Original TV Soundtrack


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Looking back through rose-tinted glasses, Moonlighting feels like the apex of the Reagan era, brandishing its self-congratulatory glamour, easygoing charm, self-satisfied humor and flowing wealth of style. Admittedly, the soundtrack can't capture all of the glory of the television show, which, after all, was blessed with sumptuous visuals, but it is filled with the hubris of the show -- there's no other explanation for the inclusion of two songs sung by Cybill Shepherd and one by Bruce Willis. These songs offer a fitting counterpart, capturing the stars' characters -- she's a classic glamour-puss, obsessed with pop standards, and he's a carefree rogue with a five-o'clock shadow and a love for R&B. Appropriately, those two styles -- and smooth jazz, the genre that acts as a bridge between the idioms -- are at the heart of the Moonlighting soundtrack. And in this context, Percy Sledge, the Isley Brothers, Billie Holiday and even Chubby Checker are smoothed out and plugged into a context where they add "soul" to a world that is not only devoid of "soul," but is only concerned with conspicuous consumption and never-ending good times. In other words, a definitive Reagan artifact.

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