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The early-'60s pop group The Wonders never existed outside ofThat Thing You Do, Tom Hanks' feature-film directorial debut--but a lot of bands like them sure did. If you've seen the movie, I defy you to resist the title song--a perfect pop confection that captures the musical spirit of the era (and the high spirits of the movie) with cleverness and glee. (The deadpan "historical" liner notes are priceless.) The first song, "Lovin' You Lots and Lots" (written by Hanks himself) is a hilariously awful example of the insipid "grown-up" pop Muzak of the mid-'60s (performed by the Ray Coniff-like "Norm Wooster Singers"), but the element of parody in these tracks is suffused with affection. And, dammit, these are some really catchy toe-tappers! In addition to some other Wonders hits (not the least of which is "Shrimp Shack," from their first movie appearance inWeekend at Party Pier), there's also a girl-group single ("Hold My Hand, Hold My Heart" by the Chantrellines); a teen hearbreak anthem ("My World is Over" by Diane Dane); "one of the seminal jazz recordings of 1958" ("Time To Blow," by Del Paxton) ... and much, much more!--Jim Emerson
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Label:  Sony
ArtistAdam Schlesinger
Genre:  Soundtrack
Release Date:  September 24, 1996
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review by . September 15, 2005
posted in Music Matters
THAT THING YOU DO! had to be a labor of love for Tom Hanks. After all, the guy not only wrote and directed the movie, he also acted in it and was one of the producers as well as one of the musical producers, too. And he wrote the lyrics and music for several of the film's songs. Juggling so many hats, one might think THAT THING YOU DO! wouldn't stand up well years after it was released. That assumption is wrong as can be illustrated just by listening to the movie's soundtrack.    The …
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