Various Artists - Breakdance 1 & 2 OST [Cherry Pop/ Cherry Red - 2019]There are many things that reminds one of the 1980’s- the original tape walkman, VHS & having to rewind them, Rubix cubes, Back The Future, & ET. But one of the most memorable things to me- been a teen in the mid-decade, was rap, hip-hop and it’s related culture- it just seemed to be the coolest thing in the world to me at that time. And I think one of the key things that started this interest was the two breakdance films- 1984’s Breakin’( or Breakdance as it was known in the UK), and it’s sequel from the same year Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogalo. Here on Cherry Pop is a much needed double CD reissue of the films equally impactful, and at the time big selling soundtracks- that aptly blended together slick & street bound R&B, electro-funk, hip-hop influenced pop, body popping instrumental tracks, and robo-vocal fired 80’s dance music.
The two films where a perfect often day-glo lined blend of break-dance performance, comedy & drama- the plots where fairly simple, but effective following the stories of characters from the different sides of the tracks- how they meet and land up competing together in a big break-dance competition. Both films seemed to such a bright revelation to my life in 1980’s grey Britain- I can clearly recall myself & my friends attempting, and often failing to mimic the break-dance moves the film portrayed. Both films were put out by that classic & often cheesy bound Cannon film studios, and both films were huge success not just in the US, and the UK- but really they made an impact all around the world.
The two-disc set is presented in a clear jewel case- which features a colourful & very 1980’s graphic design edged inlay booklet- this comes in at twenty pages, and takes in a selection of new write-ups about both soundtracks, and of course the films themselves. There are also full track credits and a great selection of stills & impactful poster artwork from both movies.
By today’s standards both soundtracks are fairly short & swift, but really they're perfect for both films eventful, energetic, & buoyant unfolds. So first up on disc one we have the soundtrack for the first film- this takes in ten tracks, and a runtime of forty-one minutes- there are no extra tracks-it’s just presented as it was originally released. The album kicks off with the films title credit track “Break’….There’s No Stopping US” by Ollie & Jerry- this finds a punchy & at times stark blend of snapping ‘n’ popping electro beats, turntable scratching. jaunting robotic synth lines, and soulful male vocals- all topped off with the chant along chorus ‘There’s no Stopping us, no one does it does it better’. As we move through the album we come to squelching electro bassline meets darting lead synth work of 3-V "Heart Of The Beat"- which sounds sort of like soulful & body popping take of New wave synth pop. With the final two tracks taking in first the soundtracks biggest hit "Ain’t No Body" from Rufus & Chaka Khan, which of course is a classy, punchy & sleek slice of 80’s R& B. And "Reckless" by Chris ‘The glove’ Taylor, David Storrs & Ice T- this a wonderful blend of barebone snapping beats, turntable scratching, early 80’s rap vocals, and subtle dramatic synth embellishments. All told it’s a largely great, important & varied soundtrack.
Over on the second disc we of course of the soundtrack for Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogalo, or Breakdance 2. This features ten more tracks, and a total playtime of forty-two minutes- once again it’s nicely genre mixed and varied soundtrack. Moving from the films theme song once again by Ollie & Jerry- with its bop ‘n’ throbbing bass lines, wiring & buzzing electro textures, tight funk guitar & sassy-yet-soulful male vocals. Onto the frankly bizarre- but- fun "Din Daa Daa" by George Kranz, which finds sliding electro drums merged with manically sampled male harmony vocals, and flamboyant keyboard effects. Though to pulsing & bobbing female soul-pop anthemic vibe of "Believe In The Beat" by Carol Lynn Townes. Onto cheeky sensual female moans meets Hispanic easy listening synth-pop groove of "Oye Mamacita" by Rags & Riches. Really if anything this soundtrack is more varied than the first, really darting all over the place- but of course, with the urban body- popping/hip-hop vibe not too far away.
So in conclusion, if like me you fondly remember early 1980’s hip-hop music & culture, or want to get hold an effective sonic primmer for breakdance, and related genres- this two-disc set is most certainly for you.