"Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and Bacharach's 1969-70 Musical Motif


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The famous soundtrack LP has bugged me since I bought it in 11th grade: Both Raindrops and Not Goin' Home Anymore are heard three times (oh-so cleverly re-named to fool the LP buyer into believing these were different songs -- and I'm sure A&M deservedly received its fair share of criticism over that); but, heck, it's is a soundtrack album... Additionally, at about 26 minutes there are really only five different melodies heard; but, heck, it's is a soundtrack album.

Yeah, I get it...it's a soundtrack album: you have your main theme, your love theme, your protagonist theme, your climax theme, and, of course, your look-just-finish-the-damn-thing-so-we-can-get-it-out-and-make-a fortune theme... and you recycle them all as needed to fill out a 32-minute LP.

More interesting than all that business is the fascinating old-timey "stomp" (for lack of a better word) musical motif Burt cooked up during 1969-70 where he moved bass away from the double bass or electric bass guitar and handed it over to low brass (tuba or euphonium) and gave us a few numbers that feature an uhm-pah bass part. I know of three pieces recorded by Dionne and B.J. Thomas that exhibit this feel and added them to the BCATSK soundtrack. Other than his use of tack piano here and there and some banjo on one piece, obvious old-timey musical motifs weren't really exploited in the soundtrack (of the 5 themes -- three are straight-ahead contemporary pop; one is a jazz waltz; and the other is the usual klezmer stuff that Burt always finds space for...). Although it goes without saying that the lyrics are not consistent with the film, musically, these three pieces arguably capture an essence of the 1900s...

1. Raindrop Keep Fallin’ on My Head (B.J. Thomas - vocal)
2. The Sundance Kid
3. Not Goin’ Home Anymore
4. The Green Grass Starts to Grow (Dionne Warrick - vocal)
5. South American Getaway
6. Raindrop Keep Fallin’ on My Head (instrumental)
7. Let Me Go to Him (Dionne Warrick - vocal)
8. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (aka On A Bicycle Built for Joy; B.J. Thomas - vocal)
9. Not Goin’ Home Anymore (aka Come Touch The Sun)
10. The Old Fun City
11. Everybody’s Out Of Town (B.J. Thomas - vocal)
12. Not Goin’ Home Anymore (reprise)

I realize to some the foregoing is a sacrilegious move out here in the A&M land yet, it's clear Burt didn't have enough new music to support an LP -- I guess the film/LP project wasn't exactly a Promises, Promises...or even a Casino Royale.


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This style of soundtrack album would be repeated on A&M with the BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN album that has only a few melodies repeated often.


¡Que siga la fiesta!
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There was also an unreleased tune, "Etta's Theme," that used the "Not Goin' Home Anymore" melody--I don't think that this version was used in the film anywhere. It appeared on Burt's Something Big A&M/Kapp box set.

"Raindrops" has an interesting history. The "Bicycle" version was the first one recorded--Thomas was fighting a cold and losing his voice, hence his rough vocals on that version. He returned shortly thereafter to record the full version for the soundtrack album. The 1969 hit single, though, was released on Scepter, in a version nearly identical to the A&M (casual listeners probably couldn't hear a difference). It was probably some sort of contractual agreement--Burt could use Thomas on the soundtrack album, but Scepter (who Thomas was contracted to) would release the single which would become the second Bacharach/David song to top the Hot 100.

Burt used that tack piano device on "Send My Picture to Scranton PA" also. "Everybody's Out of Town" was Hal David's commentary on urban flight in the post-riot 60s.

This album was like other soundtracks I've heard, even by routine composers such as Mancini (which I'll touch on shortly). The film didn't have much use for music or musical cues, so it was a stretch to make this into an album.

With Mancini, in the 70s a couple of his lesser-known soundtrack were similar--a recurring theme could appear in many of the songs on an album. But in Mancini's case, at least in the 60s, the recorded music for the film was from different arrangements than the album version. (Which we know from the Intrada releases vs. RCA's official albums.) In essence, for a film like Breakfast at Tiffany's, many of the source cues (such as those presumably coming from a musical prop in the film like a record player, radio or "live" background music, like the strip club cue "Hub Caps and Tail Lights") were turned into full-fledged songs. And in a couple of cases like "Mr. Yunioshi," Mancini would throw a themed original song on the album as well.

Some films like A Shot in the Dark or Days of Wine and Roses had Mancini scores but nowhere near enough music to make an album out of. The latter film, in fact, echoes that main theme over and over, in a handful of variations, along with a backing musical bed to create tension* in certain scenes which didn't really have a melody to them. A Shot in the Dark was similar; even the nudist colony sequence featured the main title theme. The tune that accompanies the opening montage, "Shadows of Paris," also had its melody repeated in the film.

