||From the Vault...
"The Wrestling Album"
© Koch/Sony Records
Land Of A
Grab Them Cakes--
Junk Yard Dog
Eat Your Hart Out
History Of Music/
Captain Lou Albano
Hulk Hogan's Theme--
The WWF All Stars
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Mean Jean Okerlund
Don't Go Messin'
With A Country
WWF related sites:
"The Wrestling Album"
The first World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment "Soundtrack" : Where it all began, where Vince McMahon made
Wrestling a household word -- His father (also named Vincent James McMahon), was a wrestling promoter. By the time his
father retired in the 1980s, Vincent Kennedy McMahon would take over. From that point on, he would turn the World Wrestling
Federation into a powerhouse wrestling corporation. For the next decade, nothing could stop the WWF. McMahon had
literally brought into his company wrestlers from other corporations, and turned them into superstars. His biggest
accomplishment was signing wrestlers from Verne Gagne's AWA (American Wrestling Association). One wrestler in particular
was Terry Bolbea, aka "Hulk Hogan." Hogan would be the biggest and most popular superstar of the WWF. Other superstars
would follow, and the rest they would say, is wrestling history. (The World Wrestling Federation changed it's name to World
Wrestling Entertainment in 2002, due to the dispute of the letters "WWF" belonging to the World Wide Fund for Nature.)
As many superstars to surface from the WWF, they had their own theme music. The Wrestling Album is the first
of these "soundtracks." Vince McMahon was a ringside announcer at the time, as he is shown on the album cover, with Gene
Okerlund and Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Okerlund and Ventura, like Hogan, were recruits from the AWA. As I used to watch
the AWA, other wrestlers who appear on the front and back of the album cover were also from the AWA: Paul Orndoff, and
"Jumping" Jim Brunzell. (Interesting note on Brunzell: He was a tag team partner with Greg Gagne in the AWA. Greg was
Verne Gagne's son. To my knowledge, Greg Gagne never joined the WWF.)
The Wrestlers' ensemble the classic Wilson Picket tune, "Land Of A Thousand Dances," titled with (?!!?). Of
course, the original version is much better than this one. Junk Yard Dog's "Grab Them Cakes" is almost a rap song,
but not as annoying.
The best song (and the main reason to get this CD), is (Rick) Derringer's "Real American." At the time it first
appeared on the WWF, it was the theme song for the tag team of Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo. In much later years, it
would be the theme song for Hulk Hogan. I've researched Rick Derringer's music, and to my recall, I have yet to see "Real
American" on any of his releases.
Jimmy Hart's "Eat Your Hart Out, Rick Springfield" is an original tune, written by Jimmy Hart "The Mouth of the
South." I don't recall this song while watching the WWF in their prime. And, I don't recall seeing singer Rick
Springfield there either, where in most cases, a well-known celebrity would appear on the wrestling show, in a particular feud
with one (or more) of the wrestlers. (The most popular one, was comedian Andy Kaufman vs. Jerry "The King" Lawler.)
What a lot of people may not know about Jimmy Hart, was that he was a singer for the music group, The Gentrys. Their
biggest hit was "Keep On Dancing," in 1965.
Captain Lou Albano was famous as he was introduced by singer Cyndi Lauper. Many thought Captain Lou was Cyndi's father,
due to the fact of how both of them were dressed. Not the case: Captain Lou did play Cyndi's "Dad" in her video, "Girls
Just Want To Have Fun." "Captain Lou's History Of Music/Captain Lou" sounds like another "rap" song, and yes,
this one is annoying.
As mentioned about Hulk Hogan's theme of "Real American," the next tune is that of "Hulk Hogan's ™
Theme." As I listen to this song, I cannot actually say I remember this song at all. "Real American" was
(and still is) the true standout theme song for the Hulkster.
Like Hogan, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper was truly another great and popular wrestler for the WWE. His rivalries and feuds
with various wrestlers (including Hogan) were just classic. Piper's song "For Everybody" is another song I don't
remember. Is it a good song? Not really, it's basically like the rest of the album, except for "Real American."
