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Music Review: Caddyshack (Soundtrack)

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I must confess that I don’t like the film Caddyshack. I don’t think it’s funny. I think the gopher is dumb. And, to me, golf humor is tantamount to watching paint dry — in short, boring.

My weakness, however, is music — '80s in particular. As well as soundtracks. Which is why I think the soundtrack for 1980s Caddyshack is mildly entertaining.

The most redeemable quality of this album, which clocks in at just over 31 minutes, is that four of the 10 tracks are performed by Kenny Loggins. The very same Loggins who has contributed to some of the best and/or most popular films of the '80s, including Footloose (both the catchy the theme song, "Footloose," as well as "I’m Free"), and both "Danger Zone" and "Playing With the Boys" from Top Gun. Although he still performs today, Kenneth Clark "Kenny" Loggins is probably still best known for his numerous soft rock and adult contemporary hit singles, including the aforementioned songs.

But back to Caddyshack, where Loggins’s theme, “I’m Alright” (which peaked at #7 in the U.S.) starts things off with an upbeat answer to the stress and ladder-climbing of the '80s. Although this song (and film) was Loggins first major foray into the world of film soundtracks, he (along with the uncredited Eddie Money in the background) makes a great debut by offering up a song that ends with “Just let me be.” Loggins is said to have written the theme song with Caddyshack character of Danny in mind, and the message is clear — no matter what happens, he will be alright. This song is infectious, and more than alright in my book.

Among the other songs Loggins contributed to this soundtrack, “Lead the Way” strays a bit and reminds me of the type of ballad you’d hear a prepubescent youth trying to perform on American Idol; “Make the Move,” which starts out mellow but quickly gets rockin’; and “Mr. Night,” a toe-tapping, honkey tonk of a song.

Included in the Caddyshack soundtrack is Journey’s “Any Way You Want It,” a classic song by a classic band. The song was released on their album Departure as the opening track and as a single in 1980, and peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It’s Journey, and it’s great.

This soundtrack also includes “There She Goes,” performed by The Beat (sometimes referred to as The Paul Collins Beat or Paul Collins' Beat) and full of guitar riffs and crashing cymbals, as well as “Something on Your Mind", performed by Hilly Michaels, which is more annoying than in any way musical.

The Caddyshack soundtrack is rounded out with three musical pieces by original music composer Johnny Mandel. First is the take charge “Divine Intervention,” next the elevator music-esque “Marina,” and lastly, the marching band classic “The Big Bang.” All are perfect examples of what Mandel does best, he being the composer of the iconic MASH theme. This time, he brings MASH originality, but also reaches the mainstream with the use of a full orchestra, offering a well rounded, entertaining musical score.

The Caddyshack soundtrack has never before been available on CD, and it has been digitally remastered from original master tapes, making for clear, crisp sounds. This special reissue has been limited to 3,500 units and is available at soundtrack boutique stores and lalalandrecords.com.

If you like Caddyshack, are a fan of Loggins or Mandel, or all three, I recommend this soundtrack. Otherwise, the short length, coupled with the fact that there are only two standout songs, means it isn’t worth the price.

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  • Chris Kiribati

    Totally accept your evaluation of the movie. I love it, and happen to be a guy. Think that explains it