Guys, until you’ve done a year end list you have no idea the amount of time, hand-wringing, second-guessing, and general beating yourself up goes along with it. I avoided these things for years until I realized I was missing out on scratching a serious OCD itch in compiling and re-visiting records. Sure, I’ve covered these throughout the year so why beat a dead horse? Because hindsight is 20/20, my children. Something that hit me hard right out of the gate might burn bright but fade after repeated listens. But something that takes time to crack, something that gets better with age, are well worth revisiting, re-evaluating, and sharing for the world to ignore.
Decades lists? A whole other beast. This took a very long time for me to go over, and regardless how much time I put into my favorite soundtracks of the decade I knew there was a chance I’d forget to include something very important.
And I did.
I posted my favorite soundtracks of the decade list yesterday after much deliberation and thoughtful analysis. I felt pretty good about it. My son got home from school yesterday afternoon and said “Hey I saw you posted your soundtracks of the decade list!” “Yes I did” I said. “It was really good. Beyond The Black Rainbow deserved to be number one, for sure. I probably would’ve had Turbo Kid on mine.”
I couldn’t believe I’d forgotten Le Matos’ amazing score to Turbo Kid! This was a truly important album for a couple reasons. For one, it’s a goddamn great album. It truly elevated the movie, which was a favorite of my son and I. We watched it early 2016 and fell for the dystopian 80s flashback vibe. It was funny, cartoonishly gory, and had that odd couple friendship that made the 80s such a magical time at the cinema. Throw in Michael Ironside and the adorable Apple and what else did you need? But besides working so well in the film, Chronicles of the Wasteland/Turbo Kid is just one hell of a electronic record. It’s insanely catchy, has moments of pop majesty and moody introspection, and just genuinely pulls you in. After seeing the movie I ordered the Mondo 2 LP issue of the soundtrack. It became a favorite of my son and I’s.
About a month after snagging the LP, I started having back problems. I had a herniated disc that caused numbness all the way down my right leg and caused a drop foot. About two weeks into that I started having severe pain, which sent me to the doc and my diagnosis. I was put on pain pills and muscle relaxers until my inevitable discectomy which would take place at the end of March, 2016. So February and March were spent going to work with weight restrictions, then coming home and not doing much. During this time my son and I would head downstairs and play Namco Museum classic arcade games on the Playstation while spinning records. He was really getting into electronic music and making his own songs on Garageband, so we spun a lot of Thug Entrancer, Law Unit, Slasher Film Festival Strategy, and of course Le Matos.
Chronicles of the Wasteland was our go-to record when playing Pac Man, Rally-X, and Rolling Thunder. He’d grab a Fanta and I’d have a cup of coffee and we’d spin those future classic Le Matos tunes and get pissed at these antiquated arcade games. The mixture of hard electro rhythms, synth melodies, and atmospheric moments were the perfect soundtrack to our pixelated entertainment. We even played the games on a 32 inch Toshiba tube TV my wife and I had since 1998(in a weird twist, moving that TV by myself was probably a factor in my back issues.) It was a truly fantastic way spend time not worrying about the anxiety of my impending surgery.
Besides getting fully into Le Matos’ amazing music, this time also brought my son and I closer. Not that we weren’t close, but it really felt like he wanted to spend time with me as he sensed I was a little concerned about the whole surgery thing. His willingness to eschew playing with his Marvel action figures or read his comics and instead hang out and spin records with his old man made all the difference to me, and something I’ll never forget(I’m leaving everything to you in the Will, little guy.)
We also got into making cassette mix tapes together during this time. I bought a bunch of Maxell blank cassettes and starting making vinyl mixes that we’d listen to in the van(still have a cassette deck in my Honda Odyssey.) He’d pick out horror soundtracks and I’d throw a song or two on from them and then when I’d pick him up from school we’d pop ’em in the deck and jam to House By The Cemetery, Phantasm, and The Guest. Of course, we dubbed Chronicles of the Wasteland on cassette. To this day it’s a go-to. We could listen to it on Spotify like normal people, but putting that cassette in the Odyssey’s cassette player brings back good memories from a not-so good time.
So when my son mentioned that I didn’t have Turbo Kid on my list yesterday, it really did bug me. How could I forget such an important album? Such an important soundtrack? Well I did, but I’m making amends for it today. Le Matos’ Chronicles of the Wasteland/Turbo Kid S/T is one of my absolute favorite scores of the decade. Top five? Absolutely. But more than that, it was a bonding experience for my son and I. And one hell of a soundtrack for old 80s arcade games, too.
This is the future….
The world as we know it is gone…