Soundtrack Review: HOT TUB TIME MACHINE

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
March 31st, 2010

Rating: 7.5/10

Craig Robinson singing the Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get it Started”? You don’t have to find a time-traveling hot tub to experience this magic. It’s all here, even his version of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl." HOT TUB TIME MACHINE captured the humorous aspects of the ‘80s, but the soundtrack delivers some seriously classic ‘80s tunes.

Back before Flavor Flav was known for his reality TV show antics, he was also a member of the hip hop group Public Enemy, whose live version of “Louder Than A Bomb (Back Into Time)” kicks off the soundtrack (and makes an ominous reference in the title to going back in time). Music supervisors Dana Sano and Steve Pink did an excellent job of selecting not just better-known songs such as “Push It” by Salt N Pepa and “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats, but also remastered versions of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” and Talking Heads’ “Once In A Lifetime”. Rob Corddry’s character may have wrapped up the movie with a performance by Motley Lou, but the original Motley Crue get their time in the spotlight here with the classic power ballad, “Home Sweet Home."

I must admit that Robinson’s versions of “Jessie’s Girl” and “Let’s Get It Started” were particular highlights for me. If you ever wished you could hear more of the snippets we Office fans have gotten of Darryl (Robinson’s character on the show) singing, you will be fulfilled here.

As an ‘80s baby, I admittedly love almost all things ‘80s, particularly the music. I have yet to find a song, from hip hop to cheesy pop, from this decade that doesn’t put a smile on my face once those electric keyboard riffs kick in. I learned that this love of tunes from 20 years ago is not exclusive to just those born in my generation when I found my parents (who had stolen my copy of this soundtrack) jamming out to it while I was visiting home this past weekend. I don’t think John Cusack’s Adam had enough illicit drugs in his suitcase to help erase that image.

Whether you are reliving your past or hearing these songs for the first time, this collection gives a decent span from a time when music was heavily into keytars, saxophone solos, and drum beats. And if I were ever to find myself in a whirlpool that whirled me back a few decades, I would hope it landed me squarely in the middle of a mountain lodge full of neon spandex, feathered hair, and wine coolers – if only for the music. (I have no desire to revisit the fashion – who honestly looked good in neon?).

This soundtrack is available through Rhino Records.

1. “Louder Than A Bomb (Back Into Time)” – Public Enemy
2. “Perfect Way (Edited Version)” – Scritti Politti
3. “The Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats
4. “What You need (Single/lp Version)” – Inxs
5. “Modern Love (Single Version)” – David Bowie
6. “I Will Dare” – The Replacements
7. “Push It (Album Version)” – Salt N Pepa
8. “Bring On The Dancing Horses” – Echo & The Bunnymen
9. “Save It For Later” – The Beat
10. “True” – Spandau Ballet
11. “Jessie’s Girl” – Craig Robinson
12. “Bizarre Love Triangle (12” Remastered Remix)” – New Order
13. “Once In A Lifetime (2006 Remastered Version)” – Talking Heads
14. “Home Sweet Home” – Motley Crue
15. “Let’s Get It Started” – Craig Robinson

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