The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 25 Years of Absolute Pleasure
An album by Original Soundtrack
Music and lyrics by Richard O'Brien. Principal Cast: Tim Curry (Frank N Furter); Susan Sarandon (Janet Weiss); Barry Bostwick (Brad Majors); Richard O'Brien (Riff-Raff); Patricia Quinn (Magenta); Little Nell (Columbia); Jonathan Adams (Dr. Everett Scott); … see full wiki
Pros: Intro dialogue to every song, three extra tracks, one never heard before, nostalgia galore
Cons: Columbia's tap dance routine and the beloved "hot dog verse" are edited out
The Bottom Line: If you are a RHPS fanatic, this CD should be in your collection. With three extra songs and dialogue, plus all the lyrics, this CD is a must have.
I was a RHPS fanatic. Although the movie was released in 1975, it was alive and well at midnight showings when I entered college eight years later at age 17. For four years, most of my Friday nights were spent with a huge group of friends carrying squirt guns, newspaper, toilet paper, decks of cards, toast, and other "props" for the midnight showing of the so campy it was cool Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Since I know you are shivering with antic .. ipation for the review, I will give you a very short recap of the movie and tell you what to expect on the The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 25 Years Of Absolute Pleasure by Original Soundtrack.
It's Just a Jump to the Left
Rocky Horror Picture Show was written by and co-starred Richard O'Brien for the stage and then adapted for the big screen. I had the pleasure of meeting Richard O'Brien several years ago and I was as star struck as a kid meeting Santa. Not one of his helpers but the real Santa whose beard doesn't come off. O'Brien's back hump did come off, however.
The movie is a funky, campy musical that revolves around Fran-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania. (It could happen!)
Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) are young, innocent lovers whose car has a flat tire during a rainstorm in the middle of nowhere. Desperate, they stop at the first house with lights on which happens to be a castle that houses Frank-N-Furter and a hoard of his sexually charged, eccentric friends.
What luck! There just happens to be a party going on, a celebration of the unveiling of Rocky, a blond man with a tan, that Frank-N-Furter made (in just seven days).
The innocent couple is stunned to see a bustier clad, platform heel wearing Frank-N-Furter and various other strange beings doing various other strange things in the castle.
The movie is narrated throughout by a deadpanning Charles Gray who is the epitome of every really corny horror movie narrator ever.
Lots of sex - straight, bi, gay, group, incestual, cross-dressed, undressed - ensues, all without so much as a nipple slip. Somehow, this movie manages to completely sidestep graphic scenes yet still get in just about every taboo subject there is.
The innocent couple ends up not so innocent, the wild antics are eventually forcefully stopped by the handyman (Riff Raff played by Richard O'Brien) who deems that the lifestyle Frank-N-Furter and friends have been living is too extreme, and disaster strikes Frank-N-Furter.
In between all this, a dead guy (Eddie, played by Meatloaf) is eaten ("Meatloaf for dinner, again?"), the innocent, but oh so hot looking Rocky realizes his libido hasn't been controlled (Like anyone else's has in the movie?) and we are all encouraged not to dream it but to be it.
The movie is pretty extreme but it's really a take off on all the bad horror films made as well as a wacky romp through the eccentric mind of Richard O'Brien. To see this movie as anything but a parody is looking way too deeply into it.
Since you clicked on this review, you already know the storyline and probably know the audience participation lines - or at least some of them. This movie wasn't a "sit quietly and listen" type. The crowd screamed at the screen, threw things on cue, and dressed up as the characters when they showed up at midnight. I even managed to do the Time Warp a time or two and I was a conservative RHPS fanatic.
And then a Step to the Right
What makes this CD special and different from the original?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 25 Years Of Absolute Pleasure by Original Soundtrack features some tracks not previously released, dialogue leading into each song, and great liner notes along with all the lyrics of the songs and the dialogue that precedes them.
