Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2019 February 11 • Monday

The 556th Soundtrack of the Week is a mixture of song and score, with Kenny Loggins providing most of the former and Johnny Mandel in charge of the latter, for the classic comedy Caddyshack.

Kenny Loggins had a good run of movie themes back then: Footloose, Top Gun and Caddyshack. I'd never thought much about him before. He waw funny on Archer when he showed up to play the "Danger Zone" song that had been a running joke in the show. And I'd always liked the song "Footloose" and can remember a few bits from the movie.

But when I saw Loggins on Live at Daryl's House doing these songs live, I got really into them and became a fan. (He tells the story of having written a theme song for Flashdance as well but wasn't able to sing it well enough because he'd broken a few ribs so that one wasn't used and ended his movie theme streak.)

As far as movie theme songs go, Loggins's "I'm Alright (Theme from Caddyshack)" is one of my all-time favorites. It's a favorite song in general and I've probably listened to it a hundred times in the last few weeks. It has a few different sections, several different musical zones and tones, a sense of humor as well as a feeling of triumph and it all coheres perfectly. If this were the only thing Kenny Loggins had ever done, it would be enough to make me a fan.

He does sappy love songs, too, though, as the piano ballad "Lead the Way" demonstrates. The song is nice but not really special. It's a good showcase for Loggins's voice, a strong and versatile instrument.

Then there's "Make the Move", which starts out as an extension of the "own heart beating" section from "I'm Alright" and then takes the verse groove from that song and adds different lyrics ("Make the move" instead of "I'm Alright").

Mr. Loggins gets "funky" and frisky in "Mr. Night", at least in the very beginning. Then it settles into a fairly square but brisk and uptempo "rock and roll" toe-tapping sort of song with some country seasonings. It's not bad but "I'm Alright" is a really hard act to follow.

After this comes the Journey song "Any Way You Want It". Decent song but... there's nothing to say about this, is there? If you've heard it you know everything you need to know about it. If you haven't heard it, all you have to do is hear it and then you'll know too.

"There She Goes" by the power-pop band Paul Collins' Beat comes next and this was a new one for me. I like it a lot, it's driving and high-energy with a nice blend of instruments and voices.

And then we finally get some Johnny Mandel score, though "Divine Intervention" is an intentionally obvious pastiche of the famous "Ride of the Valkyries" and doesn't have much to offer beyond that.

Mandel's "Marina" is a bubbly lounge piece that has to be source music for the upper crust and WASPy country club where I presume this movie takes place.

Then there's "Something on Your Mind" by Hilly Michaels, an agreeably goofy and tongue-in-cheek overblown rock pop song.

The record closes with another classical music pastiche by Johnny Mandel, this time the 1812 Overture with drums and synth and electric guitar and it's all pretty silly and probably works perfectly in the movie.