HomeLists10 Great Songs from the 80s film "The Last American Virgin"

10 Great Songs from the 80s film “The Last American Virgin”

I want you to want me
I’m goin’ crazy knowin’ he will be your lover tonight
I need you to need me
I wanna hold you but you’re holdin’ someone else in your arms

-from the song “Oh No” by Commodores

The Last American Virgin, released in 1982, was definitely not a typical teen sex comedy. A remake of director Boaz Davidson’s own 1978 Israeli film called Eskimo Limon [Lemon Popsicle], Virgin differs from the usual early ’80s fare in two ways: first, the plot involves teenage abortion, and second, the film’s protagonist, Gary (played by Lawrence Monoson), is a lovable loser, however not an antihero.  Gary doesn’t get what he wants and the movie ends suddenly on a sad note as he gets rejected.  No happy ending here. But there’s lots of drinking, dancing, sex and nudity, and adults are portrayed as clueless idiots, so it’s still very much a typical ’80s teen comedy.

There was an official soundtrack release on the Columbia label in 1982.  Like the movie, the album suffered from lack of promotion and never reached the Billboard 200.  The track list for the original soundtrack album runs like this:

Side One
“Teen Angel Eyes” – Tommy Tutone
“De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” – The Police
“Whip It” – Devo
“When I Find You” – Phil Seymour
“Better Luck Next Time” – Oingo Boingo

Side Two
“Are You Ready For The Sex Girls?” – Gleaming Spires
“Since You’re Gone” – The Cars
“I Know What Boys Like” – The Waitresses
“Airwaves” – The Fortune Band
“I Will Follow” – U2

There’s lots of good stuff here.  In fact, this may be the most aligned soundtrack I can recall.  By that I mean that almost every song lyric or title absolutely fits the scene it accompanies.  Examples abound: when Gary strikes out at a party, we hear Oingo Boingo’s “Better Luck Next Time” or when Gary comforts Diane with a hug, we hear Journey’s “Open Arms.”

The movie has been closely associated with the song “Just Once” by Quincy Jones (vocals by James Ingram), which was not included on the soundtrack release. Another song not appearing on the soundtrack album, “Oh No” by Commodores, is actually heard twice in its entirety in the movie.  Films rarely include a pop song played in its entirety, so having one played twice is indeed a rarity.

Our list includes four songs that made the soundtrack, but we’re bringing back six other great ones that Columbia chose to omit. Let’s take a look at the music cues from this underappreciated film, and appreciate ten great New Wave and R&B songs from its bitchin’ soundtrack.

Aaand… action!

The movie opens on our guy Gary, delivering pizzas around Los Angeles accompanied by Tommy Tutone’s “Teen Angel Eyes.” After completing his rounds, he heads over to the local hangout, a fast food joint called The Golden Bird, to meet up with some buddies.

At the Bird, Gary runs into Karen, his dream girl. Gary and his buddies try to pick up girls to the sounds of “Shake It Up” by The Cars. As Gary’s parents are conveniently out, the boys lure the girls to Gary’s house with the promise of cocaine. Fittingly, as they all drive to Gary’s house in the pink pizza delivery station wagon, we hear “Are You Ready for the Sex Girls?” by Gleaming Spires.

“Shake it Up” – The Cars

Once they’ve got the girls to Gary’s house, they all dance to “In the Flesh” by Blondie; a copy of The Eagles’ greatest hits album is visible by the turntable. The boys then realize they need to produce the cocaine they promised. They make a few lines of Sweet ‘N Low and the girls toot it up as “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” by The Police plays.

As the evening progresses, Gary and his friends make moves on the girls to the sounds of “I Know What Boys Like” by The Waitresses. Predictably, Gary’s parents arrive home to break up the party. During this interruption and the subsequent mad dash by the kids to the station wagon, we hear “Shake It Up” by The Cars again.

“I Know What Boys Like” – The Waitresses

At school the following week, we find the boys in gym class and in the locker room to the tune of “Whip It” by Devo. Later, at lunch, Gary can’t keep his eyes off Karen and he schemes to meet her as “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon plays. Gary asks Karen to a party that evening, but she has other plans. No mercy for Gary though, when we cut to the party where “Better Luck Next Time” by Oingo Boingo is playing as everybody dances.

“Keep on Lovin’ You” – REO Speedwagon

Heartbroken, Gary chugs whiskey as his buddy Rick slow dances with Karen to “Just Once” by Quincy Jones. Fueled by some liquid courage, Gary follows Karen into the bathroom for a “you don’t know what you’re missing” talk, soundtracked by “It Ain’t Easy Comin’ Down” by Charlene. The bathroom is decorated with strategically placed promo posters for both Oingo Boingo and Devo. And, as Gary stumbles from the bathroom, we see someone dancing wearing a Devo energy dome. Although clearly inebriated, Gary still gets behind the wheel to drive himself home accompanied by “When I Find You” by Phil Seymour.

