Johnny Mandel

" In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, gopher' "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

Caddyshack is one of the more known screwball comedies of the 1980's, and it was Harold Ramis big break as director. Starring Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray as the unforgettable ground keeper that has a personal vendetta with a cute little gopher, Caddyshack continued on the success of National Lampoon's Animal House and Airplane. And La-La Land ultimately decided to release the music of it, 30 years after it aired on LP.

Caddyshack is however one of the few recent releases that brings us more songs than actual score material. Back then, songs were the driving force towards acclaim and ticket sales, and so producers needed a name to generate that success. When they knew Pink Floyd wasn't realistic, they turned to Kenny Loggins. Loggins who most people know today of the hit songs "Footloose" and "Danger Zone" was excited to get on board, and he did not only write the main song of the film but various others as well.

However when I think of Loggins I think mostly of those cool 80's pop tunes that stick in the mind for a long time. And listening to Caddyshack, I just don't have that feeling. Sure they are easy on the ears and will fit with whatever scene or character it tries to support, but I've heard a lot better, and I think many other people too. The main title song written for the movie is "I'm Alright", the laid back love song is "Lead the Way" and the upbeat one is "Mr. Right". The strange one is "Something on your Mind", while strangely the most enjoyable song is "Any Way you Want it", not by Loggins.

Even more strange is the actual score material of composer Johnny Mandel. Mandel who is known as the composer of MASH, Point Blank and Escape to Witch Mountain gets exactly 3 score cues, and sadly for the album 2 of them aren't even with musical themes from him. In "Divine Intervention" Richard Wanger's Ryde of the Valkyries is used, while the epic send off is for Tchaikovsky's 1812 in "The Big Bang. The only notable original music is the lounge jazz heard in "Marina".

It's been a long time since an album was released containing more songs than actual score, and if the score amounts up to about 7 minutes, with 5 of them being interpretations of classical music, it is pretty hard to grade this album fairly. The whole idea of Caddyshack was using the actual songs as underscore for the movie, and in that part is has succeeded. But it doesn't change the fact score material is a part of that too, and Mandel's music doesn't get the time nor the original approach to be remembered in the end. Caddyshack is for the fans of the screw ball comedy, because it holds too less for mainstream unaware buyers.

Score: **12
Songs: ***


1. I'm Alright: Kenny Loggins (3.35)
2. Lead the Way: Kenny Loggins (4.32)
3. Make the Movie: Kenny Loggins (3.45)
4. Mr. Right: Kenny Loggins (3.21)
5. Any Way You Want It: Journey (3.09)
6. There She Goes: The Beat (2.41)
7. Divine Intervention * (1.46)
8. Marina * (3.21)
9. Something on Your Mind: Hilly Michaels (2.44)
10. The Big Bang * (2.03)

* Music composed by Johnny Mandel

Total Length: 31.05
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 4 votes - average 3/5)

Released by

La-La Land Records LLLCD 1118 (limited release 2010)

Conducted by

Miles Goodman

Performed by

The Bushwood Orchestra