Original Soundtrack

The Singing Detective [1987]

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Much of the enjoyment to be had from this pick of hits from the '30s and '40s rests in knowing Dennis Potter's six-hour miniseries, and the ironic use to which most of the songs were put: "Dry Bones" appearing in a hospital-bed hallucination; "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow" sung in a grim Northern English classroom on the eve of war; and "It Might As Well Be Spring" lip-synched by the lead character's father as his best friend is sleeping with his wife. Potter handpicked these tunes, and in doing you get a look into the writer's psyche -- even when the songs are piffle, they're some sort of guilty pleasure -- as well as a large dose of nostalgia. From Duke Ellington's "Rockin' in Rhythm" to Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again," there's not one dud, provided you're in the right frame of mind.

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