#MusicMonday – July 27, 2020

I know you think, I’m no match for you, Music Monday…

You like making it rough on me don’t, don’t you, Music Monday? My, my…

My, my indeed.

Caddyshack holds a special, legendary status as a sports film and a comedy.  Its sequel, on the other hand, is legendary because of how many people didn’t believe it was a good idea to even have a sequel.  Rodney Dangerfield dropped out of the film, Harold Ramis tried (unsuccessfully) to get his name removed from the writer’s credit, and even Bill Murray tried to sue because the gopher – yes, the gopher – was a total rip off of his creation.

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This little dancing vermin, and Chevy Chase, needed the work.

I’m not going to say this is the greatest film ever, but at a “PG” rating, they were clearly trying to make this movie more appealing to a younger audience.  It barely worked for Major League 2 (I loved that movie when I was twelve years old, and still love it, but let’s face it, it doesn’t hold a baseball bat to Major League), so who thought a film that prided itself on being a little bit lewd could be cleaned up for the kids?  I was 5 1/2 the summer Caddyshack II came out, and didn’t see it until I was about twelve years old.  I would never have understood any of it at 5 1/2, and well, at 12, some of it was a bit over my head.

The sequel was my first Caddyshack – I wasn’t allowed to watch the first one until my teens, and once I saw that one…the sequel sucked.  I’ve seen it plenty times, and it gets some giggles from me.  But is it the one I run to first?  No.  No way.  I hate all those times I fast forwarded through the video my parents had both movies recorded on, trying to get to the sequel without seeing anything in the first film, except a second here and a second there.  We had a few recordings like that – had to fast forward through the R-rated movie we weren’t allowed to watch to get to the movie we were allowed to watch.

If Caddyshack II was “The Law of Diminishing Returns” on film, the soundtrack was…quite the opposite.

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Image: Discogs

The shack is back, baby…whether we wanted it to be or not.

Caddyshack II: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on July 19, 1988 to coincide with the release of the film (July 22, 1988), with the single “Nobody’s Fool” serving as the movie’s theme.  This song was sung by none other than the incredible Kenny Loggins, who penned four – count ’em, four! – songs for the original film.

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Loggins hesitated on contributing a song for this movie, as he was convinced lightning wouldn’t strike twice.  1988 was the height of his “King of the Soundtrack” glory.  At the same time, he also had a new non-soundtrack album coming out called Back to Avalon, which featured non-soundtrack songs mingling with soundtrack songs – this song and 1987’s “Meet Me Halfway” from another box office stinker, Over The Top.  Just because the movies are terrible doesn’t mean the music is – Loggins knows how to strike gold with his songs, even if they’re the highlight of the film.

The resulting theme, “Nobody’s Fool,” reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and spent 11 weeks on that chart.  It was Loggins’ fourth soundtrack single to reach the Top 10.  Loggins had already become the first male artist to have three Top 10 singles from three different films, so apparently, not only did lightning strike twice, the third time was the charm.  So…what is four?  Four leaf clover?

The song itself is not at all a Law of Diminishing Returns – it is a great song!  You feel good hearing it, full of hype and energy, and you’re excited to watch a movie…until you realize what you’re watching.  Then you’re instantly sad.

The rest of the soundtrack has a pretty impressive lineup.  Earth Wind and Fire, recently reunited after a four-year hiatus, contributes a very Earth Wind and Fire-esque song, “Turn On (The Beat Box)”  which has a smooth late 1980s R&B sound. Remember their “contribution” of “Boogie Wonderland” for the original film?  Yeah, they actually made it to the soundtrack this time, not just the instrumental introduction played by a band playing music for “The Dance of the Living Dead.”  There’s also songs by The Pointer Sisters, Cheap Trick, Full Force, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Patti Smyth, Tamara Champlin (whose husband, Bill Champlin, was a lead vocalist and doubled on keyboard and guitar with Chicago at this time), as well as Eric Martin and Ira Newborn, who handled the music for this film.

Soundtracks don’t exactly save films, and this film didn’t stand a chance.  Released on July 22, 1988, it received negative reviews, and made $11.8 million against its $20 million budget.  Some of the casting is pretty good – I grew up watching Unsolved Mysteries, and for me, Robert Stack is the host of that show, and nothing else.  It has always been mind blown to see him in anything other than a trench coat, telling us about some guy who exploited people and ran off with their money, or someone who murdered five people and hasn’t been found.  Jackie Mason, on the other hand, is about a 20 steps down from Rodney Dangerfield, basically doing what Rodney did – his comedy act – but not nearly as funny.  My husband loves Dan Aykroyd’s character in the film, as do I.

The film doesn’t stack up to the original, as sequels tend to do, but its soundtrack succeeds where the film fails.

This playlist is worth listening to – and watching, since it has Kenny Loggins’ “Nobody’s Fool” music video on it – to see where a movie with a great theme, and “on par” (see what I did there?) music, could go so very wrong.

No, I’m not talking about memories of Caddyshack II – I’ve made it perfectly clear that the soundtrack commands my attention, but the rest of the movie doesn’t.  Perhaps I’ll change my mind at some point, but right now, for me, it isn’t worthy of celebrating.  Plus, it came out 32 years ago.  That’s not a special year.

I may not look so smart, but I’m nobody’s fool.  I know a good movie – and soundtrack – when I see/hear it!

Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!

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