I will be going LIVE at 12:30 AM (ET) Saturday morning with Robert Daniels on VISIONS IN SOUND. Tune in on your dial to 98.5 or internet to CKWR! If you’re in the UK, why not wake up with us and some cool soundtrack music?
May was Star Wars month on Visions In Sound, but now it’s June and it’s also the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars parody Spaceballs! We will be spinning music and discussing this comedy classic. Jason Drury and I will help Rob with the celebration. Join Us THIS Saturday 12:30-2:30am (ET)
Composer John Morris has a long career working with Mel Brooks. The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles…all that was John Morris. He is also responsible for the “Spaceballs Main Title Theme”, which is intentionally cheesy complete with laser beam sounds. Any spoof of Star Wars should also spoof the music, and the title theme suits that role. It sounds 50% Star Wars, and 50% The Last Starfighter. It’s rousing but not at all serious, and a fine indication of the kind of movie that Spaceballs is. The film wasn’t so well received back in 1987, but today it is fondly remembered. Mel Brooks is even considering a sequel.
Kim Carnes and Jeffrey Osborne provide the love ballad “My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own”. I enjoy Kim’s rasp, always nice to hear, but I couldn’t tell you what scene in the movie this goes with (and I’ve seen the movie 100 times at least.) You can safely skip this one. Berlin have a cool track called “Heartstrings”, produced by none other than Bob Ezrin! This one is worth a listen.
The “Spaceballs Love Theme” is a violin piece composed Morris and performed by Gerry Vinci. It too has a hint of corniness, but it could also fit into just about any Hugh Grant rom-com. Also by Morris is “The Winnebago Crashes”, the point in the film in which our heroes crash on the desert planet. This is an action packed centerpiece, with drums pattering away and horns ablaze. This is melded with a tension-filled “The Spaceballs Build Mega Maid”. Too bad these bits had to be edited together for the album.
“Spaceballs” by the Detroit Spinners is a hoot. This is pure 80s soundtrack music. Who you gonna call? You’re in the right ballpark anyway. It’s fun, and funny. The Pointer Sisters have “Hot Together”, and it sounds just like the Pointer Sisters. Disposable 80s pop but fun in the moment. In a similar vein is “Wanna Be Loved By You” by a group called Ladyfire. If you miss the days of the Bangles and Bananarama, then you’d dig Ladyfire.
Of course the Spaceballs movie had a lot more music than this. It’s clear that this CD is just a cross-section with an emphasis on pop, which would have been the selling point for most. Those who have seen the movie know there were two more big songs. One was “Raise Your Hands” from Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet. That’s not on the CD, but Van Halen’s “Good Enough” is. Fans will recall that this song is playing as Barf (John Candy) and Lone Star (Bill Pullman) enter the space diner, just before John Hurt’s chest explodes and gives birth to an Alien. It’s good to know that Eddie Van Halen’s axe will still be wailing away in the distant future. Van Hagar were perfect music for the sleazy diner and it’s nice to get one rock song on this CD.
There is also a 19th Anniversary Edition available, expanded with all the cues and alternate takes too. Still no Bon Jovi though….
2.5/5 stars (for this edition)