Truth be told, the purported “soundtrack” for Cheech and Chong’s Animated Movie isn’t really a soundtrack. For one matter, the Lou Adler-produced, Chambers Brothers-directed cartoon was largely built on the comedy albums recorded by Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong back in the 1970s. So you could say the soundtrack albums came first, then the movie. For another, there wasn’t much music in the film, only short bits here and there. So the “soundtrack” is instead a companion piece that’s a batch of nine new songs by two old-timers fooling around in a recording studio.
So what can listeners expect on the Soundtrack? The titles say it all: “Marijuana,” “Smoke a Doobie Time,” and “Paranoid Pot Head.” The two most popular tracks include “Cheech and Chong Anthem (Weed Are The World),” especially the celebrity-studded video promoting it, and “Medical Marijuana Blues,” the most satirical, topical song of the collection. So when you hear, “We’re Cheech and Chong and we’re smoking strong,” you got it in a nutshell. Or bowlfull. Or bongfull, whatever your pleasure.
One hard-to-avoid thought while watching the Animated Movie was that it took cartoons to bring the routines to 21st century life. After all, the two primary players can no longer be convincing adolescents, man. Listening to them rapping and hip-hopping like teenagers these days about the joys of MJ is, well, a tad disconcerting. You’d think these gray-headed gents were only a one-note comedy piano, man. Even when they talk about world peace in “One Day,” they preach we’ll find global understanding only when we pass the hookah around. There’s nothing else to say?
Everything here was created for this album except “Earache My Eye,” the old single poking fun at the glitter rockers of the early ’70s. There’s a streak of that sort of satire in “Pretty Boy Alice,” but, in the main, the guys are rejoicing anew that pot is god and Cheech and Chong are its prophets. Sort of Woodstock Peter Pans.
I still recommend Cheech and Chong’s Animated Movie as a funny audio-visual comic delight. The auxiliary Soundtrack, on the other hand, is really only for the Cheech and Chong completest and those needing new hymns for the Church of Cannabis. Amen, man.