John Waters' films may not be to everyone's taste, but give him credit: when it comes to assembling a soundtrack, he uses a lot more imagination than most directors. Set in the early '60s, Hairspray has a few hits from the era (Gene Pitney's "Town Without Pity," and Barbara Lynn's "You'll Lose a Good Thing," Jan Bradley's "Mama Didn't Lie"). But it's mostly given over to dance/R&B tunes that don't get played on the radio anymore, like the Flares' "Foot Stompin'," the Five Du-Tones' "Shake a Tail Feather," and a couple of the most ridiculous dance tunes ever waxed (Gene and Wendell's "The Roach," Jerry Dallman's "The Bug"). Also included is Toussaint McCall's soulful ballad "Nothing Takes the Place of You," and Little Peggy March's pricelessly silly "I Wish I Were a Princess." Ray Bryant Combo's "The Madison Time" and Rachel Sweet's performance of the movie's theme are a bit incongruous in this company, but as these are the first two tracks on the album, those who are treating this as an oldies collection can easily avoid them.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger