Sunday, September 28, 2008

Remaking the Word "Remake"

When Casey Kasem calls something a remake, he means something very specific and something that's probably not what you or I would think of when we use the word "remake." He means a new version of a song that has already appeared once in another version in the Top Forty.

For example, on American Top Forty from September 30, 1978, Casey mentioned that the week's countdown included five remakes, two of which were from the soundtrack to the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Aerosmith's "Come Together" and Earth, Wind and Fire's "Got to Get You Into My Life." But he didn't include Robin Gibb's dreadful cover of "Oh, Darling," which is a remake by most people's standards. Shoot, it's a remake by anyone's standards but Casey's.

You may have noticed that the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely soundtrack thus placed three hits in the Top Forty at once. All three songs made it to the Top Twenty-Five, in fact, but the soundtrack record was considered an enormous flop. It shipped enough copies to reach the Top Five on the album charts, but most of the double LPs were returned. I'm pretty sure I've never even seen a copy.


Marshall said...

By the way, that is quite possibly the worst movie ever made. Steve Martin (among many, many others) must want to drink poison every time he hears it mentioned.

Volly said...

What Marshall said. You didn't miss a thing.

T. Nawrocki said...

I don't doubt it. Just look at how it drove George Burns to an early grave.

Robbie Frampton said...

Earth Wind & Fire's "Got To Get You Into My Life" is really incredibly great. It deserved to be in a different movie, maybe one that does not have George Burns singing "Fixing a Hole."

Gavin said...

It wasn't hard to find vinyl copies of the soundtrack in used record stores in the late 80s--I picked one up for two bucks, I think.

I am stunned to see that it's actually in print on compact disc. (So is the Xanadu soundtrack!)

Kinky Paprika said...

In the late '80s, when my brother went to the Univ. of Buffalo, a record store there had at least two dozen unopened, original copies of the Sgt. Pepper soundtrack.
They must not have shipped their boxes back.

Sgt. Pepper is not the worst movie I've ever seen ("Grease 2" is worse) but it's plenty bad.

The best part is the very end, where a huge crowd of B-list celebs (Stephen Bishop! Jim Dandy! Monti Rock III! And, yes, Alan O'Day!) sing, wave and mug together in a sick takeoff on the front cover of the original Sgt. Pepper.
If you were looking for a scene to exemplify Seventies pop culture, you could do worse than to choose that one.