Posts Tagged ‘Marilyn Martin’

Saturday Single No. 739

Saturday, June 5th, 2021

Earlier this spring, in a piece about the passing of musician/producer Jim Steinman, I wrote:

I was in Missouri and I was the arts editor for the Columbia Missourian, published by the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. And one week, there were more new movies in town than my small staff could review, so I needed to jump in and review one of them. That happened occasionally, maybe four times during the year I filled the post. Out of the five or so movies opening that week, I selected Streets of Fire, more because I recognized the name of the female lead, Diane Lane, than for any other reason.

I loved it, especially the music. I cadged a bit on the grade I gave it, maybe awarding a B+. (I cannot put my hands on the review this morning although I know it exists in the filing drawers of unorganized clips from about fifteen years of reporting and editing.) Director Walter Hill called the movie a “rock and roll fable,” but even so, it’s over-the-top storytelling put me off just a bit.

But the music! There was stuff from the Blasters, Ry Cooder, the Fixx, Maria McKee, and a few others. And the Steinman-penned songs that opened and closed the movie blew me away: “Nowhere Fast” and “Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young,” with – as I learned later – Laurie Sargent providing the vocals for Lane on the former and Holly Sherwood doing the same on the latter, both backed by a group of musicians that the filmmakers called Fire Inc.

Within a few days, I had the soundtrack, knew the writers and producers and anything else I could glean from the jacket. And in the thirty-some years since, any time I hear either of those two tracks from the soundtrack, I remember the thrill of finding something utterly new, a feeling that can stay with you for years.

The LP database tells me that it was thirty-seven years ago today that I picked up the soundtrack to Streets of Fire and took it home to the south end of Columbia. And today, sorting out the third-best track on the album, I dithered between Maria McKee’s “Never Be You” and Marilyn Martin’s take on the Stevie Nicks-penned “Sorceror.”

I came down on the side of “Sorceror.” Martin was the first to record it; Nick’s version came out only in 2001 on her album Trouble in Shangri-La. And Martin’s version from 1984 is today’s Saturday Single.