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"15th Anniversary Special Edition Soundtrack": The CD That Never Was

Many fans of the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" have been under the assumption for many years that a soundtrack album was once released, but is now "out of print."  Though the soundtrack to John Hughes' film is considered by many to be a bonafide '80s classic, Hughes refused to ever release an official soundtrack album.  He felt that the selection of songs used in the movie was simply too eclectic and varied to make for a cohesive album.  The closest thing to be released was a promotional 7" single with "Beat City" by The Flowerpot Men on the a-side and "I'm Afraid" by Blue Room on the b-side.  This was given out at certain screenings of the film in 1986.

In recent years, a number of online fans began compiling their own "unofficial soundtrack" for the film, featuring all the songs used in the film - some from very rare vinyl - as well as some memorable dialogue.  We at Crapple were fortunate enough to hear a copy of this soundtrack, but ultimately felt pretty dissatisfied with the end result.  Most of the tracks - including dialogue - sounded as if they came from low quality mp3s, and had surface noise and a warble in them.  Certain pieces of dialogue were presented in vastly truncated form, such as Ferris' "they bought it" rant (which ended after he says "how could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?").  Moreover, certain major characters - such as Rooney and Jeanie - had no dialogue whatsoever.  Certain semi-musical segments that could have been included were also passed over, such as the "Shana/Jeanie" doo-wop song and Ferris' synth version of the "Blue Danube Waltz."  And a few of the track choices were questionable, such as the glaring omission of the film versions of two very important segments: the "Star Wars" theme that plays while the parking garage attendants are driving the Ferrari, and "Twist And Shout" with the marching band and parade noises.  It was a bit baffling to hear the full length studio versions of those songs in the middle of the disc, particularly "Star Wars."

So needless to say, we at Crapple set about creating our very own version of the soundtrack.


Titled "Ferris Bueller's Day Off: 15th Anniversary Special Edition Soundtrack," our version - we feel - improves greatly upon past versions of the soundtrack, both in terms of material chosen, quality, and even artwork.  The method behind our version of the soundtrack was to create more of an interactive feel for the listener.  Out of the 28 tracks, 15 are taken directly from the film itself.  These tracks are culled from the DVD and are presented in full digital stereo.  "Star Wars" and "Twist And Shout" are definitely more exciting to hear this way, with the latter being the real heart of the soundtrack.  And the abundance of dialogue tracks merely serves to give the music tracks context.

Two of the songs - "Beat City" and "I'm Afraid" - are still culled from rare vinyl (with one or two pops audibly edited out by an unknown source) and thus are still of questionable quality.  But due to the sheer rarity of these two tracks, it's a miracle they even exist at all.  Nearly every other track was culled from first generation sources, or very high quality mp3s.  Additionally, everything is presented in chronological order.

It has been 15 years since "Ferris" appeared on movie screens and thrilled an entire generation of young Americans.  It's about time the soundtrack was done justice.  While our version isn't perfect, it's probably as good as it will ever get.

UPDATE: MAY 13TH, 2007

By an insane stroke of luck, we now OWN a copy of the ultra-rare 7" single, containing "Beat City" and "I'm Afraid"! We made an offhand post on the Steve Hoffman Music Forum a few months back about "musical holy grails" and were contacted a few weeks later by DJ Ron "Boogiemonster" Gerber from KFAI in Minneapolis. He informed us he had a copy of the single that he played on his radio show and that he'd be glad to make a fresh needledrop for us. After hearing how excited we were, he decided to SELL us the single...for a very decent price, I might add. We did needledrops of both sides and then passed the wavs on to Noodlemaps from the Steve Bartek Forum, who did some clean-up work. It's probably safe to say that these vinyl-only tracks are now the best they will EVER sound. They are leagues better than the old mp3s that were circulating (especially "I'm Afraid"). Needless to say, the soundtrack has now been updated accordingly! Innumerable thanks to Ron Gerber and Noodlemaps!

We took this opportunity to also update a few of the other tracks on the soundtrack. You can find details about that below.


