Monday, September 25, 2006

You're The Best

Song: You're The Best
Artist: Joe "Bean" Esposito
Album: The Karate Kid Soundtrack

Thought I would do another theme week, this time focusing on songs from movies. After highlighting "Goodbye Horses," I realized that there are many great songs from movies, some known better than others, that should be given a voice! Often times when I DJ I will put on one of these songs as many people know them, but rarely know who or what they are, or even what they kow them from.

"You're The Best" is a perfect example of a song that everyone seems to know (especially if you were a teenage boy in the early 80's) yet might leave you saying Joe Esposito who? This of course was used in classic 80's music montage style as our hero, Daniel "Danny" LaRusso, played by Ralph Macchio, sizes up his competition and also proves he is not the weakling he appears to be.

Seeing this is a reminder of simpler times for the movie industry... can you imagine if this movie came out now? Like most guys my age I have watched The Karate Kid roughly 50 times. Its simplistic wimp-ass kicks bully-ass, and gets the hot girl, is a crowd pleaser for sure, spawned multiple sequels, and earns a place among the best of the awful 80's movies we love. It's pretty much the crowning achievement for all involved (Except maybe Elizabeth Shue, who bounces between absolutely excellent ("Leaving Las Vegas") and absolutely awful (well... just about everything else, EXCEPT "Adventures in Babysitting," which is friggin' awesome.)

The sequels, like most, never really lived up to the original. I don't know why nobody has figured this out, but sequels to coming-of-age movies don't work because... THEY'VE ALREADY COME-OF-AGE! I mean what's left? Do we really care about his karate craft? Or that he'll use it to fight underworld figures in Okinawa? (Karate Kid II) No, we want him to learn to paint houses, wash cars, and kick ass. We want him catching flies with chopsticks (p.s. how ridiculous was that?) We want our Daniel-son to start out with a constant deer-in-the-headlights look, only to find the power within himself, despite a low blow from the annoying right hand man of the despicable Johnny Lawrence, to break out the WAY simple pelican move and win the tournament in the end. I mean, aren't there like three hundred movies like this or what?

I can't say that I knew of anything more from Joe "Bean" Esposito... he has one album listed on allmusic called "Treated & Released" which oddly doesn't even have "You're The Best" on it. I wonder what he's up to now.

The Karate Kid coasts on charm and the plucky underdog wonder of our boy Ralph Macchio and the obtuse wisdom of Mr. Miyagi (the late Pat Morita.) "You're The Best" is a wonderful slice of cheesy 80's rock that fits perfect into the scene above.

Do yourself a favor and put this on and do a little wax on and wax off.

Ewww... you know on second thought, maybe you shouldn't... you wanna keep Elizabeth Shue don't you?



Josh said...

Wasn't one of the sequels of KK a breakout role for Hilary Swank?

And I still want to do a Halloween as "The Shower" from the dance scene!

Brian said...

Joe "Bean" Esposito was the lead singer of the disco/rock group Brooklyn Dreams - he sang "Heaven Knows" with Donna Summer. She has been married to fellow Brooklyn Dreamer Bruce Sudano for the past 26 years.

"Bean" also had a song on the Flashdance soundtrack: the insipid and oh-so-lyrically complex "Lady Lady Lady."