Back in 2011, I penned what I would consider to be a fairly respectable argument regarding the slavishly disputed merits of Adrian Lyne’s soft-core kink opus from 1986, “9 1/2 Weeks,” overlooking its myriad, superficial flaws in favor of concentrating on his artfully stylish portrayal of mid-80’s NYC. I’ll stand by that assertion. While, no, it’s by no means a triumphant cinematic achievement, “9 1/2 Weeks” had its strong points, all above and beyond brazen images of Kim Basinger and a then-still-recognizable Mickey Rourke in various states of sumptuous ecstasy.
One of those strong points I failed to address in that post, however, was the film’s soundtrack. If you’re curious, you can probably find a cheap-o copy of it in the cut-out bin of your favorite used disc shop (provided, of course, it hasn’t closed yet). Much like the film it inexorably accompanies, it has its obvious flaws (no one is well served, for example, by the inclusion of a Corey Hart track that isn’t the enjoyably ridiculous “Sunglasses at Night”). Yeah, it has its filler, but it also had a few gems, notably among them being the unimpeachable “Slave to Love” by Bryan Ferry, the brassy burlesque of “You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Joe Cocker,” Stewart Copeland’s oddly syncopated instrumental “Cannes” and Devo’s oddball cover of the Newbeats’ “Bread and Butter.” Hell, even Duran Duran bassist John Taylor’s slickly overwrought solo number, “I Do What I Do,” has sort of a histrionically libidinous appeal.
The real star of the bunch, however, is the smoldering track by Eurythmics, “The City Never Sleeps,” which is technically a languid re-rendering of its original version on the band’s breakthrough 1983 album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).
If you’re at all familiar with the film, you’ll remember this song being utilized -- to suitably steamy effect -- to score a scene in which Kim Basinger’s character engages in a bit of furtive self-love while watching a slide show of paintings by an artist her gallery is courting. She even gets a bit verklempt and knocks over the projector, if memory serves.
So, why am I discussing any of this now, three decades after the fact? Well, on a sweltering summer evening last week, I dialed up this song on YouTube for the purposes of telegraphing on Facebook how goddamn hot it was outside that night (the song does exude a vibe of simmering sultriness, which was obviously by design, at least in its usage for the movie). I remember there being a low-key official video for the song, but I couldn’t find that. I did, however, spy the representation below, and thought it would be ripe for including here.
Re-purposing Eurythmics’ languid rumination on the less definable sensations of urban living, this video uses it to score a fittingly slow-moving, nocturnal drone-flight over Times Square, reducing the hustle and bustle of that fabled location to that of a miniscule ant-heap. Along the way, the lyrics of the song are superimposed over the bird’s eye view.
There is, however, a somewhat jarring typo. See if you can find it.