Crosby, Stills, and Nash’s Unused, Then Used, WARGAMES Theme Song


Until last night I don’t think I’ve ever watched the 1983 techno-thriller Wargames in full. Since recently re-reading Ernest Cline’s debut novel Ready Player One in which the movie plays an important role at some point I had been on the hunt for a copy to see if it was just as good as I had been lead to believe lo these many years.

Surprise, surprise, surprise, as a somnolent Gomer Pyle might say. Wargames is a masterful and witty flick that remains relevant to this day, which is not an easy feat for a movie made in the early 1980’s to accomplish. I loved it and will definitely be giving the Blu-ray a permanent home in my collection. But enough about that. Reading up on the movie I was intrigued to discover that a theme song had been recorded for the movie by the rock group Crosby, Stills, and Nash but was cut from inclusion in the final film. Studio MGM/UA decided to make a music video of the song anyhow using clips from Wargames that got airplay on MTV. The song “War Games” was later included as one of two studio tracks on CSN’s live album Allies.

It’s not a great song by any stretch of the imagination, and it is very, very, VERY 80’s. But nowhere near as 80’s as the entirety of former band mate Neil Young’s album Trans. Plus the video features an unbelieavably young Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs) and the late John Spencer (The Negotiator) staring intently into the camera for a second. That counts for a whole lot in my book….which isn’t a real book but rather a tired figure of speech.

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