Car Wash: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

August 14, 2014 - Comment

Boasting the hits Car Wash and I Wanna Get Next to You , this is one of the finest, funkiest scores of the ’70s.If Car Wash looks and feels like a 97-minute music video, there’s good reason for it. Lacking anything resembling a workable script, screenwriter Joel Schumacher (yes, him–funny how things don’t change, isn’t

Boasting the hits Car Wash and I Wanna Get Next to You , this is one of the finest, funkiest scores of the ’70s.If Car Wash looks and feels like a 97-minute music video, there’s good reason for it. Lacking anything resembling a workable script, screenwriter Joel Schumacher (yes, him–funny how things don’t change, isn’t it?) enlisted Motown veteran Norman Whitfield to compose a batch of songs that would, in effect, “drive” the film. It’s clear from the finished film that Schumacher never overcame his writer’s block, but Whitfield more than met his end of the bargain, compiling a soundtrack that yielded three top 10 singles, and a musical oeuvre that Rose Royce is still milking to this day. Car Wash succeeds by way of its mass appeal. Whitfield forwent the parochial, if classic, Motown Sound, and incorporated elements of rock, disco, and blaxploitation-esque incidental music, resulting in a meaty–and marketable–party record. Whitfield casts Rose Royce as the new Sly and the Family Stone, and though they don’t quite fill those shoes, it’s a blast to hear them try. –Matt Hanks

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