The Wedding Singer won’t sink Titanic, but its soundtrack may have Celine Dion looking over her famous shoulder. The hit comedy, set in 1985, features a selection of new-wave-y mousse-and-Mohawk music, and the disc landed at No. 5 on the Billboard chart, thanks to tunes like Billy Idol’s ”White Wedding,” the Thompson Twins’ ”Hold Me Now,” and the Psychedelic Furs’ ”Love My Way.”
”We wanted the best [songs] that we remembered,” says Wedding producer Jack Giarraputo. But forgotten are some of the artists who helped define the era. Here’s an update on Wedding bands:
– Shortly after recording 1990’s Charmed Life, Billy Idol mangled his leg in a motorcycle crash. Yet that didn’t silence the rebel’s yell: In 1992, he was charged with assault and battery after a fight in an L.A. restaurant, and in ‘94 he was hospitalized for an alleged drug overdose, which he denies. Now 42 and no longer on EMI Records, the erstwhile punker plays himself in Singer and is at work on a new album.
– The Thompson Twins – originally composed of Tom Bailey, Alannah Currie, and Joe Leeway – recorded their last album in 1991. Bailey, 40, and Currie, 38, moved to New Zealand and have released two techno-synth albums as Babble.
– The Psychedelic Furs, a favorite of the Wedding party – ”’Love My Way’ has the right amount of heaviness for the sad scenes,” says director Frank Coraci – split in 1991. Singer Richard Butler, 42, formed a new band, Love Spit Love, which released 1997’s Trysome Eatone.
– The Cure (”Boys Don’t Cry”) are alive and, well, relatively healthy. Still fronted by the spiky-haired Robert Smith, 38, the band continues to perform live and is recording an album for Elektra. Smith recently did a cameo on South Park, fighting a Godzilla-size Barbra Streisand.
– When cofounder Ricky Wilson died of AIDS in 1985, the B-52’s (”Private Idaho”) took a sabbatical. They returned in 1989 with Cosmic Thing and the hit single ”Love Shack.” Now Cindy Wilson, Keith Strickland, Kate Pierson, and Fred Schneider are again together in the studio, cutting two new songs for a compilation disc due in May from Reprise. ”It seemed like the right time to do it – it’s been a while,” says Pierson. Declares Schneider: ”America, here we come again! It’s time for music to change.” Will that be the sound of the next wave?