Song Of The Day 5/8/2013: Giorgio Moroder featuring Philip Oakey - "Together In Electric Dreams"

Electric Dreams was a 1984 movie about a love triangle between a nerdy architect, a beautiful musician, and a personal computer. The story's a little convoluted -- I realize that's probably not a shock -- and a bit less speculative than tech-fiction of the era tried to be, but here's the basic summary. The computer becomes a sentient being when the architect (Lenny Van Dohlen, aka Harold from Twin Peaks) spills champagne all over it. The computer names itself Edgar, and gets a voice (Bud Cort, aka Harold from Harold & Maude). One day the musician (Virginia Madsen, aka Harold from Candyman) is playing a minuet, and Edgar can hear it through the ventilation shaft. So he... errr, it constructs a supporting accompaniment line and plays along with her, but she thinks it's coming from the architect. Oh, mayhem!

Anyway, both Edgar and the architect fall in love with the musician and engage in a war. Why it does not occur to the architect to simply unplug Edgar is not explained. In the end everything works out all right, the computer tries to commit hari-kari, which appears to be the one thing it cannot do, so instead it radiates a self-sacrificing beam of love that takes over the nation's airwaves, and the movie ends.

I don't recommend Electric Dreams, per se (executive producer: Richard Branson!) (director: the guy who made Coneheads!), but if any of you millennials out there were wondering what the '80s were like, it's a pretty good summary of our naïve expectations of the time. Edgar was capable of far more amazing feats than the actual personal computers of its day, and I'm not sure anything he did proved to be meaningful when those capabilities did become available. But if you want the gestalt of the '80s summed up in one rom-com that will make you feel exactly the same when it's over as you did when it started, here's your flick.

The soundtrack of course featured a lot of synth-pop music that Branson could get his hands on, including a half-decent Boy George song, and this collaboration between the architect of synth-pop and the leader of the Human League. Results not guaranteed. 


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