Of all the wondrous things mankind has tried to understand through the centuries, the apparent lack of a relationship between a film’s box office performance and the success of its accompanying album soundtrack remains the most curious.
While the box office fortunes of “Last Action Hero” seem to be heading south, the Columbia Records soundtrack is comfortably nestled in the Top 10 just weeks after its release. The top 60 of the Billboard 200 features seven other soundtracks — some of them doing better than their films, others worse.
Set to join the parade is the soundtrack to the Paramount film “The Coneheads ,” which hits screens July 23.
Starring Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin in a reprise of their “Saturday Night Live” roles, the film also features Dave Thomas, Chris Farley, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Michael McKean, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards.
The soundtrack, which bows July 20, offers music from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Soul to Squeeze”), R.E.M. (“It’s a Free World Baby”), Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks (a version of Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride”), Digable Planets (“Little Renee”) and the team of k.d. lang and Erasure’s Andy Bell, who offer “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough),” a remake of the Donna Summer/Barbra Streisand chestnut.
Topping the compilation is “Conehead Love,” written by Dan and Peter Aykroyd with vocal help from Nan Schaefer and Beldar and Prymatt Conehead (Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin, respectively).
“What we were looking for is music that captured some of the camp and comedic spin of the movie, yet still would be able to stand on its own musically,” said Michael Ostin, Warner Bros. Records senior VP of A&R.
Ostin said he worked with director Steve Barron, Dan Aykroyd, producer Lorne Michaels and music supervisor Peter Afterman to create the album.
“Everyone contributed to the process, kicking around songs and artists until we came up with the best combinations,” he explained.
Ostin, whose resume lists the soundtrack to “Wayne’s World,” and Afterman, whose work includes “Ghostbusters” and “Honeymoon in Vegas,” have added the Paul Simon oldie “Kodachrome” and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” to the mix.