Howard The A. Platyrhynchos.

A little over a month ago I picked up the 12” single of the theme song to Howard The Duck. I was very happy.

Well, that was just an appetizer, because now I present to you the complete soundtrack to Howard The Duck! I had been looking for this one for a very long time and my excitement over finally finding it actually kind of scared the guys in the record store, who refer to Howard The Duck as “that movie where Lea Thompson almost fucks a duck.”

Whatever, they just don’t know real art when they see it. The album also came with a totally awesome Howard The Duck poster that I would love to frame and hang up in my room, but I want to get laid again at some point, and I think the two are mutually exclusive. Anyways, I dug up a lot of info on this hidden gem so lets get started:

Dolby’s Cube Featuring Cherry Bomb
Hunger City
Howard The Duck
It Don’t Come Cheap
Who knew Caroline In The City (that link goes to a Caroline In The City fansite…yes there is such a thing) could sing new-wave so damn good? In addition to Lea Thompson on vocals, both ‘Howard The Duck’ and ‘It Don’t Come Cheap’ feature Joe Walsh on guitar. But who else was in Cherry Bomb? I suspect many of the instruments on these tracks were either played by Dolby or session musicians, but backing vocals are credited to the women who starred as the band in the film. While none of them are household names, you might have seen them in other films and TV shows since ‘Howard’ crashed and burned. Holly Robinson (now Holly Robinson Peete) has been on 21 Jump Street and Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper. Dominique Dalavas hasn’t acted much since Howard The Duck, and now she’s in the L.A. band Drag. According to their website she scored a number one hit single in Belgium. Finally, there was Liz Segal. In addition to starring in Howard The Duck she had the misfortune of being in Grease 2. She was a writer on Charmed for a bit, and her sister is Katey (Peg Bundy) Segal. Not surprisingly, Howard The Duck is nowhere to be found on any of these actresses’ homepages.

Dolby’s Cube Featuring Tata Vega
I’m On My Way
Okay, who the fuck is Tata Vega? She sang the Oscar-nominated song “Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister)” from The Color Purple. That tune was written by Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie, and it lost to another Richie tune, “Say You, Say Me” from the White Knights soundtrack. Accoring to Tata’s MySpace page she’s appeared in the soundtracks to Forrest Gump and The Lion King, although the IMDB doesn’t mention either of those (it does have her credited as the “Singing Nun” from Spy Hard, so she has that going for her, which is nice. You won’t see any mention of Howard The Duck on her MySpace.

Thomas Dolby
Don’t Turn Away
In the movie this song is performed by Cherry’s Bomb but I guess Dolby had high hopes for this tune as he performs it himself on the soundtrack. As much as I love Thomas Dolby I prefer the version sung by Lea Thompson, I think the song works better with female vocals. This song, like the rest of the songs on the soundtrack were co-written by Allee Willis. While she’s not a household name, her music is. Her work includes:

  • The theme song to Friends
  • ‘September’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland’ by Earth, Wind and Fire
  • ‘Neutron Dance’ by The Pointer Sisters
  • ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This’ by Pet Shop Boys

She actually does mention Howard The Duck on her site, but she also wrote songs for Richard Simmons, so I guess she has nothing to hide.

The Original Score
If there already wasn’t enough talent associated with the Howard The Duck soundtrack, Lucas was able to get John Barry to write the score. Barry’s best-known for writing the James Bond theme, but he’s composed scores for over a hundred movies, including Dances With Wolves and Indecent Proposal. He also wrote the score to the 1976 remake of King Kong, so he can’t even say that Howard The Duck was the worst movie he worked on.

Double Bonus!!
Howard The Duck Megamix
Don’t Turn Away (Single Version)
From my first Howard The Duck post, here are the two tracks from the 12” single.

6 Responses to “Howard The A. Platyrhynchos.”

  1. Richard says:

    Mon frere, I may be the only one who says this, but thanks for posting these. I kind of hate that this movie is so vilified, as the few positives about it get thrown out with the bathwater. Anyway, thanks a ton.

  2. Steve says:

    There’s a fairly comprehensive account of Tata Vega’s disco career over at “Disco Delivery” for anyone who’s curious.

  3. Koop says:

    thanks for posting this!
    great stuff.

  4. natsuqui says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    I’d been looking for “Don’t Turn Away” by Thomas Dolby since I listened to the song on the radio by chance when I was teenager.

  5. Anonymous says:

    wow very nice

  6. cristian says:

    I can't find "Don't turn away" by Lea herself, I guess they never released it, too bad…I love that song on the movie, her voice is amazing. 80's…good times man..and I was a kid then…not even a teen.

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