This is where I drop a slightly less than subtle reminder that technically these little music posts aren’t really reviews or recommendations and more just, what I like with a bit of my own “musical journey” sprinkled in.
The last bit is where today’s entry falls in. The Oliver and Company soundtrack has a vaguely special place for me, not for being overly notable, or even that I enjoy it a lot. It’s the first album I ever purchased, technically. Released back in 1988, and probably purchased around that time. I have vague memories of it, I bought (or maybe it was a birthday present or something) a portable cassette player, and of course, I needed some music to go with it. I remember deciding on the Oliver and Company Soundtrack. I will add, I know that I also had the TMNT Movie soundtrack very early, so it’s possible that it was purchased at the same time. I want to say I was with my grandparents and after picking what I was spending my allowance on, they may have purchased the other to go with it.
I still have the cassette tape. Though I don’t seem to have the TMNT one anymore.
I suppose it’s worth mentioning the movie a bit. I have, almost zero memory of the movie itself. It’s a Disney retelling of Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, only instead of people orphans, it’s about stray animals. Oliver is a little kitten, his friend Dodger is a dog, of some kind, played by Billy Joel. It almost feels like a bit of a prototype for “modern Disney” musically. Yeah, even the older Disney movies had plenty of music, but it feels like this was the first time they tried to really push a Pop song for the soundtrack, with Why Should I Worry by Billy Joel. The next animated film they did with The Little Mermaid was the one with the real hit music soundtrack though. Like I said, it felt a bit like a prototype for this concept that would become kind of the cornerstone of Disney films afterwards.
Anyway it consists of 11 tracks, 6 of which I remember not really caring for because they were “boring music” (instrumental) tracks. Basically, I’d always just listen to one side of this tape, then rewind it instead of flipping it over. I probably didn’t even make it all the way through the first side though. I don’t think I really cared a lot for the Bette Midler track, Perfect Isn’t Easy, and the follow up Good Company isn’t really a rocking pop hit either.
It almost feels like I didn’t really like this album at all, though I am sure I did, because listening to it again, before writing about it, I still remembered a lot of the lyrics, especially to Why Should I Worry, which is basically the “stand out hit” of the entire thing, and probably the movie. I mean, the hired Billy Joel to voice a cartoon dog, and it feels like they did it to get him to provide this song for the soundtrack. As of this writing, Billy Joel has 52 acting credits on IMDB, and Dodge from Oliver and Company, is the ONLY one where he isn’t credited as playing “Billy Joel”.
Anyway, the two non instrumental tracks I have not mentioned, One Upon a Time in New York City and Streets of Gold are also alright, with Huey Lewis doing the former and Ruth Pionter doing the latter. Streets of Gold and Why Should I Worry are definitely the stand out tracks though on this soundtrack though.