Later, Gary makes a pizza delivery to Carmela, a woman whose active duty boyfriend is away at sea. Playing on outdated cultural stereotypes, we hear “Granada” by Los Fabulosos 3 Paraguayos, found on Los 3 Paraguayos (1966). Lonely Carmela is obviously interested in more than pizza, but Gary’s pager goes off and he uses that as an excuse to bolt.

Gary grabs his two buddies and they head back over to see Carmela, as “España Cani” by The Dancing Brass plays. The seduction of the boys is soundtracked by Los Fabulosos’s “Besame Mucho”, and appropriately,  “That’s the Way (I Like It)” by KC & The Sunshine Band. Not surprisingly, just before Gary enjoys some time with Carmela, her boyfriend returns and the three boys have to clear out quickly, again to the tune of “España Cani” by The Dancing Brass.

“That’s the Way I Like It” – KC & The Sunshine Band

That evening, Gary and Rick talk in the parking lot of The Golden Bird as “Airwaves” by The Fortune Band plays in the background. Awkwardly, Karen and Rick double with Gary and Karen’s friend, Rose. Again we hear “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon. One thing leads to another and the car, which the boys borrowed from a friend, slides into the Pacific Ocean as “Are You Ready for the Sex Girls?” by Gleaming Spires is reprised. Soaking wet and cold, the answer to that title’s question is a definite no.

“Are You Ready for the Sex Girls?” – Gleaming Spires

Later, at the Bird, the boys plan their evening. In particular, Rick thinks this is the night he’ll sleep with Karen, but Gary successfully thwarts those plans. On home video releases, the tune we hear is “Whip It” by Devo. In the original cinematic release, “Love Action (I Believe In Love)” by The Human League was used in this scene. The boys end up picking up a hooker on Sunset Boulevard.

“Whip It” – Devo

The hooker gives the boys a case of the crabs, which they mistakenly think they can drown in a pool. They try this at a public pool listening to “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” by The Police.

Back at the Golden Bird to the tune of “Since You’re Gone” by The Cars, Gary looks for Karen, but is told that Rick took Karen to the football field. In the stadium’s press box, Rick deflowers Karen as “Oh No” by Commodores plays. After creepily seeing Rick and Karen in the press box, heartbroken Gary returns to the Golden Bird. “Just Once” by Quincy Jones plays as Rick tells Gary of his conquest and Gary drives home in tears.

“Just Once” – Quincy Jones, featuring James Ingram

In the school library, Gary sees Karen arguing with Rick. It turns out the night in the press box led to Karen becoming pregnant and Rick suddenly wants nothing to do with Karen. She confides in Gary and he comforts her, taking her in his arms as “Open Arms” by Journey plays.

“Open Arms” – Journey

Gary continues to comfort Karen at his grandmother’s place, which has been untouched since her death. Again, “Oh No” by Commodores plays. Gary sells his stereo and borrows money from his boss to pay for Karen’s abortion as we hear “I Will Follow” by U2.

“Oh No” – Commodores

As Gary picks up Karen from the clinic, again we hear “Oh No” by Commodores. Karen recuperates at Gary’s grandmother’s house over the weekend, where Gary tearfully confesses his love to Karen as “Open Arms” by Journey plays again. Caught up in the moment, they kiss.

Assuming she is now his girlfriend, Gary scrapes up a few dollars and buys Karen an engraved locket for her birthday.  At Karen’s birthday party, friends dance to “Zero Hour” by The Plimsouls. As Gary enters, he sees that Karen has taken back Rick. Heartbroken yet again, Gary leaves the house without saying a word to anyone. He tearfully drives away as Quincy Jones’s “Just Once” is reprised. The end. And as the credits roll, we hear “Teen Angel Eyes” by Tommy Tutone one more time.

“Teen Angel Eyes” – Tommy Tutone

Gawd, when it cuts back to “Just Once” at the end? Breaks your heart. Forget about her, Gary. She’s no good for you!

While it bombed at the box office, the movie became a minor cult classic with viewings on cable throughout the ’80s on premium channels and USA Network’s classic Night Flight variety show. The movie is not currently available on any streaming service, and the soundtrack appears to be out of print. However, the movie can been found on several DVD compilations along with other ’80s classics, and there’s an “on demand” CD of the soundtrack available in Canada. You can also click here and watch the film in its entirety on YouTube. Add “zip” to your teen ’80s memories.

Please stick & stay for more great ’80s vibes

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Greatest One-Hit Wonders: 1981

Greatest One-Hit Wonders: 1980


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