Album set for re-release on August 13 with new liner notes by Composer Paul Williams
BURBANK, Calif., /PRNewswire via COMTEX
The Rainbow Connection is going digital, as Walt Disney Records celebrates the upcoming 35th Anniversary of the classic frogs-to-riches story, "The Muppet Movie," with the re-release of its Grammy-winning soundtrack album. Originally produced by Paul Williams and executive produced by late Muppet creator Jim Henson, the album features eleven timeless songs by Williams and Kenny Ascher. The release, for the first time in both digital and physical formats, coincides with the Blu-ray release of the classic 1979 film. Featuring new liner notes by Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Paul Williams, the album arrives in stores and at online retailers August 13.
From the opening strum of Kermit the frogs banjo on "The Rainbow Connection" (a 1979 Oscar nominee for Best Original Song) to the dazzling Hollywood sound stage finale featuring the entire Muppet cast singing "The Magic Store," the songs of "The Muppet Movie" make up the most memorable movie score ever written for a frog, pig, dog and whatever The Great Gonzo is.
As Williams writes in his liner notes, Henson set out to not make a children's film but rather one "for the child in all of us." The Muppets creator gave Williams and Ascher total freedom to write songs they felt suited the story and characters. That they did with tunes like Kermit's touching and world renowned "Rainbow Connection," Miss Piggy's dulcet "Never Before, Never Again" (the sweetest pig-frog love song ever) and the rockin' "Can You Picture That" by the legendary band, The Electric Mayhem, featuring Animal on drums.
The film takes Kermit on the ultimate road trip, as he travels from his home in the swamp to Hollywood in search of his dream to entertain. Along the way he makes new friends, from Fozzie Bear and Gonzo to the sultry femme fatale, Miss Piggy. Unfortunately the evil frogs-leg restaurant magnate Doc Hopper (played by the late Charles Durning) keeps trying to kidnap and fricassee Kermit's legs at every turn. All's well that ends well, when the gang finally makes it to Hollywood, where a studio chief (played by a glowering Orson Welles) issues them "the standard rich and famous contract."
Many celebrities made memorable cameo appearances in the film, including James Coburn, Milton Berle, Madeline Kahn, Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Bob Hope, Richard Pryor, Cloris Leachman and Elliot Gould. The real stars are the Muppets themselves, who went and made seven more feature films. "The Muppet Movie" was added to the National Film Registry in 2009 for being "culturally, historically and aesthetically" significant.
Multi-Grammy, Golden Globe and Oscar-winning composer Paul Williams is best known for writing hits such as "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays" and the Oscar-winning "Evergreen," and having worked with stars such as Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson and Jason Mraz. He writes in his liner notes that working on "The Muppet Movie" was "a high point of my career," adding "To me the film suggests that we are all capable of more than we'd imagined; that the key ingredients are kindness and belief in ourselves."
Songs featured on The Muppet Movie soundtrack are:
-- "Rainbow Connection" - The score's most enduring song, performed in the opening scene by Kermit, alone in the swamp, and reprised at the end by the entire cast.
-- "Movin' Right Along" - Kermit and Fozzie leave behind the treacherous El Sleezo Cafe, hop in the Studebaker and sing this upbeat song while criss-crossing America.
-- "Never Before, Never Again" -- Miss Piggy sings this romantic torch ballad just after being named Miss Bogen County and spying the love of her life, Kermit, from across a crowded fairground.
-- "Never Before, Never Again" -- an instrumental version.
-- "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along" - Kermit and Rowlf the Dog sing this wistful lounge ballad after Miss Piggy dumps her "short, green and handsome" beau.
-- "Can You Picture That?" - Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem rock out this fun rocker as they turn Fozzie's drab Studebaker into a Haight-Ashbury love bug.
-- "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along" -- an instrumental version.
-- "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday" - Gonzo sings this hopeful tune sitting around a campfire with the Muppets gang, as their Hollywood dreams seem lost for good.
-- "America" - Fozzie's feeling patriotic as he sings the hymn while driving past Mount Rushmore, Yosemite Valley and the Grand Canyon.
-- "Animal...Come Back" -- Animal, carries the day after downing Insta-Grow pills, rising 50 feet and dispersing the bad guys for good.
-- "Finale: The Magic Store" - The Muppets sing their memorable finale on an empty Hollywood sound stage, decorating it with movie magic, and then singing the unforgettable lyric: "Life's like a movie, write your own ending."