“Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”
Music By David Newman
Intrada Special Collection Vol.269
29 Tracks/Disc Time: 49:33
“We’re The Wyld Stallions!”
In the late 80’s, comedies of all types were being made and yet one that featured a pair of dimwitted high school rock n’ roll wanna be’s would become the stuff of legend and along with a hit sequel and a planned sequel. That comedy of course is “Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure” the surprise 1989 hit that almost never made it to theaters thanks to the films’ original studio, DeLaurentiis Entertainment (DEG for short) went belly up and was picked up by Nelson Entertainment who would be part of Orion Pictures, who saw value in the film and released it to theaters in the Winter of 1989 and was surprise 40 million dollar hit that almost instantly greenlit the well received 1991 sequel, “Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey” soon after. The film stars Alexander Winter and Keanu Reeves as Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted “Theodore” Logan respectively as a pair of high school students who are flunking history and surprisingly (even to themselves) are the future saviors of this world. Not through their intellegence however, it’s their music that will bring peace and harmony to the world and that is why the future elders have sent back Rufus (the great comedian George Carlin) to help mentor them and also prevent them from failing their history exam which would set back the peace process especially if the duo would be separated as Ted’s dad has threatened to send him to military school. (A total bummer!) So with the help of their time travelling phone booth, Bill And Ted travel through time to recruit such famous history figures such as Beethoven, Socrates (So-crates, according to Bill & Ted), Joan Of Arc, Napoleon, Billy The Kid, Abraham Lincoln and Genghis Khan to help them pass their presentation and the class while scoring with two hot maidens and future Bill & Ted bandmates and loves.
While the film has a great life of its own and has grown even more in popularity over the years thanks to the advent of cable, DVD, Blu-Ray, Netflix and You Tube, Bill And Ted is a whimsical and entertaining comedy that deserves alot of credit for the chances that it took with nothing to lose. Now enter Composer David Newman, who when the film came on his musical lap, was and still is part of an unforgettable Hollywood musical legacy that to this day is part of Hollywood royalty. David was a former session violinist who was really starting to get his feet wet writing a sensational score to Director Stephen Herek (who also directed this film) cult classic, “Critters”, as well as the Burt Reynolds action-thriller, “Malone” and the first collaboration of many with acclaimed actor/director Danny DeVito with the Hitchcock inspired comedy, “Throw Momma From The Train” starring Billy Crystal (“When Harry Met Sally”) and DeVito himself playing off late Oscar nominee Anne Ramsey. David’s career was soon about to take off with hit comedies “War Of The Roses” and “Heathers” that would soon follow this film.
The score is full of colors and engaging material that is well crafted and perfectly suits the film featuring a nice array of electronics, rock guitar (naturally) and a huge orchestra to underscore Bill & Ted’s misadventures from century to century. “History Lession” features a rather comical “taps” styled horn that leads into a cool guitar and electronic motif that would play a major part in Newman’s score. “Future Bill & Ted Leave” is a breezy 80’s styled track performed by electronic drum machines and synthesizers with a live rock guitar that is light and airy that would inspire later tracks such as the excellent “A Lot More Than That” that features a pure orchestrial touch that would define Newman’s style throughout the 90’s and beyond. Newman has a ball creating a grandiose orchestrial world that still keeps its’ contemporary feel to it that these two best buds travel to featured in the tracks “Austria, 1885”, “Short Dead Dude”, “Brawl And Ancient Greece”, “Medieval England”, “Bag Freud”, “Prehystoric Pit-Stop”, and “Execute Them! (With Hoo-Hah’s) which are all stand out tracks that really do showcase Newman’s fun and whimsical style but also tries to keep the straight man musical face as the orchestra really plays the heck out of these tracks. Newman does keep the comedy aspects in play as well with the multi thematic shenanigans of “Mall Mayhem” that features an ethnic Asian style, along with an Americana theme and of course, Bill & Ted’s contemporary rock based material which shows Newman’s diversity that would play out in his future scores. This track would inspire the hip and traditionally orchestrial, “Wild Speech Montage” which soaking with light and energetic material that makes it a standout amongst the many I’ve already listed here. “Thank You San Dimas High” ends the score proper with a cool reprise of their rock theme which will reminds most of his brother, Thomas’ excellent early work during that same period as David’s.
The score for “Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure” was really over looked due to the myraid of solid pre-recorded material that was included in the film’s soundtrack and was the pretty much what was released when the film was released theatrically. Till now in which Intrada Records has gone through years of trying to put together the complete score and finally, here it is all in tact including every keyboard and synthesizer dubs. “Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is a fun score that really shows the development of David Newman that continued to grow throughout the late 80’s and would flourish throughout the 1990’s. It was also fitting that he would also provide another memorable score for the sequel, “Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey” which Intrada also released years ago. This is a wonderful release of a score that deserves its’ rightful just due and it’s always great to hear the early work of a terrific composer that really deserves special mention. Strong thumbs up!
Please head on over to Intrada Records’ website to order this fun score @ http://store.intrada.com/s.nl/it.A/id.8816/.f?sc=13&category=-113