“But if you open your heart to a smooth operator
He’ll take you for all that you’ve got
He’ll hand you a curse that’ll be with you later
It’ll shake you the way he takes off, like a shot”
Written by Richard O’Brien/Richard Hartley
Produced by Richard Hartley
Taken from the album Shock Treatment: Original Soundtrack
I’ve said before that the film Shock Treatment is among the most ridiculous, nonsensical things I’ve ever seen and how the music was it’s one saving grace (that and camp value). It also happened to give us one of the most amazing pop songs you will ever hear, and the sad thing is that not many people will ever hear it. Buried on the soundtrack of an uber-flop eighties musical, you will find ‘Shock Treatment’, the title song and theme from this craptacular spectacle.
The thing that makes ‘Shock Treatment’ so amazing is, like with many Richard O’Brien songs, melody. The “ooh, shock treatment!” line from the chorus will never leave your brain once it’s in there, and the verses are nearly as infectious. The lyrics are well-written even if they don’t make much sense, fitting in with the rest of the work, but I’m past caring once that chorus kicks back in.
And it seems that before it really gets going, it’s over. Lasting just two minutes and twenty seconds, it’s a burst of pop perfection that begs for repeated listens because you need to hear that melody and that chorus again. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been used for something a bit, well, better, but it’s sort of cool to have it be so obscure, as you feel like you’ve discovered this pop classic nobody else knows about.