Andy Muschietti’s IT is more than just one of the best horror movies of the 21st Century and an exemplary example of a Stephen King adaptation; for those of us who came of age in the late 1980s and early 1990s, IT is a potent blast of nostalgia. While the 1980s aesthetic looks retro to today’s horror fans, it wasn’t so long ago that I was riding my bike through canals and backways with my own Losers Club, and something that brought me right back was the music.
IT doesn’t use a lot of music from the day, but the banter between Bev (Sophia Lillis) and Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) about New Kids on the Block was hysterical for those who got the puns, and I couldn’t help but remember high school dances when I heard Young MC’s Bust a Move. But another song from the era that was included was especially poignant: Dear God by XTC.
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Dear God was originally released as a b-side in 1986 but was included on XTC’s 1986 album Skylarking after becoming an underground radio favorite. Despite the infectious, poppy groove, the song is an epistolary set as a young boy writing a letter to God; it quickly progresses to an adult man, struggling with a life-long disappointment with the concept of an all-powerful deity who delivers more strife than comfort. The irony is that by addressing God, the narrator reveals that he actually does believe in Him, giving the song paradoxical resonance.
The song is also fitting tribute to the Losers Club, who are themselves finding that there is not all-powerful God (or even parents) coming to their collective rescue, forcing them to look inward for the strength and power needed to defeat the manifestation of evil, Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). If the sad groove caught your ear, check out the video for Dear God below (which also includes the lyrics). For kicks, you can check out Bust a Move by Young MC after that. Enjoy!
About XTC: XTC were an English rock band formed in Swindon in 1972 and active until 2006. Led by songwriters Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, the band emerged from the late 1970s punk and new wave explosion, later playing in a variety of styles that ranged from angular guitar riffs to elaborately arranged pop. The band failed to maintain popular success in the UK and US, partly because they did not fit into contemporary trends. They nevertheless earned a devoted cult following. (Source)
About Young MC: Marvin Young (born May 10, 1967), better known by his stage name Young M.C., is an English-born American singer, rapper, and actor. He is best known for his 1989 hit “Bust a Move”. His debut album Stone Cold Rhymin’ found international acclaim; however, subsequent albums have not reached the same level of success. Young has also appeared in film in acting roles and cameo appearances and has appeared in several television programs. (Source)
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