REVIEW: Bean – The Album (1997 soundtrack)

MOVIE SOUNDTRACK WEEK


BEAN – The Album (1997 Mercury)

Every once in a while, you just have to buy an album for one song!

Never mind that Randy Newman’s classic “I Love L.A.” isn’t on the CD, even though it was the most memorable song in the Bean movie.  Included instead is “I Love L.A.” as performed by…O.M.C.!  Remember him?  “How Bizarre”!  His one hit had expired and I guess somebody thought they could re-work the “magic” on “I Love L.A.”.  Maybe because both guys have a kind of flat voice, somebody assumed it would work.  It does not!  Why this would have been recorded, instead of simply using the Newman classic, I have no idea at all.


NOT INCLUDED.

You can also safely skip Boyzone (boy band crap but at least with a 70’s groove), somebody just called “Louise” (70’s-sounding easy listening), Thomas Jules Stock (barf-inducing pop), another person just called “Gabrielle” (60’s sounding soul), “Blair” (really stinky rap), and Code Red (saccharine soul pop).  Some of these tracks aren’t even in the movie.  If you want to hear some soul or funk, just put on an actual album by an original artist.

Songs you may want to give a moment to listen to include the campy 80’s classic “Walking on Sunshine” (Katrina and the Waves).  You never know when you might need that song in a collection.  Another good one to have is “I Get Around”, the original surf classic by the Beach Boys.  From 1964, the Boys were in perfect voice, singing Brian Wilson’s genius melodies.  Unfortunately it is interrupted in the fade by Peter MacNicol with movie dialogue.  There are a number of tracks with this issue.  Wet Wet Wet do a surprisingly decent version of “Yesterday” (in the movie, sung by Peter MacNicol).  It’s too sweet and shopping market ready, but hey:  it’s “Yesterday”.  Movie dialogue spoils this one too, at the start of the track.  Why do that?  I’m not familiar with the Wet Wet Wet discography, but this song does seem to be exclusive to the soundtrack (or at least was at the time).  What a way to ruin a track for the fans.

Worth noting is loop-laden “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Susanna Hoffs.  This funky version is worth having for Hoffs fans, but everyone else can safely stick with the Steeler’s Wheels original.  Also fun is “Art for Art’s Sake”, the 1975 original by art-rock band 10cc.  In the movie, Mr. Bean works at an art gallery.  Get the connection?

So what’s the one song I bought this album for?  A rarity.

BEAN AND BRUCEBack in 1992, Bruce Dickinson was working on solo material with the UK band Skin.  The album would eventually become Balls to Picasso, but it was a long way getting there.  I’m not sure what led Bruce to Mr. Bean.  Divine intervention perhaps?  Two of England’s finest exports had to meet, I suppose, and when they did, they covered “Elected” by Alice Cooper.  This was done for a music video coinciding with the general election that year.  As a final track, the Bean soundtrack reissued this hard to find single.  Bruce sings the vocals rather straight, very raspy, very much like his 1990 No Prayer for the Dying voice.  Rowan Atkinson in character as Mr. Bean reviews his campaign promises between Bruce’s growls.  “To help the Health Service, I promise never to get ill.”  Other promises include stopping everyone in Dover from going to the toilet (cutting pollution).  “I’m the nice one in the tweed jacket,” he says.  “Well it was a present actually.”

I’m a Mr. Bean fan, but there is little of appeal on this CD.  After all, Mr. Bean’s gimmick is that he rarely speaks.  Therefore, the movie dialogue stuff isn’t necessary.  It’s a shame they ruined tracks by putting dialogue on the fades.  If they had included the Randy Newman track, I might’ve been able to bump this CD up by half a star.

1/5 stars

Sorry Mr. Bean.  Your CD gets the dreaded Flaming Turd!

 

 

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26 comments

  1. ““Walking on Sunshine” (Katrina and the Waves). You never know when you might need that song in a collection.”

    Yeah, like when you’re thinking ‘damn, it’s been a long time since I sat in the dentist’s waiting room and I miss it so much. :)

    Liked by 1 person

        1. The needles they give me do not work. They give me a bunch and i have to wait a half hour and still nothing.

          Then I grip the chair and tell Dr. Feelbad to go ahead and grind away while I enjoy the nerve ending shooting pain.

          Oh and on the drive home the needles kick in and I get to bite my tongue without feeling it.

          Fun times.

          Like

        2. They gave me the gas to knock me out one time, apparently I laughed hysterically through the entire thing. Dentist said it was hard to work because he was trying not to laugh with me. I have no memory of it at all.

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  2. Nice one! We’ve all bought an album for one track, at one time or another. I’d say Bruce Bruce is an excellent reason! The rest of it here, though, pretty forgettable. I mean, we all already have the original Beach Boys in our collection, so…

    Flaming Turd For Hump Day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. While to movie was OK. The soundtrack left much to be desired. The film works as an introduction to Bean to Joe and Jane America. However, I was well aware of the show long before the movie came out. I found the humour in the movie was watered down for a North American audience who was not aware of Bean.

    It’s not unusual for producers to swap out songs in the film on the soundtrack. Sometimes the movie company gets the rights for the film but not for a soundtrack release. (Such as the before mentioned Heavy Metal or Rock and Rule) I have never really been a fan of Randy Newman with a few exceptions. So the swapping out of I Love L.A. was not a big thing for me. Unfortunately the rest was kind of boring except for maybe the Howard Goodall cue but that’s because I’m a score fanatic and any little bit of score they include on a release was welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it was clearly a movie aimed at American audiences. My sister first told me about Mr. Bean in the early 90’s. “He’s so funny, he’s this awkward guy who doesn’t talk!” What?? That didn’t sound funny to me. But she was right. I watched some Bean over at Peter Cavan’s house and soon bought the Bean box set from Jumbo Video!

      Like

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