The family classic about a zany inventor, his kids and their amazing flying car recently came out as a 2-DVD set; now comes the soundtrack, MGM's most requested one! Dick Van Dyke is a delight and the songs are just irresistible: Toot Sweets; Hushabye Mountain , and more gems penned by Richard M. Sherman and Robert M. Sherman. Hop aboard!
1964 brought both triumph and ironic tragedy to English spy-turned-author Ian Fleming. The year that saw producer Cubby Broccoli's successful film adaptation of Goldfinger
elevate the adventures of British secret agent James Bond into a four-decade-plus global phenomena and the publication of Fleming's most idiosyncratic work, the children's fantasy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
, was also the year the author succumbed to a heart attack. Broccoli (who'd acquired the Chitty rights along with Bond) shrewdly lured the Sherman Brothers away from Disney (where their musical successes included a pair of Oscars for Mary Poppins
) to write a collection of songs for Fleming's magical tale of inventor Caractacus Potts (Poppins' star Dick Van Dyke) and the phantasmagorical flying car he and his children soar to adventure in. The Sherman's songs are among their best and most beloved, highlighted by the jaunty rhythmic rhymes of the title track, Van Dyke's energetic cane dance, "Me Ol' Bam-Boo," and his bittersweet children's lullaby, "Hushabye Mountain," all set to the magnificent, 90-piece orchestra arrangements of Irwin Kostal (Mary Poppins
, West Side Story
). Released in conjunction with MGM's double-disc DVD anniversary release, this new edition restores the album's tracks to their original 1968 format and features a new historical essay on the film that's become an enduring children's classic. --Jerry McCulley