It’s Tony from Way Out Junk, and Iâ€™ve got another crazy one for you. Remember the high-pitched singing rodent craze started by Alvin and the Chipmunks and then all the rip-off groups that appeared afterward? This album is from the second renaissance of the Chipmunks, and features the Happy Hamsters. Whatâ€™s their back story? Who knows? I donâ€™t even know what their names are, or if theyâ€™ve got a human father figure or anything. Admittedly this is the Happy Hamstersâ€™ second album, but I donâ€™t think continuity is their strong suit here. Anyway, on to the songs!
Well, since this album is called The Happy Hamsters Go Ghostbustinâ€™, you have to expect the song â€œGhostbusters.â€ The singing isnâ€™t that bad, all things considered. The problem is all the jabbering they do during the instrumental parts. Itâ€™s just a little bit here, but it gets worse, trust me!
Next, as a salute (?) to Michael Jackson, hereâ€™s â€œThriller.â€ Again, the singingâ€™s all right, and thereâ€™s not too much chatter this time. Extra points for including the Vincent Price part of the song as well. Of course, it does lose the effect hearing it done by three helium-filled voices.
And, since Michael sang background on the original for this one, hereâ€™s â€œSomebodyâ€™s Watching Meâ€ which people probably know more from the Geico commercials. Thereâ€™s some goofy conversation at the beginning about whether a talent scout is watching them or maybe even a Girl Scout (because they like cookies), as well as some faux Three Stooges talk. (â€œYou want to be a star?â€ â€œYeah!â€ â€œIf you donâ€™t shut up, youâ€™re gonna see stars!â€)
Now, if youâ€™ve listened to the previous tracks, youâ€™re probably thinking I made too big a deal over the extraneous conversation in the songs. Thatâ€™s because you havenâ€™t listened to these tracks coming up. You see, these ones are instrumentals. That means theyâ€™re talking and telling really horrible jokes all through the song! For instance, hereâ€™s their version of the â€œImperial Marchâ€ from The Empire Strikes Back. Hereâ€™s a sample from the beginning: â€œBoy, this music sure is ominous!â€ â€œWhatâ€™s ominous?â€ â€œOminous is something you put in eggs.â€ â€œYeah, itâ€™s what you make om-e-lets with!â€ No really, thatâ€™s the joke. They then end up being on the run from Darth Vader and looking for Luke and the Rebels (â€œA punk band from Queensâ€). For some reason, their version of Vader sounds more like a bad Sean Connery impression.
Next we have â€œDracula,â€ which Iâ€™m assuming is from the Frank Langella version of the movie. They think theyâ€™re at camp, but after talking with Igor, they realize theyâ€™re in Draculaâ€™s castle. They meet Dracula (who sounds exactly the same) and kill him with theâ€¦no, Iâ€™ll let you hear for yourself.
In â€œThe Gremlin Rag,â€ theyâ€™re babysitting Gizmo for some reason. (I wouldn’t trust these guys with my lunch, let alone a Mogwai.) When he gets loose, one of them throws water on him. They chase the gremlins, intending on tempting them with offers of royalties from fast food places â€œand a tour with Michael Jacksonâ€ (Iâ€™m afraid youâ€™re a little late with that one, guys.)
Finally, things take a strange turn with “Carol Anneâ€™s Theme (From Poltergeist).” In this one, one of the hamsters is telling the story of the movie to the other ones. He talks about the typical human family with typical human problems (â€œLike grocery shopping.â€ HUH?), and their little girl who gets snatched by demons through their TV. Their parents â€œcalled in experts and witches and demonsâ€ to help them get her back, and â€œthey began chanting and praying and denying the demon.â€ I swear it almost sounded like it was going to turn into a religious album!
Anyway, if you want to hear the rest of this one, you can find it here!