Oliver and Company Original Soundtrack

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.

Evangelion Finally

While I’ll talk a bit on this album, Evangelion Finally, this also covers the vinyl version of this album. So, a bit of a story here. I really don’t plan to collect up a ton of records for my recently activated vinyl hobby, but I really could not resist this one when I came across it. I was originally looking into albums at Best Buy, because I had some credit, and went to do some price comparisons, then this one, and another came up as recommended. Which has spawned a bit of a new angle of interest for my vinyl buying. Anime Albums, and to some extend, Video Game albums.

I already have a plan to build a narrow wall shelf over my record player space, and this album, will look so nice propped up on the wall. I almost wish I had a good way to also show off some of the records themselves in the display because they are often quite nice looking. This album included, it has two records, both a nice splattered hot pink color. The cover has this very vibrant image of Rei Ayanami on it.

I should probably rewind a bit more on why I care about this album. I am not currently a particularly huge Anime fan, but I used to be one. I really can’t stand a lot of modern Anime, but still like a lot of those old, 90s, early 2000s classics. Evangelion is up there as one of my favorites as well. I re-watched it recently on Netflix and it’s still really good. The soundtrack is also pretty good, though this album is not the complete sound track. It’s mostly just, all the vocal tracks, minus a few dozen versions of Fly Me to the Moon.

Back around the time I was in college, I listened to the complete soundtrack pretty regularly.

While the whole album is pretty good, assuming you are fan of Evangelion and music in Japanese, I find most of the “meat” of this album is front loaded in the first 5 tracks. As one would expect, it opens with the opening track from the series, A Cruel Angel’s Thesis. The second track is a nice version of Fly me the The Moon. Yes, the same song often associated Frank Sinatra. For those who may be unaware, this song was played during the end credits of each episode of the series, though each episode also featured a different take and version of the song.

The third and fourth tracks are from the two movies, Soul’s Refrain and Thanatos-If I can’t Be Yours-. Both tracks are good, but the fifth track is the fan favorite from The End of Evangelion, Komm, Süsser Tod (Come, Sweet Death). This track plays during the Third Impact event as the world ends during the movie, and it’s probably the most upbeat sounding song about death that you’ll ever find. It’s also a bit of an odd juxtaposition of language, the title is German, it’s from a Japanese show and sung by a Japanese woman, but the words are all in English. There is also a Japanese version of this song at Track 12, though it’s a different mix for the instrumentals.

A lot of the rest of the album I don’t immediately recognize, aside from Track 11, Shiawase wa Tsumi no Nioi. This kind of tracks with my experience with Evangelion as a whole. The one track I do recognize was from a Dreamcast game, and while I have never played the game, it would have ended up in my soundtrack pile of Evangelion media back in the day. Most of the other tracks seem to come from the more recent V2.0 Remake anime. I have, sort of watched, parts of this, but I couldn’t get into it as much as the original series at all.

While I admit, I mostly bought this album on vinyl because I want to to hand up among my wall display, it is a good collection of music from the series.