With Your Hands on Your Hips
The CD features the intro dialogue to every song which, for some, may be annoying. You can't skip it because it is on the same track as the song so, if you like straight music, you may not like this CD. However, I feel it gives the CD a certain uniqueness over the original soundtrack and I enjoy the intros.
Also on the CD are a few songs you won't find on any of the other soundtracks released.
The Sword Of Damocles, Once In A While (which is an outtake and was not performed in the movie), and Planet, and Schmanet, Janet Floor Show are on this CD whereas they were left off previous versions of the soundtrack.
The Sword of Damocles is the one solo Rocky (Peter Hinwood) sang and is only on this CD. I was told he had such a bad voice that they considered having him mouth the words but they went with his own voice at the last minute. Considering that most of the cast weren't singers, I really don't think Hinwood did a bad job with this song. I was ticked when the two other RHPS CD's I bought didn't have this song on them. ("That ain't no crime ")
You Bring Your Knees in Tight
Two things are notably missing, though. During The Time Warp, Columbia (Little Nel) does a one-minute tap routine that was always a hit with the fans. But, in every version of the song, that part is edited out. It is edited out on this CD as well.
For some strange reason, the entire "You're a hot dog but you better not try to hurt her, Frank-N-Furter" verse is abruptly cut from the end of Planet, Schmanet, Janet. That line is a classic and I have no idea why the producers (Rhino/Wea) decided to chop that verse out. It pains me not to hear it when I listen to this CD.
Still, every song plus one is on this CD so you can hear the whole movie in your head from start to finish - with dialogue prompts.
Sound quality is very good except for a couple of songs where the volume goes down a little and the sound is a bit tinny. Notably, the extra songs' quality is somewhat lower than the rest of the tracks but still fine to listen to.
This anniversary edition came out in 2000 and is still selling well today. I assume another CD will follow eventually with even more fun stuff and maybe even Nel's tap dance routine - and the hot dog verse!
But it's the Pelvic Thrust That Really Drives You Insane
The Track Listing:
1. Science Fiction, Double Feature 2. Dammit, Janet 3. Over At The Frankenstein Place 4. Time Warp 5. Sweet Transvestite 6. The Sword Of Damocles 7. I Can Make You A Man 8. What Ever Happened To Saturday Night? 9. I Can Make You A Man (Reprise) 10. Toucha-Toucha-Touch Me 11. Once In A While 12. Eddie's Teddy 13. Planet, Schmanet, Janet Floor Show 14. Rose Tint My World 15. Don't Dream It. Be It 16. Wild And Untamed Thing 17. I'm Going Home 18. Super Heroes 19. Science Fiction, Double Feature (Reprise)
Lets Do The Time Warp Again!
This CD is a must for any Rocky Horror Picture Show fanatic. If you still get excited when you flip through the channels and see the movie playing on an obscure cable station or if you still have an urge to scream "Where's your neck?" to thick necked men you happen to pass by, you'll enjoy this CD.
The liner notes and lyrics are a great extra, especially with the dialogue included, and the extra songs round out what is one of the worst best CDs ever to be made. The outrageous lyrics, purposely campy music, and laughable dialogue combine to make this CD one that you will be singing along with (and probably better than most of the original singers too!!). It's hard not to bust out singing "Toucha toucha toucha me, I wanna be dirty!" on a commute or "I'm not much of man by the light of day but by night I'm one hell of a lover" while listening to your iPod at the doctor's office. But try to quell your enthusiasm to avoid strange looks.
I saw this movie hundreds of times and saw the live musical in New York City and various other cities (Smaller tour groups, usually). It's infectious, addicting, and undeniably campy. If you like the movie, you REALLY like the movie, and will love this CD. If you don't like the movie or *gasp* haven't seen it, the last thing you will want to do is to listen to this CD.
For you fans of the whole RHPS revolution, I highly recommend this CD for the extra songs and dialogue and the memories it all brings back.
5 stars - even without the hot dog verse.
Great Music to Play While: Getting ready to go out
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