I was back in the pool this morning with HRH for a easy-peasy 2,000m drill swim (well, easy for me anyway) but it’s not certain that my bike/run will happen this evening given the imminent shittiness going on outside right now (thank you, Mother Nature). So on the off-chance that it is canceled, I’m proceeding with this afternoon’s Day 94 core workout (which I was considering forgoing) with the ‘M*A*S*H‘ soundtrack.
If you aren’t already humming the theme song to the popular 70’s/80’s TV show you should just crawl back under the rock from whence you came right now because that shit is classic and you should be ashamed of yourself.
What you might not know however, is that the original M*A*S*H theme (called ‘Suicide Is Painless‘) for the 1970 hit film of the same name staring Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould (if you’ve never seen it…your rock…under it…NOW!) actually had words too, written by Mike Altman, the 14 year old son of the movie’s director Robert Altman (the music was written by Johnny Mandel).
And here’s something interesting, Robert Altman said that while he only made $70,000 for having directed the movie, his son had earned more than $1 million for having co-written the song. The theme then also became a #1 hit in the UK Singles Chart in 1980 as well. Likewise, it was ranked at #66 on the American Film Institutes ‘100 Year, 100 Songs‘ list chronicling the top 100 songs in American cinema of the 20th century as well (click HERE).
Not bad for a 14-year-old, right?
Of course, there’s more going on on this soundtrack as well. The movie M*A*S*H was part of that new wave of American cinema in which the traditional Hollywood method of scoring, with original, Romantic-style instrumental music backing many of the most important scenes, was abandoned. Instead, Johnny Mandel’s work largely involved arranging period tunes and effect music (especially military and football-related themes).
The rest of the soundtrack then is primarily incidental music evoking the period and setting within the film and the ironies behind its violent, comical action, arranged by Mandel, all interspersed with extended dialogue sequence. It holds up much better than one would expect, the editing of the dialogue and music summing up the movie beautifully and in a surprisingly lively and exciting fashion.
Sure, it may not be the most exciting soundtrack going and you’re not likely going to throw it on at parties or anything, but it certainly is interesting enough to plank to…of which, I can truly say, holding a 6 minute abso-fucking-lutely blows after you’ve been swimming in the morning.