Tracks

TRACK SOURCE DESCRIPTION QUALITY
1 "They bought it" DVD Ferris' entire opening rant, from "they bought it" to "I'd still have to bum rides off people." Excellent
2 LOVE MISSILE F1-11 (EXTENDED VERSION) - Sigue Sigue Sputnik CD-R
(Vinyl)
Song that plays in background during Ferris' opening rant.  This is a remix, but is the actual version used for the film. Near mint.  Very minor, occasional vinyl surface noise.
3 "Bueller?" DVD The entire roll call scene from "Adams?" to "no problem whatsoever." Excellent
4 "Let my Cameron go" DVD Cameron's bedridden song with Ferris' little commentary about how "tight" Cameron is. Excellent
5 JEANNIE (THEME FROM "I DREAM OF JEANNIE") - Hugo Montenegro MP3
(CD)
Plays when Ferris is dancing around his room. Excellent.  Any anomalies present are inherent on the original recording.
6 Ferris' Blue Danube Waltz DVD Ferris' brief synth rendition of the "Blue Danube Waltz." Excellent
7 "A righteous dude" DVD A bit of Ed and Grace's conversation about Ferris, from "what is so dangerous about Ferris Bueller..." to "they think he's a righteous dude." Excellent
8 "The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California" DVD A bit of Ferris and Cameron's dialogue about the Ferrari.  Opens with the sound of the garage doors opening and ends with "it's his fault he didn't lock the garage."  Excellent
9 OH YEAH - Yello CD Plays while Ferris and Cameron are talking about the Ferrari.  A remix also plays during the closing credits of the film (see track 28). Excellent
10 "What are we gonna do?" DVD When Ferris first gets in the Ferrari with Sloan and Cameron.  From "what are we gonna do?" to "neither would I" and engine noises. Excellent
11 BEAT CITY - The Flowerpot Men 7" single
(Vinyl)
Plays while Ferris, Sloan and Cameron first cruise into Chicago. The second poorest sounding track on the CD.  Whoever encoded it obviously had a very worn copy of the vinyl 7".  A little muddy sounding, with some occasional crackles.  Two spots are missing a *split* second of music, which leaves a little jump.  Many attempts were made at finding a better quality mp3, but all mp3s seemed absolutely identical to this one.

UPDATED: As stated above, this is now a fresh needledrop that has been cleaned up a bit. Sounds SUBSTANTIALLY better than the poor mp3 that has circulated for years. There were no skips on the vinyl and no NoNoise was added, which automatically makes this leagues better than what we already had. Bright and clear with little surface noise.
12 "Save Ferris?" DVD A student encounters Jeanie in the hallway and begs her for a donation to "save Ferris."  Ends with "you heartless wench!" Excellent
13 BAD - Big Audio Dynamite MP3
(CD)
Plays when the trio gets to the parking garage. Excellent
14 "Star Wars" and the Ferrari DVD Scene where the two parking garage attendants take the Ferrari out for a little spin.  Starts with burst of "Star Wars" and fades at end of scene. Excellent
15 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET ME GET WHAT I WANT (INSTRUMENTAL VERSION) - The Dream Academy MP3
(Vinyl)
Plays as the trio goes on an adventure in the museum. Excellent.  Very minor surface noise in one or two places.
16 "You're such a wonderful crowd" DVD Ferris addresses the crowd at the parade.  From "Ladies and gentlemen..." to "Cameron Fry, this one's for you." Excellent
17 DANKE SCHOEN - Wayne Newton MP3
(CD)
The first song Ferris "sings" at the parade. Excellent
18 "Twist And Shout" at the parade DVD The second song Ferris "sings" at the parade.  Begins with Sloan's question to Cameron, "what do you think Ferris is going to do?" and ends with the parade applauding and cheering.

