The Simpsons: Songs In The Key Of SpringfieldI’ll admit, I’m less of a Simpsons fan than I once was. Why, I remember working at a Fox station back in the days when the Simpsons were on once a week, years before you could see it at least twice a day in syndication. The Simpsons and I go back a long way.

There have been three official Simpsons CDs thus far, and this is the only one that I’ve bothered with. Why? Because this one is a celebration of the music from the show itself, not some spinoff project (i.e. “Do The Bartman”) which was shoehorned back into the show itself. This CD is jam-packed with the original cast recordings, all backed by Alf Clausen’s brilliant musical scoring. As much as I may respect the work of latter-day cartoon tunesmiths like Richard Stone, I think it’s fair to say that Alf Clausen may be the worthiest descendant of the legacy of Carl Stalling. The similarities are numerous: an encyclopedic knowledge of musical pop culture references, a no-boundaries approach to arrangement and drastic re-arrangement, and an appreciation for just about every musical style under the sun.

Higlights include a medley from “Bart Sells His Soul” (featuring one of my all-time favorite moments from the series, in which Bart has subsituted his church’s hymnal sheet music with “In A Gadda Da Vida”), the bizarre, showstopping numbers from Springfield’s own stage musical version of Planet Of The Apes, and “We Do (The Stonecutters’ Song)” featuring none other than Patrick Stewart. The Itchy & Scratchy Theme is also included, as well as at least a dozen different specialty end-credit theme arrangements, spanning the musical spectrum from a Hill Street Blues pastiche to a spot-on homage to John Williams’ music from Oliver Stone’s JFK. The guest artists on here are stellar – Tony Bennett and the late Tito Puente, for cryin’ out loud – and there are numerous guest voices as well, 4 out of 4including Jeff Goldblum, Beverly D’Angelo, and the sorely missed Phil Hartman.

I may never buckle down and get the Simpsons on DVD, but that’s okay – some of my favorite scenes from the show are immortalized here, and unlike trying to plow through any given whole season of episodes, there isn’t a clunker anywhere in the bunch. Bravo!

Order this CD

  1. The Simpsons Main Title – Extended version (1:38)
  2. We Do (The Stonecutters’ Song) (1:18)
  3. Dancin’ Homer (1:43)
  4. Homer & Apu (1:56)
  5. ‘Round Springfield (2:55)
  6. Oh, Streetcar! – The Musical (4:03)
  7. Jingle Bells (0:45)
  8. Springfield Medley (0:54)
  9. Itchy & Scratchy Main Title (0:23)
  10. Itchy & Scratchy End Credits (0:17)
  11. The Day The Violence Died (1:50)
  12. Senor Burns (1:16)
  13. The Simpsons End Credits – Afro-Cuban version featuring Tito Puente (0:49)
  14. Your Wife Don’t Understand You (1:35)
  15. Kamp Krusty (2:19)
  16. The Simpsons End Credits – Australian version (0:53)
  17. The Simpsons End Credits – “Hill Street Blues” homage (0:47)
  18. The Simpsons End Credits – “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” homage (0:49)
  19. Treehouse Of Horror V (1:22)
  20. Honey Roasted Peanuts (1:01)
  21. Boy Scoutz N The Hood (3:43)
  22. Two Dozen And One Greyhounds (1:59)
  23. “Eye On Springfield” Theme (0:47)
  24. Flaming Moe’s (1:01)
  25. Homer’s Barbershop Quartet (1:37)
  26. TV Sucks! (0:34)
  27. A Fish Called Selma (3:07)
  28. Send In The Clowns (1:06)
  29. The Monorail Song (1:50)
  30. In Search Of An Out Of Body Vibe (0:23)
  31. Cool (0:42)
  32. Bagged Me A Homer (2:18)
  33. It Was A Very Good Beer (0:39)
  34. Bart Sells His Soul (2:06)
  35. Happy Birthday, Lisa (1:20)
  36. The Simpsons Halloween Special End Credits – “Addams Family” homage (0:49)
  37. Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part One (0:55)
  38. Lisa’s Wedding (0:53)
  39. The Simpsons End Credits – “Dragnet” homage (1:05)

Released by: Rhino
Release date: 1998
Total running time: 55:55