Monday, July 11, 2011

The dopest part of DJ Jazzy Jeff and Mick Boogie's Summertime 2 mixtape: The unexpected appearance of Stevie Wonder's "Love Light in Flight"

'Fuel injection passion' was less expensive in 1984.
(Photo source: Tommer G)
Thanks to the High Fidelity scene in which Jack Black disses the sappy and overplayed Woman in Red theme "I Just Called to Say I Love You," Stevie Wonder's Woman in Red soundtrack has become a punchline, much like Prince's Batman song soundtrack, which was the subject of a similar gag in Shaun of the Dead. Another thing that both those '80s song soundtracks have in common is that though those albums aren't exactly career highlights for either artist, they aren't exactly awful either. They're redeemed by two or three underappreciated tracks.

"Love Light in Flight" is one of those tracks, and it's a song I hadn't heard since 1984 or 1985--until I recently stumbled into it during DJ Jazzy Jeff and Mick Boogie's Summertime 2 mixtape and instantly smiled, which is why I just added "Love Light in Flight" to A Fistful of Soundtracks' '80s block "Soda and Pie" (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at noon).

'Yo Will, something about you looks different. Did you get new Jordans?'
"Drums, please!"
"Oh man," I thought to myself while bumping Summertime 2, "I remember 'Love Light in Flight.' It so takes me back to when I was a Ghostbusters-loving kid in '84!" It's such a damn smooth track--plus it's full of aviation imagery, which would have made it perfect for the flight-themed "Up, Up and Away" episode of the terrestrial radio incarnation of A Fistful of Soundtracks that I aired on July 22, 2001.

I know where this is going. Cue 'Love in an elevator/Livin' it up when I'm goin' down...'
Suddenly, Gene Wilder is faced with a crippling decision: Kelly LeBrock or the sheep that's waiting for him at home?
"Love Light in Flight" is the one hit song from The Woman in Red that's neither overplayed nor preachy (that would be the well-meaning but clunkily written "Don't Drive Drunk"). Camille Paglia may be a pretentious, Sarah Palin-loving weirdo (her Salon Oscar telecast recaps were always worthy of an Onion parody), but she's right that "Love Light in Flight" is a sublime tune.

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