Transformers: The Movie – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [20th Anniversary Special Edition]
2007, Volcano Entertainment
(Original Release: 1987, Scotti Brothers Records)
1. “The Touch” (Stan Bush)
2. “Instruments Of Destruction” (N.R.G.)
3. “Death Of Optimus Prime” (Vince DiCola)
4. “Dare” (Stan Bush)
5. “Nothin’s Gonna Stand In Our Way” (Spectre General)
6. “The Transformers Theme” (Lion)
7. “Escape” (Vince DiCola)
8. “Hunger” (Spectre General)
9. “Autobot/Decepticon Battle” (Vince DiCola)
10. “Dare To Be Stupid” (“Weird Al” Yankovic)
11. “Unicron Medley” (Vince DiCola)
12. “Moon Base 2 – Shuttle Launch” (Vince DiCola)
13. “Megatron Must Be Stopped (Parts 1 & 2)” (Vince DiCola)
14. “The Transformers Theme [Alternate Version]” (Stan Bush)
I was a big Transformers fan back in the 1980s. In some respects, I still am, it’s just that I think the Michael Bay movies are terrible so I gave up on that film series after the second movie. 1986’s Transformers: The Movie still remains the best TF movie yet, IMO. Even if they pretty much killed off the entire classic roster of Autobots and replaced them within the span of 90 minutes or so. For my further thoughts on that controversial movie, check out the review I posted at my other blog. Just like the movie, the soundtrack is a big dumb mess (in a good way). It’s a mix of melodic rock, hair metal, instrumentals and Weird Al.
Stan Bush’s “The Touch” and “Dare” have always received high praise from AOR fans but I’ve struggled for years to understand how their connection with this movie was appropriate. Even as a kid when watching the movie, I didn’t really see what “The Touch” had to do with a battle scene. Weird Al Yankovic’s “Dare to Be Stupid” seems even less appropriate during a Autobot/Decepticon battle unless it’s meant to be some kind of commentary on how senseless violence is (I highly doubt this is the case though). On their own, these three songs are actually not bad. They just don’t seem appropriate for the scenes which they were used in during the film.
Now, onto the really good stuff. Kicking things off with a harder edge than Stan Bush could is NRG’s “Instruments of Destruction”. Great ’80s metal track. I love it. Though a legit band, this song seems to be their one moment of glory in the music world. Shame. Then we have two tracks from Spectre General: “Nothin’s Gonna Stand In Our Way” and “Hunger” (which later covered by King Kobra). Spectre General is actually Kick Axe but for legal reasons (I don’t know the details) they recorded as Spectre General for this soundtrack.
And then we have the best track on the entire album and I’m not kidding when I say it’s one of my favorite songs of all-time… “The Transformers Theme” by Lion! Lion was a glam metal act that is also best known for their participation on this but they are also known for having been one of the earliest bands for guitarist Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake/Dio/Burning Rain). The song is played during the opening credits and it’s a great way to kick off the movie. It’s a glammed up heavy metal version of the Transformers theme.
The rest of the tracks are very ’80s sounding electronic rock instrumentals that were heard in the movie and were composed by Vince DiCola. Most, if not all, of these instrumentals would go on to be used as background music during seasons three & four of the Transformers cartoon. Tracks 11-14 are exclusive to the anniversary edition of this album. Tracks 11, 12 & 13 are supposedly brand new scores (according to Wikipedia) but I’m pretty sure they can be heard in the movie. Track 14 is an alternate take of “The Transformers Theme” featuring Stan Bush. I really can’t stress enough how good DiCola’s score is. It ranges from upbeat and energetic to somber and haunting to foreboding.
Weird Al and Stan Bush still seem a bit out of place to me but the rest of the album is a great ’80s mix of metal and electronic rock. This is a fun soundtrack that really takes me back to my childhood and also brings back images of the movie itself. One of my all-time favorite soundtracks.