hamsters ghostbustin frontIt’s Tony from Way Out Junk, and I’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. What’s their back story? Who knows? I don’t even know what their names are, or if they’ve got a human father figure or anything. Admittedly this is the Happy Hamsters’ second album, but I don’t think continuity is their strong suit here. Anyway, on to the songs!

Well, since this album is called The Happy Hamsters Go Ghostbustin’, you have to expect the song “Ghostbusters.” The singing isn’t that bad, all things considered. The problem is all the jabbering they do during the instrumental parts. It’s just a little bit here, but it gets worse, trust me!

Ghostbusters

Next, as a salute (?) to Michael Jackson, here’s “Thriller.” Again, the singing’s all right, and there’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.

Thriller

And, since Michael sang background on the original for this one, here’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” which people probably know more from the Geico commercials. There’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. (“You want to be a star?” “Yeah!” “If you don’t shut up, you’re gonna see stars!”)

Somebody’s Watching Me

Now, if you’ve listened to the previous tracks, you’re probably thinking I made too big a deal over the extraneous conversation in the songs. That’s because you haven’t listened to these tracks coming up. You see, these ones are instrumentals. That means they’re talking and telling really horrible jokes all through the song! For instance, here’s their version of the “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back. Here’s a sample from the beginning: “Boy, this music sure is ominous!” “What’s ominous?” “Ominous is something you put in eggs.” “Yeah, it’s what you make om-e-lets with!” No really, that’s the joke. They then end up being on the run from Darth Vader and looking for Luke and the Rebels (“A punk band from Queens”). For some reason, their version of Vader sounds more like a bad Sean Connery impression.

Imperial March

Next we have “Dracula,” which I’m assuming is from the Frank Langella version of the movie. They think they’re at camp, but after talking with Igor, they realize they’re in Dracula’s castle. They meet Dracula (who sounds exactly the same) and kill him with the…no, I’ll let you hear for yourself.

Dracula

In “The Gremlin Rag,” they’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 “and a tour with Michael Jackson” (I’m afraid you’re a little late with that one, guys.)

The Gremlin Rag

Finally, things take a strange turn with “Carol Anne’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 (“Like grocery shopping.” HUH?), and their little girl who gets snatched by demons through their TV. Their parents “called in experts and witches and demons” to help them get her back, and “they began chanting and praying and denying the demon.” I swear it almost sounded like it was going to turn into a religious album!

Carol Anne’s Theme (From Poltergeist)

Anyway, if you want to hear the rest of this one, you can find it here!