I was thinking earlier today that while my musical taste is without a doubt extremely gay, the gayest part of my musical taste is my sincere and completely unironic appreciation for the soundtrack to the movie Beaches. I really couldn’t care less about the movie – I think I’ve seen it exactly once around the time that it was first in theaters. But I really like the soundtrack for some reason.
Now let me just say that I really could do without “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Even if it hadn’t been played to death back during my senior year of high school, I’m usually not a fan of something quite so maudlin. I like things that deal with emotions, but please be a little bit subtle about it. They played it over the slide show presentation at my high school graduation FFS! And while it’s the best known song from the soundtrack and one of Bette Midler’s most famous and successful songs, there are so many other superior songs on the soundtrack. Her fun take on “Under The Boardwalk” and the jazzy “I’ve Still Got My Health” (my face is my fortune – that’s why I’m totally broke!) are standouts. And of course there’s the infamous “Otto Titsling” that purports to tell the story of how the bra was invented. A novelty song, to be sure, but still a lot more fun than it should be, and much more in line with what Bette would have been singing in the New York bath houses than “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
That said, I usually don’t skip “Wind Beneath My Wings” when I listen to the album, which I hadn’t done for quite a while. But last week when I was working overnights, I had this huge hankering to listen to “Oh Industry” which equal parts inexcusable and inexplicable. It’s a super deep cut, and not one that anyone ever really thinks about when they think about Bette Midler. It’s also a really bizarre song – what the fuck does “oh industry…whatever will become of me?” even mean? If the movie explained it, I’ve long since forgotten.
Back in the early 90s, my sister Wendy and I would always listen to “Oh Industry” and when we started playing Sim City, we would always sing “oh industry…whatever will become of me?” whenever we placed industrial zones. So now, whenever I think of that song, I think of my sister. And Sim City.