By Jacqueline Dillon
Important to the success of any motion picture is the musical score or soundtrack that accompanies it. However, when a movie bills itself as 'A Rock and Roll Fable,' its role becomes critical as the soundtrack acts as a fantasy conduit - creating the perfect musical counterpoint to the extraordinary images on screen. The music is used to manipulate the audience and aid in telling the story. When done skillfully and elegantly, we not only see the movie; we hear it as well.
Director Walter Hill's 1984 thriller, Streets of Fire is rooted in the youthful belief that true love, rebellion and rock music are potent elixirs against just about anything. Enter - Jim Steinman. "Nowhere Fast" is a frustration anthem in Steinman's typical and wholly unique fashion. This blast against boredom is characteristic of the 'live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse' attitude reflected in much of Jim's work. "Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young," remarkably, could serve as the one-song manifestation of the Steinman Credo. I refer, of course, to the belief that adolescence is the epitome of being (especially when it sounds this right).
Not surprisingly, both fans and critics agreed that it was Steinman's contributions to Streets Of Fire that propelled the success of the movie and soundtrack. Brilliant independent of the forum, Steinman is capable of writing that elusive type of music that can be moved from film and transferred to the concert stage without sacrificing its ability to conjure specific images.
Indeed, so well respected as a synergist of the market where theatrical production and chart success is concerned, Jim has been called upon by Andrew Lloyd Webber to provide some of the same for the upcoming Whistle Down The Wind. Steinman's future is pregnant with possibilities. Given the opportunity, he will surely work as a revolutionary of the art form. In turn, leading his career and the entertainment medium into the next century.