Cru Jones, the most rad name in (BMX) movie history, and the music soundtrack that inspired him.
Rad had a great cast of 80s characters. Becky from Full House, Adrian from Rocky, Batman from Cannonball Run, Max Kellerman, owner of Kellerman’s, from Dirty Dancing, and Mr. Hand of Fast Times.
In the real world, Paul Allen, Lori Laughlin, Bart Conner, Talia Shire, Ray Walston, Jack Weston, and Alfie Wise come together to make a bodacious 80s film. Ok ok, that’s not exactly The Breakfast Club or St. Elmo’s Fire.
But hey, it’s something.
Quick plot synopsis of Rad
Paperboy Cru Jones, a freestyle bike rider, learns of a huge BMX race in town and skips the SATs to champion it. He overcomes the top ranked leader and his cronies, Bart Taylor and the Reynolds brothers to do so, capturing the heart of love interest Christian in the process.
Ever notice that the freestyle riders (bad guys) are basically Zuckerberg and the Winklevii? Better yet, Zartan and Tomax and Xamot, leaders of Cobra’s Crimson Guard!
Read a review of Rad at 80s Movie Rewind.
Facts I know about Rad
- Hal Needham directed one hell of a movie.
- If you’re reading this, you probably don’t have to IMDB Rad, as you are familiar with the tales of his majesty, Cru.
- It took a radical soundtrack to beat Bart Taylor in the Helltrack.
- Skipping the SATs is always the right move
- You should have bought stock in Mongoose, GT, and Haro before this movie came out.
- If Gleaming the Cube inspired T&C Surf Design, then Rad inspired California games
Putting the ‘Various’ in (Rad) Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Various Artists
When they say various artists for an original motion picture soundtrack, they are talking about the Rad soundtrack. Who are these artists?
The Beat Farmers? 3-Speed? Hubert Kah!? I have no clue.
I give the Rad Soundtrack a 6⁄10
It’s a little more than halfway decent. The movie was better than the tunes.
Rad Soundtrack Track listing
- Break the Ice - John Farnham
- Riverside - The Beat Farmers
- Wind Me Up - 3-Speed
- Get Strange - Hubert Kah
- Send Me an Angel - Real Life
- Music That You Can Dance To - Sparks
- Baby Come Back - Jimmy Haddox
- Thunder in Your Heart - John Farnham
- With You (Love Theme from Rad) - John Farnham
There were two other bonus versions of Thunder in Your Heart, an extended version and an instrumental version
Rad Soundtrack notes
Break the Ice - John Farnham
Break the Ice could have opened any movie in the 80s, and even some in the early 90s.
- Beverly Hills Cop? Check!
- Vision Quest? Sure!
- The Legend of Billie Jean? Without doubt!
- The Cutting Edge? Topical!
Australian John Farnham leads the Rad Soundtrack off with a solo shot in the first inning.
Break the Ice follows the time honored tradition of using the lyrics, “It’s gonna take all we got” … that’s how you know it’s 80s Montage Music.
A righetous song.
Riverside - The Beat Farmers
Blues rock. Hints of Mark Knopfler.
Riverside, from the album, Van Go, is about the town of the same name just east of LA.
Pretty decent guitar solo.
Wind Me Up - 3-Speed
3-Speed occupies track 3 with a feel good, man in motion vibe. The song easily could have been on the Iron Eagle soundtrack.
The vocals sound like a low rent John Waite (Bad English). 3-Speed was a synth rock band from Boston.
Get Strange - Hubert Kah
Get Strange by Hubert Kah is the song that plays during the lumber yard scene. Might be the most 80s song on an album full of them.
The title says it all.
The Rad lumber yard scene
Here it is, in all its glory. Cru and his crew joking about needing a radical miracle to beat Bart.
Then comes Sgt. Smith … he wants to play. Mind you, Sgt. Smith is basically Sgt. Slaughter (WWF/GI Joe) and he is chasing the kids around a lumber yard on his CHiPs bike like Ponch.
