The soundtrack to the definitive self-absorbed '80s film Less Than Zero is as uneven as most various-artists soundtracks, bouncing between insipid metal covers (Aerosmith's "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Blues," Poison's "Rock and Roll All Night," Slayer's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"), competent hard rock, and a handful of interesting cuts that make the album worthwhile. The Bangles' fuzz-rock cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Hazy Shade of Winter" was a hit, and Roy Orbison's take on Glenn Danzig's "Life Fades Away" is haunting, but the real meat of the album is in Public Enemy's seminal "Bring the Noise" and LL Cool J's seductive "Going Back to Cali," two hip-hop classics that made their debut here. They're now available on better collections and albums, but Less Than Zero remains a good portrait of the rich, pastel-colored wasteland of the latter half of the '80s.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine