The Simpsons Movie: D'oh!nuts!
Yes, at long last, The Simpsons Movie opens tomorrow. And as one of its writer/producers, Al Jean, says in the July 27 issue of Entertainment Weekly: "As an event, I think it'll be somewhere between Sgt. Pepper's the album and Sgt. Pepper's the movie."
It's fitting that he would think of a musical analogy, since music has been crucial to The Simpsons from the beginning. Several TV soundtracks and other tie-in CDs have been released over the years - and now we have The Simpsons Movie: The Music (Extreme Music). This is the score by Hollywood film composer (and former member of the Buggles) Hans Zimmer, and it includes not only an orchestral version of the theme but also such tracks as "Doomsday Is Family Time," "Thank You Boob Lady," "His Big Fat Butt Could Shield Us All," and "Why Does Everything I Whip Leave Me?"
The regular CD was released on Tuesday. But next Tuesday, July 31, comes a special version, as seen above. It serves up the CD in "a Homer-approved bright pink donut case, complete with multicolored sprinkles, which is supplied in a classic bakery take-out box." Mmmmmmm . . . . Limited Edition.
Meanwhile, for those who want more original music from the television series, there's The Simpsons Testify: A Whole Lot More Original Music from the Television Series (Shout! Factory), coming on September 18. It collects songs from the last nine seasons of the show, including "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders" (featuring David Byrne), "Glove Slap" (the B-52's), "He's the Man" (Shawn Colvin), "Marjorie" (Jackson Browne), "Homer & Marge" ("Weird Al" Yankovic), and the end-credits theme played by Los Lobos.
Simpsons creator Matt Groening is a big music fan - and in the early days of Sound & Vision, I tried to land an interview with him on that very subject. But alas, it was not to be. On June 16, 1999, I received the following fax from Matt:
"I would love to do your interview, but I'm too damn busy. I shouldn't even be writing this note, but I wanted to make sure you got my personal regrets on this. Maybe sometime this fall, things will ease up . . . a likely story . . . but eventually.
"Best wishes, Matt Groening: overworked cartoonist and guilty Dad."
Enjoy the movie, everybody! -Ken Richardson: overworked blogger and guilty Dad, too