Ernest Cline: The Ready Player One Author's 10 Favorite Songs From John Hughes Movies
While in town for SXSW last week, we checked in with Austin native Ernest Cline, the author of 2011 bestseller Ready Player One. It's sci-fi, but totally readable and compelling; the plot concerns a nerdy overweight teen living in a distopian future America where everyone spends all their time in a second life simulation. The eccentric billionaire who created it dies, pledging his fortune to whoever can complete an elaborate treasure hunt.
1980s culture plays heavily into the plot, and the billionaire and the protagonist are obsessed with the films of John Hughes. The same is true of the genial Cline, who's got a few extra pounds himself,
red brown hair, and a goatee. While Vanity Fair and others have made the intellectual case for Hughes' films, Cline believes the director's soundtracks also deserve more shine. Growing up in the small town of Ashland in central Ohio, he says, the songs on those works practically made his adolescence. "The only way I was exposed to cool music, stuff like Britpop, was through those movies," he says. Below, then, are his top ten favorites, in his own words.
10. "Don't You Forget About Me"
From the soundtrack to The Breakfast Club, and perhaps the most iconic and memorable tune from one of the films that helped define my generation. And still a great song.
9. "Brilliant Mind"
From the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack. Obscure Britpop tunes like this are one of the things that make Hughes soundtracks so great and unique.
8. "I Go Crazy"
Flesh For Lulu
Also from the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack. This soundtrack is so good it almost makes you forget that Some Kind of Wonderful is just Pretty in Pink with the gender roles reversed.
From the Sixteen Candles soundtrack, this song is used in the opening credits montage that introduces us to Shermer High School, and in those few minutes, John Hughes somehow conveys what it was like to be a teenager in the '80s.