The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

“Porky’s” Is Back! “Revenge” Soundtrack Features George Harrison, Dave Edmunds, Robert Plant, More

with 5 comments

Porky's Revenge OST

“Keep an eye out for the funniest movie about growing up ever made,” read the poster to 1982’s raunchy comedy Porky’s. It depicted the eye of a Peeping Tom, looking onto a woman showering. “You’ll be glad you came!” Despite – or more likely, because of – its puerile humor, the modestly-budgeted teen sex comedy Porky’s became a runaway hit and spawned two theatrical sequels by 1985. The third Porky’s film, Porky’s Revenge, was the least successful, grossing just $20 million compared to the first movie’s $100+-million take. But if the film hasn’t endured, its soundtrack certainly has, thanks to the efforts of its chief contributor, Dave Edmunds. Varese Vintage has reissued Porky’s Revenge for the first time in a decade on a new, remastered compact disc.

The Porky’s films took place at Florida’s fictional Angel Beach High School, casting a raunchy eye on the not-so-squeaky-clean 1950s. Whereas the first two movies were scored with era-appropriate oldies, Welsh rocker Edmunds was approached to contribute an original soundtrack for the third film. Unlike director James Komack’s movie itself, Edmunds’ soundtrack featured an all-star cast. He enlisted Jeff Beck, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Clarence Clemons, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and one true 1950s hitmaker: Carl Perkins. The icing on the cake was a rare appearance by none other than George Harrison. Serving as a de facto “house band” for the project was Chuck Leavell on keyboards, Kenny Aaronson on bass and Michael Shrieve on drums.

Edmunds performed four songs himself – two originals and two revivals of classic hits. In the former category, the album’s opening track, “High School Nights,” blended a rock-and-roll spirit with a decidedly eighties modern production style recalling Edmunds’ collaboration with ELO’s Jeff Lynne on the album Information. Edmunds’ pulsating instrumental “Porky’s Revenge” was another gleaming creation seemingly intended to give a contemporary touch to the otherwise nostalgic album. His two covers, of Bobby Darin’s “Queen of the Hop” and Bobby Freeman’s “Do You Want to Dance,” were in the back-to-basics, straight-ahead rock-and-roll style that Edmunds perfected with his band Rockpile.

The typically flashy guitar hero Jeff Beck delivered an affectionately straightforward take of Santo and Johnny’s 1959 laconic hit “Sleepwalk,” and Carl Perkins revisited his own “Blue Suede Shoes” with all of the fire he had back in 1955. (Perkins and Edmunds had previously worked together on the Class of ’55 album which reunited the Sun recording artist with his pals Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison. Edmunds was among the guest musicians on that project.) Willie Nelson surveyed “Love Me Tender,” co-written by another famous Sun alumnus, Elvis Presley, in a new recording helmed by Class of ’55 producer Chips Moman. The Fabulous Thunderbirds, on the cusp of their breakthrough with the Edmunds-produced Tuff Enuff, offered up the brash “Stagger Lee,” and Robert Plant joined Edmunds on guitar, Paul Martinez on bass and Phil Collins on drums as The Crawling King Snakes to tackle Charlie Rich’s “Philadelphia Baby.” Clarence Clemons visited Angel Beach High by way of E Street for Henry Mancini’s deliciously menacing “Peter Gunn Theme.”

The most remarkable track on Revenge, though, was undoubtedly George Harrison’s premiere of a then-unheard Bob Dylan song. “I Don’t Want to Do It” was written by the Bard of Hibbing back in 1968 but was unreleased at the time of Harrison’s soundtrack recording. The former Beatle had been experimenting with the song as far back as the All Things Must Pass sessions in 1970, and nailed it for Porky’s. (An alternate mix of the song was released as a single; the standard soundtrack version appears here.) “I Don’t Want to Do It” was also notable for its appearance during what would end up a 5-year recording hiatus from Harrison, between his studio albums Gone Troppo and Cloud Nine.

After the jump, we have more details on the new Porky’s Revenge, plus order links and the complete track listing with discography!

Varese’s reissue features the same two bonus tracks appended to Legacy Recordings’ 2004 reissue: Carl Perkins’ outtake performance of his own “Honey Don’t,” a song with which Mr. Harrison had a great deal of familiarity; and Edmunds’ Information track “Don’t Call Me Tonight” which was the B-side of the single release of “Do You Want to Dance.” Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s CD release of the Revenge soundtrack didn’t feature either of those tracks, but added an edit/reprise of “High School Nights” that has not appeared on any subsequent reissue. Steve Massie has newly remastered the album, and Jerry McCulley has supplied a brief essay for the insert.

Porky’s Revenge was a contender for Worst Picture at the 1985 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, but even stinkers can turn out sensational soundtracks. The retro yet utterly vital rock-and-roll from Dave Edmunds and co. even justifies the movie! Do you want to dance?

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Porky’s Revenge (Columbia LP JS 39983, 1985 – reissued Varese Vintage 302 067 258 8, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.  )

  1. High School Nights – Dave Edmunds
  2. Do You Want to Dance – Dave Edmunds
  3. Sleepwalk – Jeff Beck
  4. I Don’t Want to Do It – George Harrison
  5. Stagger Lee – The Fabulous Thunderbirds
  6. Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins with Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker
  7. Peter Gunn Theme – Clarence Clemons
  8. Queen of the Hop – Dave Edmunds
  9. Love Me Tender – Willie Nelson
  10. Philadelphia Baby – The Crawling King Snakes (Robert Plant, Paul Martinez, Phil Collins and Dave Edmunds)
  11. Porky’s Revenge! – Dave Edmunds
  12. Honey Don’t – Carl Perkins (first released on Porky’s Revenge, Legacy CD CK 90875, 2004)
  13. Don’t Call Me Tonight – Dave Edmunds (from Columbia single 38-04923-B, 1985 and Information, Columbia 38651, 1983)

Written by Joe Marchese

April 22, 2014 at 08:53

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Great! I hope Varese Vintage will consider other soundtracks of this type for reissue.


    April 22, 2014 at 12:37

  2. I agree with Zubb! I know it’s difficult to get licensing for ’80s soundtracks but there is a goldmine of soundtracks that need to be remastered and reissued.


    April 22, 2014 at 13:06

    • The soundtrack to Teachers would be one that is at the top of my list for Varese to consider.


      April 22, 2014 at 20:07

      • That would be a great one. I picked up a Joe Cocker compilation which has “Edge of a Dream”. So many great songs on the soundtrack.


        April 23, 2014 at 12:35

  3. I ordered this one even though I have the rare Mobile Fidelity CD pressing from long ago. I’m curious how this will fare against it, as Varese usually does very good work.

    Chief Brody

    April 22, 2014 at 14:16

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: