Original Soundtrack

Tube Tunes, Vol. 1: The '70s

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Tube Tunes, Vol. 1: The '70s Review

by Bruce Eder

Rhino Records was a Johnny-come-lately to the business of television soundtrack and theme music (which is odd, considering their early association with the Danny Bonaduce album and television actor Billy Mumy), and had mostly ceded that territory to TeeVeeTunes when they brought out this series of releases, which aren't bad, assuming that one has an appreciation of the genre. Vol. 1 opens up with the Cowsills' nicely crafted, upbeat theme from Love American Style and the goofy Banana Splits theme "The Tra La La Song," which was a nice amalgam of garage band attributes and kiddie show theme music. Bobby Sherman's rendition of "Seattle" from Here Come the Brides is more extroverted than Perry Como's single of the same song, and makes use of some electric guitar and regrettable brass as it tries to catch the mood and tempo of the song as it was used on the series. The Addrisi Brothers' "Nanny" from Nanny and the Professor has appeared elsewhere, but Sonny Curtis' rendition of his "Love Is All Around" theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show never got much exposure. Some of this material seems a bit cheesy -- Donny Hathaway was slumming artistically when he did "And Then There's Maude," strong as his singing was; Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton more or less act their way through "Those Were the Days" from All in the Family. And "Good Times" was almost too good for the series it was attached to -- almost, but not quite, until the series degenerated into The Jimmy Walker Show. It's odd, when one looks at the track listing, that the topical- and black-oriented show themes by Hathaway and by Isaac Hayes ("Theme from The Men"), "T.S.O.P" from Soul Train, et al. (which were new creations of the decade in question), are sandwiched between whitebread acts like the Cowsills and pieces like the Happy Days and Rockford Files themes. The sound quality is generally excellent, except where a piece was never intended for commercial release, and then allowances have to be made.

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