As a cult classic and fan favorite, Caddyshack has stood the test of time for almost three decades now, with fans still quoting their favorite one-liners from this off-beat Harold Ramis comedy to each other, on the golf course and off. The soundtrack has been out-of-print for quite some time now, and was never before available on CD. Now digitally re-mastered from the original master tapes and repackaged in a special limited edition reissue (only 3500 units) by La-La Land Records and Sony Music the music of Caddyshack is once again available to fans.
Featuring three excellently varying score tracks from composer Johnny Mandel, the soundtrack for Caddyshack nonetheless opens with four straight Kenny Loggins songs, beginning with the memorable Caddyshack theme “I’m Alright” – a catchy rock tune that reached #7 on the pop charts in October of 1980 while Caddyshack was proving itself a surprise hit in theatres. With only 31 minutes of music included on the entire album it’s a bit of a letdown that the first half of the album is solely reserved for Kenny Loggins. While his music plays perfectly behind the comedic bits in the film, the lengthy “Lead The Way” is unapologetically pop-romantic and throws the album’s tone off a bit, especially centered between the energetic “I’m Alright” and the equally jumpy number “Make The Move.” Fans of the film will be more forgiving of this musical dissonance, picturing the scenes from the film that each song represents, most notably in this vein are Loggins’ “Mr. Night” – the song that highlights the taking over of the country club swimming pool and the Journey hit “Any Way You Want It” blasting out of Al Czervik’s radio-equipped golf bag.
But it’s the impressive score work of Johnny Mandel that highlights this soundtrack collection. Not because it’s decidedly “better” than anything else on the album, but because now that most music is readily available for purchase one track at a time (including any Kenny Loggins and Journey tunes) the score music becomes the most difficult music to locate and acquire, making it a hot commodity, especially if that score music is as memorable as Mandel’s work here. With “Divine Intervention” – his adaptation of Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”- Mandel builds to a dramatic climax using choral voices and crashing cymbals before the music fades into the decidedly different “Marina,” a jazzy number with shaking percussion memorable of ice clinking in a glass. But it’s the jauntily expressive “The Big Bang” – a number that tracks Bill Murray’s climactic attempts to destroy his enemy the gopher – that truly stands out on this album. A take-off of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” this piece effectively sums up the literal explosiveness of the final scenes of Caddyshack.
This re-release is more of a fans-only venture than a standard re-release. With an in-depth history of the film, the actors, the director, and, of course, the music of the film laid out in the extensive liner notes, fans will be hard-pressed to find a more complete collection of musical information on their favorite film. Those with a passing interest in the film may be less impressed.
Zach’s Rating: B-
Perfect For: Fans of Caddyshack, duh
Stay Away if: You already have all the Kenny Loggins you can stand
To purchase the soundtrack for Caddyshack, visit La-La Land Records