"Let Us Get Together"
"But I Ain't Got You"
"Tommy Gun Theme / Prediction Skit"
"I Think We're Alone Now"
"Louie, Louie / Wild Thing"
"I Feel Fine"
"Feeling Alright / Resolutions Skit"
"Let Us Get Together"
"Countdown to New Years Skit"
"Old Lang Xyme"
"Happy Birthday to Mitzi"
"It's Been a Great New Years"
In this showtape the Rock-afire Explosion counts down to the New Year of 1988 in a true party fashion. The tape is presented as a live event, running continuous from start to finish, and was actually recorded live to give it a genuine feel. The Rock-afire performs many great songs as midnight approaches, gives their resolutions, and the characters make predictions of what the next year might bring. They also sing a special birthday song to Mitzi who turns 17 at the stroke of midnight.
Old Lang Xyme
- Earl again teaches everyone how to sing the words to "Old Lang Xyme", and Fatz reminds him of how he messed it up the last time he tried teaching everyone, probably referencing New Years Eve 1982
- Since this show was recorded live (and seemingly unrehearsed) a handful of screw-ups occurred. The biggest was when Mitzi forgot the second verse to "I Think We're Alone Now". She was able to pick it back up but not before some mass confusion. Beach Bear also dropped a few lyrics when singing "Tempted".
- Toward the beginning of this show they make reference to all the sounds Fatz can make with his "new model fangled synthysizer" and they make a joke about all the advancements that are around in 1988. Obviously the name "Tune Machine" hadn't been standardized just yet.
- Clocking in at nearly 54 minutes long, this show holds the record for the longest ever performed by the Rock-afire Explosion. There's no breaks or intermissions from start to finish.
Sing It Again
- This show consists of mostly unique songs never performed before by the Rock-afire, but also contains a few that were done on other occasions. The song "Mony Mony" appeared again on the Colander Head Night
showtape. The song "Shout" was recorded previously in the Oldies Medley
. "Louie, Louie" was recorded a year or two later as part of the Dance Contest
-4.5 out of 5 Tokens-
New Years '88 has many problems from start to finish - sloppy and often awkward transitions, unrehearsed banter between the characters, bizarre improvised harmonization, and overall the showtape is extremely rough and unpolished. It therefore deserves next to a perfect score.
Confused? It's actually pretty simple. This tape really shows off the Rock-afire Explosion as a "real" band - which they were. The chemistry between the voice actors is amazing, even when all the parts don't fit together in perfect unison the show is still very entertaining and humorous. And not canned bad-jokes, but more improvised and genuinely funny interactions. Picture the Colander Head Night Telethon
but presented as an actual ShowBiz showtape. Ingenious.
The show is more or less a live performance, with all the flaws left intact. And oddly enough, this show probably took weeks of careful programming, but was intended to come off as a raw live show. Quite a neat concept in and of itself. It's obvious that they did have (at least) a loose script they were following - Beach Bear at one point awkwardly asks if "Looney Bird approves the set-list prior to...", as though he was trying to hint at something without actually saying it with the tape recording. There was also some re-mastering done at one point because when "Old Lang Xyme" is performed you can hear both Billy Bob and Earl singing simultaneously which would have been impossible without some studio work.
At the end of the day this showtape helps define what it was that put the Rock-afire Explosion a league of their own. They were a group of musicians behind the scenes - not a group of professional voice actors hired to sing over studio-produced music. This tape, more than most, really exemplifies that.