Arlo Guthrie

Alice's Restaurant [Original Soundtrack]

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Not to be confused with Guthrie's 1967 debut album Alice's Restaurant, the soundtrack to Arthur Penn's 1969 film (as well as the movie itself) is built around Guthrie's 16-minute folk-rock talking-blues narrative "Alice Restaurant's Massacree," which is included here -- though this is a different recording from the classic one on Reprise Records, with slightly altered nuances and production, and every bit as funny (the original album had the title track in two parts, which have been reassembled here). The original soundtrack album was one of the finest non-orchestral soundtrack records of its era -- no surprise, since Guthrie also helped play and write much of the instrumental background music in the film (Garry Sherman did some composing and arranging as well), much of which is pleasant, unassuming instrumental folk and folk-rock with some blues and country accents, broken up by a group a cappella version of "Amazing Grace" and a Joni Mitchell soundalike (Tigger Outlaw) singing Mitchell's "Songs to Aging Children." [Rykodisc's "deluxe edition" CD reissue adds quite a bit of bonus material from the film -- 11 tracks, in fact (outnumbering the nine found in the original release) -- that were not on the original album. Again, this is mostly easygoing folk and folk-rock, including a couple of brief reprises of "Alice's Restaurant," as well as Pete Seeger doing Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" and Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie dueting on Woody Guthrie's "Car Song."]

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