Whereas the first Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack was a celebration of 80's electropop, the second one shows a split between rock and R&B/pop, with multiple producers. And hey, they had three Top Ten songs, including a #1 and #2. And three of the songs ended up on the artist/group's albums, making this soundtrack a launching pad of sorts.
"Shakedown" was yet another soundtrack song for Bob Seger, and this time, he hit the top, with its infectious backbeat thanks to rapid-fire keyboards and some soulful backing vocals in the chorus. If this sounds like a Billy Idol song, it's because Keith Forsey was one of the producers, the other being Harold Faltermeyer, who did one of the best songs on the first BHC movie and fresh from the Top Gun Theme.
Forsey produces another track here, Charlie Sexton's "In Deep", whose fiery guitar solos and power synths and keyboards might work for Sexton but is something Forsey's star client, Billy Idol wouldn't touch with a barge pole.
Canadian singer Corey Hart has a good turn with the inoffensive 80's pop of "Hold On," with its jingly synths, pulsing rhythm guitar, all produced by Giorgio Moroder.
The only other group from the first movie to do a song here are the Pointer Sisters with "Be There." Despite the brassy horns, rattling drums, and Narada Michael Walden's production, this song is half-hearted, showing the trio's last bit of oomph was 1985's "Dare Me."
George Michael sure picked some way to introduce his second solo hit, his first being "A Different Corner," due to the unnecessary controversy created by the title and the alleged meaning of the song. "I Want Your Sex" made it to #2 despite the brouhaha. Hey, it has a good backbeat, and a real underlying message: "It's natural, it's chemical, it's logical, habitual" And of course it ended up on his Grammy-winning Faith album.
The last couple of songs are firmly in the soul/R&B area. Former Prince guitarist Andre Cymone produced two tracks here. The first is James Ingram's "Better Way" which is typical 80's R&B/soul with some accompanying horns. This song though doesn't do justice to Ingram's voice, as he's done better. The second is Pebbles' funky jam "Love/Hate" which sounds like a refugee from Janet Jackson's Control album. This also landed on Pebbles' self-titled debut.
Yet another song that ended up on the group's album is the Jets' bouncy crossover pop "Cross My Broken Heart" also on the Jets' Magic album. If the beat resembles early Madonna, it's because the song was co-written and co-produced by Stephen Bray, a songwriting collaborator on Like A Virgin.
And then, those guys who imitated Prince with "Oh Sheila"--Ready For The World. This time, they demand "36 Lovers," as extravagant a demand as their synths. The sound's more pedestrian soul-pop.
Sue Ann's "I Can't Stand It" recalls brassy Pointer Sisters fare like "I'm So Excited" and THIS is the kind of stuff the Pointers should've been doing here. Jermaine Jackson's synth-happy "All Revved Up" makes him another Giorgio Moroder client, but Moroder did better for Hart earlier in the album.
Not a bad album in itself, with numbers by Seger, Michael, Hart, Pebbles, and the Jets pulling the weight here.