Music by: DAVID NEWMAN
CAN'T BUY ME LOVE
Music by: ROBERT FOLK
INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 251
In the 1991 film Paradise, Willard Young (Elijah Wood) spends the summer with Ben and Lily Reed (Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith), a bitter fisherman and his numb (but kind) wife who recently lost their infant son—causing thick tension in their farmhouse. Willard finds a friend in neighbor Billie (Thora Birch) and, spurred by her friendship and the love he develops for the Reeds, begins to challenge his own fears—and provides warmth enough to thaw the ice between Ben and Lily. Composer David Newman provided rich Americana writing with an emphasis on transparent ideas and dramatic melodies for the film. As Variety writer Lawrence Cohn wrote, “David Newman’s warm musical score is a key contribution.” Newman responded to the story with a poignant theme for Willard, introduced first on piano over oscillating strings, then blossoming on celli. The melody’s orchestration adapts to its purposes in the story, from young Willard’s wide-eyed bus trip to Lily and Willard’s budding friendship. The score is a rich, emotional experience, ranking as one of Newman's finest works.
Robert Folk's score to Can’t Buy Me Love plays in contrast with an emphasis on breezy melodic lines with hints of subtle dramatic content. In the film, Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) is a victim of the high school popularity game. Though he’s intelligent, funny, and a hard worker, he’s nothing but dorky “Donald” to his dream girl, cheerleader Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson). Ronald has been mowing lawns all summer to save money for a telescope, but when he sees a distraught Cindy trying to replace her mom’s expensive suede suit at the mall, he offers to “rent” her for a month, and in return for his thousand dollars she’ll play the part of his doting girlfriend. In her desperation she agrees, and Ronald’s theory proves true—even to the point of winning Cindy’s feelings—until his new status goes to his head and his shallow shortcut hits a shattering dead end.
Using strings for emotion, Folk assigned a lot of the score to radio-friendly instruments like guitar, bass, synth, harmonica, and a rhythm section. The main theme bounces and rocks initially as Ronald enjoys his new-found popularity, waxes romantic as Cindy begins to fall for him, and bemoans his state as he loses Cindy and his status. His banishment to social “Siberia” is accompanied by a hangdog harmonica tune with rock accompaniment and percussion.
Both scores are presented complete on this limited edition from Intrada.
For track listing and sound samples, please visit:
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