Mean Gene Okerlund's cover of Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" isn't really bad. And I do vaugely remember him
singing this song on the WWF. (An interesting note how Gene's first name is spelled on the back cover of the CD:
On that notion of Mean Gene's song, the next track is one I do remember and enjoyed: The theme for Hulk Hogan's friend,
Hillbilly Jim -- "Don't Go Messin' With A Country Boy."
Foreign wrestlers were fun to watch, as Russia's Nikolai Volkoff and Iran's The Iron Sheik would exchange insults with
American wrestlers regarding their countries. The infamous shouts of the crowd's "Sheik's a freak," and Sheik's own
saying "Iran.. #1.. USA, ah phooey!" were classics. Volkoff and the Sheik were tag team partners. (It was Hogan who beat
Sheik for the championship, and Hogan's star was born.) Volkoff's version of "Cara Mia" is here, and it's just
another ok tune. But the best moment of Volkoff, is when he tried to sing his national anthem before his matches, as the
crowd kept booing.
Highlights of this album are in between songs, where Mean Gene Okerlund and Jesse "The Body" Ventura exchange words
regarding themselves, their fellow wrestlers, and the tracks soon to be heard. The best songs here are Derringer's
"Real American," Hillbilly Jim's "Don't Go Messin' With A Country Boy," and we'll even give Mean GENE
Okerlund's "Tutti Frutti" the nod. The rest of these songs I think we're just thrown in for good measure.
Overall, WWF's The Wrestling Album is a good soundtrack, yet the best moments are for those who remember watching
the WWF in their prime years. As I look at the front and back cover of this album, there are some great wrestling faces:
Paul orndorff, George "The Animal" Steele, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, The Missing Link, Cowboy Bob Orton, Brutus Beefcake,
Barry Windham & Mike Rotundo, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Hillbilly Jim, Junkyard Dog, Jimmy Hart, Captain Lou Albano,
Howard Finkel (announcer), Freddie Blassie, Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell (The Killer Bees), Randy "Macho Man" Savage,
Miss Elizabeth, Vince McMahon, Mean Gene Okerlund, Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Surprisingly, Hulk Hogan was not on either
the front or back cover. Other faces that would have great to see on these covers: Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, "Rowdy"
Roddy Piper, Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff.
As for an update on these wonderful Superstars, some of them have passed away: The Missing Link died in 2007 of cancer
(68 years old). Junkyard Dog died from a car accident in 1998 (44 years old). Captain Lou Albano died in his sleep of a
heart attack in 2009 (76 years old). Freddie Blassie died of heart and kidney failure in 2003 (85 years old). Randy
"Macho Man" Savage died from a car accident in 2011 (58 years old). Miss Elizabeth died of a drug overdose in 2003
(42 years old). (Her abusive relationship with wrestler Lex Luger was also mentioned as partially cause of death.)
All of the wrestling names mentioned in this review can be found on their Wikipedia pages:
George "The Animal" Steele,
Greg "The Hammer" Valentine,
The Missing Link,
Cowboy Bob Orton,
Captain Lou Albano,
Randy "Macho Man" Savage,
Rowdy Roddy Piper,
Wrestling has changed dramatically since the heyday of the WWF. Today's WWE just isn't the same.
Throughout the past decades, wrestling corporations such as World Class Championship (WCCW),
World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling, (ECW), Total Nonstop
Wrestling (TNA) have all attempted and pretty much failed to keep up with the WWE. The WWE seems to
be the one corporation that everyone falls back on, but still, Wrestling just isn't what it used to be.
Too much on the "Entertainment" such as who acts differently, "dresses up" differently. There's even
violence and sex involved. Gone are the days where guys (and gals) would get into the ring and JUST
WRESTLE. Isn't that what this "sport" is about?
The heyday of Wrestling was the AWA and the beginning of the WWF. Even Texas' World Class
Championship Wrestling (WCCW) was worth watching. WWF's The Wrestling Album should bring back
those glory days of what Wrestling used to be -- Entertainment.
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