B-Sides: Groovin’ with the Addams Family
I can’t think of a more fitting B-Sides to run on the weekend that sees the release of another big budget horror comedy based on a 1960’s half-hour program about a ghoulish family living in a Gothic manner than this weekend’s musical selection.
Michael Jackson was originally tapped by Paramount to pen a “Thriller”-esque theme song for the 1993 sequel Addams Family Values. Then Jackson got accused of doing things more ghoulish than anything the Addams Family could ever come up with, and the song got scrapped. Paramount turned to the very popular at the time MC Hammer, who quickly whipped up the “Addams Family Groove”.
I’ve always found this song to be like a lot of MC Hammer’s music: starts off getting your blood pumping and then quickly becomes annoying and repetitive. That “Addams Family Groove” came about at the last second might explain why it appears to be less than sixty seconds of song stretched out to nearly highly repetitious four minutes.
They do what they wanna do, say what they wanna say
Live how they wanna live, play how they wanna play
Dance how they wanna dance, kick and they slap a friend
The Addams Family!
And once you’ve heard those lyrics the first time, you’ve already heard 75% of this song because you’re going to hear those lyrics repeated until you want to beg Thing to grip you by the throat and choke the life out of you.
The song still climbed to #7 on charts in the US, and the video, which boasts the film’s cast and played in movie theaters after the film, is undeniably quite the production in its own right.
Meanwhile, “Is it Scary” – the song Michael Jackson penned for the film and was in the process of shooting a video for when charges of child molestation and a stint in rehab for prescription pill addiction derailed the project – would eventually appear on his 1997 album Blood on the Dance Floor and the video completed and released as the short film Ghosts. As Paul Harvey would say, now you know the rest of the story.
Now take a few minutes to watch MC Hammer’s “Addams Family Values” music video if only to be reminded how great a loss to the world of cinema Raul Julia’s premature death truly was.
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