Moonlighting was one of the finest examples of comedy drama and was an unmissable slice of television in my house during its initial run (1985-1989). In 1988, WEA released a compilation of the same name. While not directly connected to the series, it did include the show’s theme song and its front inlay was loosely based on some elements of David and Maddie’s lives – romance, the city, skyscrapers, the night-time settings etc. It’s a brilliantly sequenced compilation with some rare single mixes of ’80s soul classics.
We start with one of the year’s funkiest tracks, Divine Emotions from Narada. Zoom back to the carefree summer of ’88 whenever I hear it. You can also find this deadly song on the soundtrack to Bright Lights, Big City; for a complete trawl through the best of the 1980s music on screen, check out my lengthy project Don’t You Forget About These. The beats keep coming on the meaty grooves of Levert’s Casanova while Keith Sweat’s I Want Her continues to give off a Bobby Brown meets Prince vibe. And now for a proper one hit wonder, The Rain from Oran ‘Juice’ Jones, a righteous tale of infidelity. It’s the 3:14 radio edit. Nice! One of the best diss tunes; the responses included Leot Littlepage’s The Drain, Miss Thang’s Thunder & Lightning and Pamala’s Walkin’ In The Rain, Yes You Saw Me.
Taja Sevelle (real name Nancy Richardson) was a Paisley Park prodigy. Her 1987 album saw Prince write two tracks. Its debut single, Love Is Contagious works the dancefloor really well – this single edit is a sultry jam that blends nicely into Eugene Wilde’s smoochy Got To You Home Tonight, another 45 mix that’s great to finally have on CD. You’ll remember it as the closing track on Now That’s What I Call Music 4. Elsewhere Al B Sure was still a teenager which he cut the slo-mo R&B Nite And Day. Classics time now as we get Rose Royce’s divine Wishing On A Star which is then followed by Marvin Gaye’s post-disco classic, Sexual Healing. Naturally the 7″ mix: in the 16 beats from 1:49 to 1:59, he sings “Get up, get up, get up, get up.” No whispers like in the album version which is way more common. Next: Roger’s soulful – almost electronic – ballad I Want To Be Your Man.
Still the bomb after 31 years, Alexander O’Neal’s Hearsay album gets a spin monthly in my house. The single mix of The Lovers is here, like a fresh glass of cold juice in the Sahara. We go back to 1985 for Steve Arrington’s celebratory funk of Feel So Real. Another tune from a vinyl-only compilation – Now That’s What I Call Music 5 – that’s captured on CD here. The hand of Rod Temperton guides Patti Austin and James Ingram on their sublime duet Baby Come To Me. But it’s the last three tunes that are the real cream. There’s the title song, Al Jarreau’s Moonlighting Theme, brilliantly jazzy and concise. And then the Remix Edit of Anita Baker’s Caught Up In The Rapture. “Makes me want to shut out the world and float on a cloud of relaxation.” (VF) The closing number is another one from a movie soundtrack – the amazingly gorgeous and gentle piano ballad Tender Love by Force MDs first appeared on Krush Groove and was produced by Jam & Lewis. Just press repeat.
Anita Baker – Caught Up In The Rapture (Remix Edit)
Force MDs – Tender Love
Lest we forget
Al Jarreau – Moonlighting Theme