Friday, July 11, 2008

Sammy Johns - The Van

Here's my cover for the soundtrack from the 1977 film The Van. Directed by the late Sam Grossman, and starring Stuart Goetz and the world's biggest little person Danny DeVito.

The main selling point to this soundtrack would be that it features Chevy Van, Johns' "Hits of the 70's" compilation mainstay. A bit of an odd song choice for the film as "The Van" in question is actually a Dodge, not a Chevy. But I guess if you've got a movie about a van, you need some kind of van song, so why not the smooth, laidback sound of Sammy Johns' Chevy Van? The whole soundtrack actually sounds very fitting for a movie about driving a van around aimlessly. It could've fit nicely in any number of late 70's/early 80's driving films; Cannonball Run, Smokey and the Bandit, Stroker Ace - hell, anything Burt Reynolds did between 1977 and 1983. The music reminds me alot of what you'd hear in any of those movies. Personally I'm currently enjoying the crap out of track 3, Hang My Head and Moan, definitely recommend that one.

I didn't really like the front cover - a creepy, cartoonish drawing of an apparently hammered and sorrowful Sammy Johns. So I made the front cover using the poster, and reworked the back cover a little bit. Well, I redid the text and lines on the back entirely, but redid them the same as it was before, if that makes sense. Just some touch up work I guess you could say. I've included my new covers, and the original cover scans in the folder.

NOBODY calls Dugan a TURD!


gilligan said...

Just downloaded it. Beautiful. I've had a ridiculously hard time finding old Sammy Johns stuff (I tried Napster, Yahoo Music, lastFM, IMEEM, etc. with no luck); so, this made my day. I guess I didn't realize the soundtrack had been released to purchase.

I recently composed a post about this intrinsically 70's film on my blog, so I won't rehash it here. Let's just say this film is pure 70's gold. Much appreciated!

Neal Snow said...

About the only way to find any Sammy John's material is to dig through the used vinyl bins. As far as I know there is only a "greatest hits" cd for Sammy Johns, but the choices were few and poorly picked. If anyone picks up any hisses of crackles on my rip, please let me know and I'll give it another shot.

Chick Young said...

Phelpster, many many thanks for this. I love this movie. Synapse Films co-founder and head honcho Don May Jr. claims "Chevy Van" is his absolute FAVORITE song of the 1970s. The entire decade.

Thanks man as usual for amazing stuff!

The Don said...

oh man, the music in this movie is amazing! It's worth seeing this craptastic flick just for the opening driving scene set to "Chevy Van" despite the fact that the kid is clearly driving a Dodge. Crown International Pictures made some of the best of the best in the exploitation genre.

The Don said...

Van Nuys Blvd also has an Amazing theme song that I have yet to dig up, but I'm sure it's out there somewhere!

Anonymous said...

Sammy Johns self-titled debut album was reissued in 2011.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of a re-up?


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