VARIOUS ARTISTS – “CRUISING” soundtrack (1980)
William Friedkin’s controversial gay-themed 1980 film “Cruising” is about to finally get a DVD release, which comes out on Tuesday. As part of the promotion for the release, Warner Bros. just put the film into limited theatrical release in a few markets; I was lucky enough to catch it on Tuesday at the Mann Chinese Theatre (of all places) in Hollywood, in a new pristine digitally-projected print.
I’d seen the film a few times before this, but this time around, I was completely blown away by the soundtrack choices, and how integral they are to the pervasively depressing/awesome atmosphere of the film’s grimy NYC gay underworld. When the very first wild gay bar scene came up during the screening of the film, and Mutiny’s funky-ass track “Lump” came blasting through the speakers, my boyfriend immediately leaned into my ear and asked “Can you download this song for me?” There’s something infectious about the spit-shined rock jams and funk tunes that assault you throughout the film, enough to make even the most vanilla of sodomites think “Hey, maybe getting tied up, fisted and pissed on ain’t so bad!”
The original soundtrack LP had ten tracks, which included only one of the six songs the Germs had written and recorded for the film. This version, which I originally got from the great Nate Thompson (of the now-defunct soundtrack blog 7 Black Notes), has all six of the Germs songs, plus a five-minute instrumental suite from Jack Nietschze’s original score for the film.