For the week of 6/11/2012…

“Teen Angel Eyes” by Tommy Tutone

So, this weekend, on a lark, I watched a 1982 “teen movie” called The Last American Virgin; it vastly exceeded my expectations.  It was kind of like a combination of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Superbad, plus a twist ending, minus subplots about stoners and fun-loving cops, and flavored with a heavier dose of raunchiness than either of those movies.

Anyway, this movie had a pretty cool early ’80s soundtrack, including a prominently featured song that I’d never heard before:  Tommy Tutone’s “Teen Angel Eyes.”  Tommy Tutone, of course, is the band which had one of the biggest monster hits of the 1980s with “867-5309 (Jenny).”  But this other song, while it has all the makings of a power-pop hit, is actually one of the band’s most obscure tracks — having appeared only on the Last American Virgin soundtrack and never on one of the band’s studio albums (or making it onto any big ’80s compilations).  Too bad, because it’s really a lot of fun.  A few notes:

1)  The part in the bridge where Tommy Heath sings, “And I just can’t get over/why should he be your lover” weirdly reminds me of the part of the bridge in the Eagles’ “New Kid in Town” with the lines “But night after night you’re willing to hold her, just hold her/Tears on your shoulder.”  Very weirdly.

2)  I’m pretty confident that this was specifically written for inclusion in the movie, given its lyrical content (which reflects the tensions in the film).  Then again, a love triangle isn’t exactly an original concept…

3) This last bit has nothing to do with the song, but it needs to be said.  This video, besides featuring the audio of “Teen Angel Eyes,” is also a slideshow of various stills from The Last American Virgin.  Now, the actors who played the three corners of the film’s love triangle apparently never went on to do anything else particularly worthy of note.  However, each one looked strangely similar in 1982 to people I recognize from today.  Lawrence Monoson, playing our hero, was a dead ringer for Justin Long.  (Compare 0:40 in this video with a photo of Long.)  Diane Franklin, playing his love interest, had a face which looked pretty damn similar to Natalie Portman’s today.  (See 0:47.)  And Steve Antin, playing his friend and romantic rival, looked remarkably like a kid I know from college.  (You’ll just have to take my word for it on that one.)

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