Doctor Detroit, a 1983 movie starring Dan Aykroyd, was seemingly inspired by (or, more precisely, wanted to benefit from the popularity of) The Blues Brothers. While the movie was quite entertaining and amusing, it wasn't really memorable and disappeared soon after. The same thing could be said about its soundtrack album. Largely guided and produced by Ira Newborn, the various tracks on this collection are also held together by a large cast of session musicians -- Ernie Watts, James Gadson, David T. Walker, Eddie Watkins, Paul Jackson, Jr., etc. (it might be safe to assume that Steve Lukather simply had no time). Two tracks are by the new wave group Devo, the "Theme from Doctor Detroit" and "Luv-Luv" -- two '80s synth-pop songs which are mildly interesting for their keyboard and rhythm arrangements, but both of which sound rather dated. Four tracks are by Pattie Brooks, and they don't sound too fresh either. Two of them, "Hold Him" and "Working Girls," feature Dan Aykroyd doing some goofy vocals; Blues Brothers fans might want to know that he also plays harmonica on one of them, but it's nothing to call home for. The third, "You Are the One," was composed and produced by Lalo Schifrin, who composed the movie's score -- but unfortunately, none of these tracks can be heard on the soundtrack. The fourth, "Get It On and Have a Party," is probably the best; at least it's undeniably catchy. Also featured on this album are two incredibly funky tracks by James Brown (who has a cameo appearance in the movie), "King of Soul" and "Get Up Offa That Thing/Doctor Detroit"; these find the Godfather in top form, backed by a tightly locked-up rhythm group. Finally, there's "Yo Skridlow" by T.K. Carter (who also acted in the movie) and Dan Aykroyd; this one's a winner too, because of its sly, infectious groove. If you liked the movie, you'll most probably also like the soundtrack. Otherwise, ask yourself whether you'd want to hear a collection of '80s pop songs which are entertaining, but not particularly classic.
AllMusic Review by Christian Genzel