These albums were more like what the Butch Cassidy album was made out to be--the film didn't have many source cues or much musical "meat" on the bones, so the album was probably cobbled together to cash in on the popularity of the B.J. Thomas hit. Burt's own instrumental version was released as a single on A&M.

Mike Blakesley

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That is an interesting album for a number of reasons. First, there's only about 12 minutes worth of music on the actual movie soundtrack, and a pretty good share of that music is not on the soundtrack album, most notably the opening music, which is just the "Not Goin' Home Anymore" theme played with single notes over a "tickety-tickety-tickety" movie projector sound. (It's one of my favorite opening credits scenes.)

Also, there's some music on the album that's not in the movie - like the opening tune, "The Sundance Kid," and of course the more polished version of "Raindrops." And at least one of the album versions of "Not Goin' Home" is not in the film either.

This album would have been more appropriately titled "Music From and Inspired by..." rather than a proper soundtrack album.

If it had come out a few years later, he might have given it the Living Together treatment -- on that album, he used five songs from a film (Lost Horizon) and filled it out with his latest work. Of course the difference being Lost Horizon was a big flop, where Butch Cassidy was a smash hit, so wanting to tie the album to the movie was totally understandable.


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In those days, "soundtrack album" was the most widely used description for this type of album. In recent years they've used a more descriptive "inspired by" title.

And I guess if you want to be strict about describing Mancini's "soundtrack" albums from the 50s and 60s, I would for certain call them "inspired by" releases as well. I'd wager nearly every single note on those records was never used in the film--he described the process in his autobiography. Scoring (composing), arranging and tracking for the film soundtrack, and a separate arranging/recording session for the RCA album where the melodies and cues were turned into fully-realized songs. (I am not that familiar with his soundtracks beyond the early 70s to know how the music compared to the film vs. the record. Parts of Return of the Pink Panther sound like the same recording on record and film but again, I've never closely compared them...like the break-in sequence which starts the film.)

My guess is that other film soundtrack composers worked similarly. The musical cues used in film were never intended to be used as standalone songs. And even the completed songs (which sometimes became charting hits) were often re-recorded for a single and/or album release.

Bacharach may have been the outlier though. He was completely frustrated by the Promises, Promises musical since he could not strictly control the performance of the music each night of the production. Too much of a perfectionist, in other words. The "Bicycle" version of "Raindrops" is the complete tune used in the film, apparently, as B.J.'s performance is intact. While I haven't watched the film enough, After The Fox soundtrack has completed tunes that sound exactly like the film. It makes me wonder if, due to Bacharach's perfectionism, that he provided only completely finished and produced tracks that were then used in the film, which could also stand alone as completed songs for an album. (Having said that, I like the music of Casino Royale, obviously, but have never been able to sit through the film...so I haven't yet compared the album to the film.)

And I still say that this album was probably an attempt to cash in on a #1 hit and a popular film of the day. So even if the album was mostly filler and retreads, it would sell based on the #1 hit (which, again, was an oddity in that the #1 hit version was released on another label).

AM Matt

Forum Undertaker
"The Old Fun City" was used as a WNEM TV 5 (Saginaw, MI) baseball All - Stars commercial instrumental theme (1972 or 1973 - 1987)!!!

Mr Bill

Gentlemanly Curmudgeon
Staff member
The soundtrack trend through the 80's became more honest.

Films would often have TWO albums... One containing the pop songs that played in key scenes (even if only for a few seconds in the movie) and then an ACTUAL soundtrack album of the score in the composer's name. In many cases, the "pop song" version would come from either the record label associated with the film company and the "score" version from either the same label or farmed to a soundtrack specialty label (like Varese Sarabande), especially for a more obscure composer.

Films like Batman had a Prince soundtrack album, while Danny Elfman's score soundtrack was a separate album. The Prince one would have maybe only a few songs actually from the film. While Elfman's would have most of the score (or at least one version of each of the main "themes"...)

One of my biggest disappointments of that era was Ferris Beuller's Day Off... There WAS a score soundtrack released, but the highlight of almost every John Hughes film was his penchant for picking pop songs, hip and trendy or fascinatingly obscure, by up and coming artists of the day... There WAS a pop song soundtrack planned for FBDO, but as the number of songs and artists transcended so may labels, the powers that be deemed it "un-economical" to release, as so many labels could claim the wide spectrum of artists. It'd be easier to release now, since everyone is pretty much on only two record labels! LoL.

But people HAVE compiled online versions of what that soundtrack would be... You can find it on You Tube and some legit and "questionable" music sites.

--Mr Bill
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