Picks and Pans Review: The Official Music of the Xxiiird Olympiad Los Angeles 1984

UPDATED 07/30/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/30/1984 at 01:00 AM EDT

The producers of this album, Peter Guber and Jon Peters (producers of the Flashdance sound track) claim that this music "represents the essence of the Olympics." Taken simply as an eclectic assemblage of musical styles, including rock (Loverboy and Foreigner), jazz (Bob James and Quincy Jones) and neoclassical (John Williams and Philip Glass), the record is quite winning. Music from the album will be played during the opening and closing ceremonies. Though each song is supposed to be emblematic of a particular event, the connections are, at best, tenuous. For example, there would be no way of knowing that A Chance for Heaven, a Christopher Cross song co-written with Carole Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach, was the swimming theme if the record company did not explain that the music "has a rhythmic foundation similar to the gentle back-and-forth flow of water in a pool." When pop musicians write to a theme, the result is more often a jingle than an anthem: The lyrics on songs such as Loverboy's Nothing's Gonna Stop You Now ("You know you paid the price/You made every sacrifice") are hardly inspiring. But the instrumental are uniformly excellent, especially Herbie Hancock's funky Junku, written for field events, and Toto's Moodido (The Match), with some galvanizing guitar from Steve Lukather, written for boxing. And John Williams' Olympic Fanfare and Theme and Philip Glass' The Olympian-Lighting of the Torch are majestic enough to truly reflect the significance and athletic grace of the quadrennial competition. (Columbia)

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