Watching Ghost Rider last week and hearing Spiderbait’s cover of Johnny Cash’s "Ghost Riders in the Sky" made me want to dig out the Blues Brothers 2000 soundtrack. In the first Blues Brothers film, you may recall, Jake and Elwood do a cover of "Rawhide" in a cowboy bar; I have that soundtrack, and I like that song a lot.
In Blues Brothers 2000, the generally inferior sequel, Elwood and Mighty Mack (John Goodman’s character) end up in a similar predicament. I can’t recall the specifics, but the song they end up singing is "Ghost Riders in the Sky". When I first saw the film in 1998, I recall being thrilled by that scene; there were great CGI ghost horses galloping across the sky, and there were Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman, two of my favorite comedic actors at the time, singing one of my favorite songs of all time. "Wow," I thought to myself. "I didn’t know John Goodman could sing!" (Of course, I was a much more impressionable 30 years old at the time; now I’m a much more cynical and world weary 39).
So I listened to the soundtrack the other day. Turns out my first instict was actually right. John Goodman can’t sing; or, at least, he couldn’t when they did that cover of "Ghost Riders". And Dan Aykroyd didn’t do such a hot job either. Both of their voices were warbly, and uncertain about the notes. Some of the notes were too low even for John Goodman to hit properly (face it, there was only ever one Johnny Cash). The other songs on that album are pretty good, but I think the first one was probably better.
So, of the three versions of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" that I’ve heard, Johnny Cash’s is, of course, the best.
No killer squirrel reports to pass on today. Things are quiet in the interspecies conflict.