High Anxiety: Mel Brooks' Greatest Hits

Various Artists

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High Anxiety: Mel Brooks' Greatest Hits Review

by David Jeffries

While this set has looked lopsided ever since the Wounded Bird label reissued it 2012, High Anxiety: Mel Brooks' Greatest Hits was originally released in 1977. That explains why that year's Brooks film, High Anxiety, is over-represented with five tracks that also comprised the original "side one" of the album, including the incidental music of John Morris, which isn't so much funny as fun. Side two is where the old-school classics reside, as The Producers is represented by the great "Springtime for Hitler" while Blazing Saddles gets not just the great theme song, not just Madeline Kahn's fantastic "I'm Tired," but the glorious ode to the "The French Mistake" as well, all delicious 31 seconds of it. Young Frankenstein's "Puttin' on the Ritz" caps off the undisputed highlights, and while that's a hilarious EP's worth of music for the Brooks faithful to cherish, fans should be warned that many of these cuts are straight from the films with dialog, sound effects, and other distractions left in. Still, there will be a time when you just need to belt out those Blazing Saddles tracks, so for romantic picnics, family car trips, and chorus-line practice with all the "gals," High Anxiety: Mel Brooks' Greatest Hits is all the schnitzengruben you'll ever need.

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