The surprisingly good soundtrack to Porky's Revenge (1985)

Sometimes terrible movies have good soundtrack albums. One of the most obvious examples I can think of is Porky’s Revenge. You’re reading that right. The third and worst movie of the ‘80’s Porky’s teen-sex trilogy actually had a respectable soundtrack album. It was masterminded by Dave Edmunds, who was able to enlist the aid of many big-name friends.

The soundtrack generally consisted of pseudo-1950’s music, mixing covers and originals. Edmunds’ tracks, however, owed more to the early-‘60’s Beach Boys. One of them, in fact, is a rendition of “Do You Want To Dance” that is faithful to the Beach Boys version. “Queen of the Hop” and “High School Nights” are equally fine examples of pre-Beatles-style party rock. On the other hand, Edmunds’ title instrumental “Porky’s Revenge” sounds totally 1985 to me.

The amazing thing about the soundtrack is the number of big names who participated. George Harrison contributed a tender song called “I Don’t Want To Do It”, a Bob Dylan composition that Dylan never recorded. Two famous ‘50’s instrumentals are covered by modern masters: Jeff Beck does Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”, while E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemons tackles the Peter Gunn theme with gusto. Carl Perkins sings his own “Blue Suede Shoes” with backing from the Stray Cats rhythm section, and Willie Nelson covers “Love Me Tender” exactly the way you imagine him singing it. There’s even an authentic-sounding cover of Charlie Rich’s “Philadelphia Baby” by a one-off supergroup featuring Robert Plant as its lead crooner.

This surprisingly tasteful soundtrack to a tasteless movie was once available as a Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab CD (MFSL MFCD 797). It is currently out of print, but many of its tracks can be purchased as mp3’s through iTunes. Also, “I Don’t Want To Do It” is available on the 2009 George Harrison compilation Let It Roll.

Various Artists “Porky’s Revenge Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (Columbia JS 39983) 1985

Track Listing:

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 – Fabulous Thunderbirds
6. BLUE SUEDE SHOES – Carl Perkins with Slim Jim Phantom & 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, Phil Collins, Paul Martinez with Dave Edmunds)
11. PORKY’S REVENGE – Dave Edmunds with Chuck Leavell, Michael Shrieve & Kenny Aronson
12. HIGH SCHOOL NIGHTS (reprise) – Dave Edmunds

Bonus tracks on 2004 reissue:

13. HONEY DON’T – Carl Perkins
14. DON’T CALL ME TONIGHT – Dave Edmunds