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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Defending Wonka

Posted by on July 14 at 10:13 AM

I must protest Sean’s comment in his review of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that the original 1971 film features “shitty songs.” Au contraire, composers Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley garnered three Academy Award nominations for damn good reasons. “Pure Imagination” remains a wistful, captivating ballad (and if you don’t like the original, check out the recent cover by LA soul-jazz ensemble Build An Ark), and Veruca Salt’s eleventh-hour turn, “I Want It Now,” should be in every karaoke book on Capitol Hill. Sure, “The Candy Man” is one of the most insidious pop songs ever, but it still whips the pants off anything in the bloated canon of Danny Elfman (with the possible exception of Oingo Boingo’s “Weird Science”).