting collaboration between The Bird and the Bee singer Inara George and Guillemots frontman Fyfe Dangerfield on the 1978 Kenny Loggins/Stevie Nicks duet "Whenever I Call You Friend." The artists involved are contemporary, but the end result is evocative of the era in question. Smooth rock has been making a comeback on the indie scene lately, and this track from two leading indie lights can be seen as either an incarnation of that movement or a fun tribute, depending on your perspective. Whatever the case, it's both nice on its own and a fitting complement to the rest of the songs here.

The "Dirty Girl" soundtrack drops digitally on October 4, and hits stores on October 25. Get your leg warmers ready.

Full tracklisting:

1. Shadows of the Night - Pat Benatar
2. You Should Hear How She Talks About You - Melissa Manchester
3. Delta Dawn - Tanya Tucker
4. Midnight Blue - Melissa Manchester
5. I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow
6. Only You - Rita Coolidge
7. Your Love (Acoustic) – The Outfield
8. Still Myself - Melissa Manchester
9. Strut - Sheena Easton
10. Rainbird - Melissa Manchester
11. Lovergirl - Teena Marie
12. The Life - Wendy & Lisa
13. Don’t Cry Out Loud – Melissa Manchester
14. Whenever I Call You Friend – Fyfe Dangerfield and Inara George

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