Send Me an Angel - Real Life
Nevermind, Send Me an Angel might be the most 80s song. Electronic drums, heavy synth, a lead singer who is basically a pop version of Klaus Meine from the Scorpions.
The BMX Boogie (Rad dance scene)
Cru and Christian are ~breakdance fighting~ dancing with their BMX bikes, which the crowd is somehow ok with, and old timers are pouring hard booze in their cups in the back. Bart and his cronies are just watching on, perplexed.
The lights go down by the end of their performance of the BMX Swan Lake and then they are in love. It was all so easy in the 80s.
The original music video for Real Life’s Send Me an Angel.
Send Me an Angel also appears in 80s Rom-Com, Date with an Angel, subtle, we know. A movie that is totally about real life in the 80s, an angel falls from heaven, she is good looking, and she is just ready for someone to date her.
Music That You Can Dance To - Sparks
Music That You Can Dance To was Music That You Could Dance To in the 80s.
Probably not so much anymore. Unless you were at an 80s party.
Synth. Programmable drums. Guitar. Sax. Sparks has great instrumentation on the track.
80s sax was the best sax.
Baby Come Back - Jimmy Haddox
Synth bass! Industrial drums.
Why is someone running away from Jimmy? You’d think they’d be running toward Mr. Haddox with the killer bass lines in Baby Come Back.
A non-flashy guitar solo with pretty decent tone.
Baby Come Back is instrument soup. How many different sounds are present?
Thunder in Your Heart - John Farnham
Victory music! (or as I like to call it, that song from Rad)
You’re going home as a hero! Cause there’s Thunder in Your Heart!
Let’s count the elemental references, cause let’s be honest, they are in nearly every line of the song.
- Thunder in your heart
- Every move is like lightning
- There’s a fire gonna start
- Your flame never dying
- Cry of the wind, spirit of fire
- Taking control, burning desire
- You can light the dark when they hear your heart of thunder.
Such a bad ass tune. Pretty sure I could kick the crap out of the Helltrack whilst listening to Thunder in Your Heart.
John Farnham wrote one for the ages with Thunder in Your Heart. I wouldn’t have been shocked to find it on another 1986 action movie soundtrack, say Top Gun or The Transformers. Coincidentally, Stan Bush, writer of a few Transformers soundtrack songs, actually covers Farnham’s Thunder in Your Heart.
Doubly coincident (is that a word?!) … You can actually hear the Transformers theme in the song, right after the chorus. Check it out at 2:13.
Check this, someone created the Thunderdome Mix.
Just what is the Thunderdome Mix? That’s where John Farnham and the other two 80s montage luminaries, Joe Esposito (Karate Kid) and Stan Bush (Transformers, amongst others), get their versions of Thunder in Your Heart combined.
Strong work by Shawn Robare of Branded In The 80s!
John Farnham’s box score … 2 for 2, with 2 HRs!
With You - John Farnham
With his third track on the Rad Soundtrack, John Farnham ties Survivor’s Rocky IV effort (Burning Heart, Man Against the World, and of course, Eye of the Tiger).
Big piano opening. Sounds like a sitcom intro. James Di Pasquale and Douglas Brayfield must have changed his path on this one. Or maybe he just normally doesn’t rock.
… checks Youtube. You’re the Voice isn’t too bad. Every Time You Cry makes me think John Farnham is the basis of Rex Manning from Empire Records.
But the opposite of Sexy Rexy … a word on Farnham, “… the most successful solo artist in the history of Australian rock and pop … Farnham has retained an affable sense of humour and a simple, unpretentious ‘everyman’ charm which also makes him one of the most respected celebrities in Australian entertainment history.”
Wait, is this the same John Farnham from Thunder in Your Heart!?
Even if it is the love theme to the move, this song sounds absolutely nothing like the badassery of Farnham’s other Rad soundtrack songs.
John Farnham’s box score … 2 for 3, 2 HRs and a hard ground out to second.