Original Soundtrack

Dogs in Space

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The soundtrack to director/screenwriter Richard Lowenstein's 1986 film set in Melbourne, Australia, might work better with visuals to accompany it, but apart from the celluloid and on its own this album is a pretentious and dull collection of performances which prove the whole to be less than the sum of its parts, knocking Euclid's axiom on its proverbial head. Brian Eno is typically wacky on "Skysaw," while "Anthrax" from Gang of Four could be Eno messing about. Iggy Pop should be the star of the show, but his "Dog Food" sounds more like the B-52's and even the Sex Pistols; Glen Matlock helping out can't get this dog to bark, though the dreamy "Endless Sea" is more appropriate latter-day Iggy Pop and works better. Michael Hutchence is at his best imitating David Bowie reciting Prokofiev's Peter & the Wolf on the spoken-word "The Green Dragon," the late singer also performing on the title track as well as a throwaway called "Golf Course and the closer, "Rooms for the Memory," his dark tones at odds with Ian "Ollie" Olsen's production work. At least in the '60s when the Tower Records label issued Psych-Out or Riot on Sunset Strip to accompany their respective films, you knew you were going to get some nuggets among the thorns, and those cheesy releases were, for the most part, collectible delights. The band Marching Girls trying to sound like Ian Hunter and not making the grade is indicative of what you'll find on this rag-tag collection put together by writer/producer Ollie Olsen. Nick Cave shows up on a 1979 track by Boys Next Door, which adds a much-needed diversion with piano and a less-driving sound, but it is too little, too late. This music was recorded between 1979 and 1986, and Clinton Walker's over-indulgent liner notes are so in depth that they have the same effect as those single paragraphs one finds on the back of a Pickwick budget release. The album is an anachronism and most disappointing, as the talent lined up should have demanded much more before signing off on this release.

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