Insights – Don Perry (Music Supervisor)

Don Perry, the Music Supervisor on Night of the Comet, shared some insight into the Soundtrack for the film during a chat on Facebook. Adding to a discussion on the Night of the Comet Facebook Group page regarding the availablility of some of the tracks from the film, Don graciously posted the following:

Chat With Don Perry On Night Of The Comet Facebook Group Page (May 2014)

I was hired by Crawford and Lane to produce the music for the film. When I saw the initial screening they had temporarily scored it with hit songs and wanted to include as many of them as I could license. They had success with this format with their previous picture, Valley Girl. That picture was made for $350,000 and ultimately the music rights cost them another $250,000. To include the songs they wanted in Comet would have cost close to a million dollars.

We quickly went to “plan B” and had to record 19 original songs and the cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Tami. I had a lot of help from friends, and Bob Summers and I produced the equivalent of two albums in very short time.

Having said that, I’m very proud of the quality of the artists and songs and remain disappointed that we couldn’t make a deal with a major record company… the film didn’t initially stay in the theaters long enough to shop a deal. Macola Records released it but there were a few songs we couldn’t include that I would have liked due to contractual problems and the record companies choices. I still think Learn to Love Again could have been a hit with a major release.

While Don didn’t keep a note of the songs that were originally planned for the film, he does recall that,

…each one was a monster hit and of course the producers had fallen in love with every one of them.

The first and last one I tried to license for them was The Police, Every Breath You Take. This was the song they wanted in the worst way. It was the best selling single of 1983 and the album Synchronicity sold over 8 million copies in the US alone. When the price started at $50,000, I knew we were in trouble. When licensing songs it’s possible to get a favor rate but companies were always smart enough to include a “favored nation” clause, which meant if you paid more to another company for a song they would get the same. As you can see if we paid that much for one song, they would all want that. You can see why we went with original songs. Personally, I relished the creative challenge. It’s more fun to make records than just license them.

I went right from Comet to Girls Just Want To Have Fun (1985) where we did about 15 songs for that picture.