UPDATED: This now begins with the echoed PCM stereo version of "Twist And Shout" from "The Beatles Anthology" DVD series and segues smoothly into the film version. This way, there is no random and jarring dialogue from Sloan and Cameron at the beginning.
Excellent
19 RADIO PEOPLE - Zapp CD-R
(CD)
Plays as the trio is cruising around Chicago, after leaving the parking garage. Excellent
20 Cameron goes berserk DVD Cameron screams after realizing how many miles have been put on the car.  Starts with Ferris saying "this is where Cameron goes berserk" and fades after Cam's finished screaming. 

UPDATED: This bit of dialogue now begins with Cameron and Ferris talking about how many miles are on the car. This bit of context makes the dialogue more enjoyable.
Excellent
21 "I heard that you were feeling ill..." DVD Jeanie gets inadvertantly serenaded by a singing telegram nurse.  Begins with the doorbell ringing and ends with Jeanie abruptly slamming the door. Excellent
22 I'M AFRAID - Blue Room 7" single
(Vinyl)
Plays while Sloan tries too sooth the catatonic Cameron and Ferris talks to the camera. Unfortunately, the poorest sounding track on the CD.  Scratchy vinyl surface noise is apparent throughout the entire track.  Like "Beat City," there are several places where skips were edited out, thus leaving a split second jump.  Again, several attempts at finding a higher quality mp3 were to no avail.

UPDATED: Also a fresh needledrop from the newly acquired 7" single. Very bright and clear with slightly more surface noise than "Beat City" (mostly audible in the fade out). Again, no piecing together was necessary, as there were no skips, and of course no NoNoise was added.
23 TAKING THE DAY OFF - General Public CD-R
(CD)
Plays on a boombox while Ferris and Sloan take a dip in the pool. Excellent
24 Shana/Jeanie DVD The doo-wop song that plays in the background as Jeanie says goodbye to Garth in the police station.  Begins with "let's not ruin this with a lot of talk" and ends with Jeanie delightfully crooning "Danke Schoen." Excellent
25 THE EDGE OF FOREVER - The Dream Academy CD-R
(CD)
Plays while Ferris and Sloan talk about Cameron and then kiss. Excellent.  Maybe a very very slight warble.
26 MARCH OF THE SWIVELHEADS - The (English) Beat CD-R
(Vinyl)
Ferris runs home. Excellent!  You would never guess it's from vinyl.
27 "Life moves pretty fast..." DVD Ferris addresses the camera, at home, safe in bed.  Begins with "yup, I've said it before and I'll say it again..." Excellent
28 OH YEAH (EXTENDED DANCE MIX) - Yello CD-R
(Vinyl?)
Pieces of this remix play over the end credits, as Rooney confronts the bus driver and students on their way home. Excellent.  Again, if it's from vinyl, we certainly can't tell.
Artwork
Rear tray and front cover
The image choice for the front cover was rather obvious and was scanned from the DVD.  The logo, however, was taken from the old VHS cover, since the font used on the DVD is different than the theatrical release.  The back cover is a Warhol-esque collage of Ferris' face, from the last scene after the credits.
Back cover and inner tray
It was decided that a trio shot should be placed pretty prominently in the artwork, since Cameron and Sloan provide the backbone of the film.  A promo shot of the three of them in the Ferrari was put on the back of the booklet.  This shot almost made it to the rear tray.  The cool shot of Ferris with shades was almost put on the back of the booklet, but instead made it into the inner tray.  "Leisure Rules," the original tagline for the film, appears at the left of the tray, which makes for a neat effect when the CD case is closed.
Booklet gatefold
The "Unofficial Soundtrack" had nothing inside the booklet, as well as no track info whatsoever.  We at Crapple had to rectify that.  We gathered many screen captures from the film, darkened them and shrunk them down for a collage.  Our aim here was to represent every major character from the film, as well as the more memorable minor ones.  The song credits are also included, and are presented exactly how they appear in the credits of the film (though the "Danke Shoen" typo was corrected).
Disc face
Another trio shot was chosen for the face of the disc: the gallery outtake shot from the DVD booklet.  The "Save Ferris" quote was originally going to be at the left of the inner tray, but instead made it onto the disc itself, running around the perimeter of the disc.  Serendipity made for a neat effect, as Ferris' eyes peer out at you from the middle of the disc.


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