Mr. Bean

REVIEW: Bean – The Album (1997 soundtrack)


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.


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!




Part 223: The Bird

Bird bird bird bird is the word

RECORD STORE TALES Part 223:  The Bird

I hated doing bank runs.  Bank runs were required to make sure we had plenty of change in the register.  The denominations we tended to run out of most frequently were $1’s, $2’s, and $5’s.  Because we were buying used CDs (often offering between $1 and $6 per disc) it’s understandable how we could go through a tray full of $5’s in short order.

We’d run out all the time and I was sick and tired of getting in shit for running out of $5 bills.  I started a routine: once a week, we did a massive bank run that would always last us through the weekend and into the Monday.  Then, people complained that we had a lot of change to count in our register – but I never ran out anymore.

I’d call the bank up, and place my change order.  One time over 10 years ago, I brought one of my employees with me to do the change run.  The reasons for this were twofold.  One, I was carrying a lot of money and I liked having another person with me as backup.  Second, it was a good way of showing him how to do the change run for the future.

There’s usually a special “business line” at the bank that lets you cut the crowds.  We went into that line (overhearing a few people sneer, “how come they get to go before me when I’ve been waiting 20 minutes?”).  We got our change fairly quickly, and headed back out.

We got into my car and and began to make our way back to the store.  There were two traffic lanes heading out:  One a left-turn only lane, and one a right-turn or straight lane.  We were going straight, so I stopped at the red light.

We sat at the red light, shooting the shit, talking about music, when we both noticed a persistent honking behind us.  I looked over my shoulder and I saw a lady in a red car behind us yelling, and gesturing wildly.

“Is she honking at us?” I asked Chris, a little confused.

“I think so!” he answered.  “I think she wants to turn right.”

I watched her a bit in my mirror.  I think this only made her more angry, because her movements became even more animated.  I couldn’t make out what she was yelling, but she sure was letting it out.

“This is kind of weird,” I said.  “Nothing I can do about it though…I’m still going straight!”  I don’t think she knew we were both in a straight/right turn lane.  Maybe she had a disorder that rendered her incapable of reading street signs.

“The light’s green…just gun it, I’ll flip her the bird,” Chris said.

She had beaten Chris to the punch though, already waving her left hand in the air, finger up high, yelling and screaming at us as she finally made her right turn.  I was just glad she didn’t follow us to the store, which was right across the street!  People can be really weird about stuff like that these days.  And that’s the story of the weirdest bank run we ever did.