Review: Deep Throat Anthology Parts I & II

Light in the Attic Records

Although we live in a time when our no-brow culture celebrates trash in all its degenerate forms, the recently reissued Deep Throat porn soundtrack begs an answer to the question: Don’t some things deserve to be forgotten? Besides, who rents a porn flick for the soundtrack anyway—the same people who buy Playboy for the articles? Nevertheless, those who resurrected this long-lost soundtrack—released shortly before the documentary film Inside Deep Throat—seem to want to remind us that the Casio synthesizer’s generic bow-chicka-bow-bow didn’t always provide the aural bump for the visual hump. Yet that justification alone is (pardon the pun) a little hard to swallow. And so the album looks to distract listeners with a luxurious presentation instead, one that focuses on restoring lost luster with a pretty package, lavish liner notes, and retro chic to spare. The effect is to make you feel like you’re holding a special piece of unappreciated Americana—and aren’t you hipper for it?

At least that seems to be the pitch from Light in the Attic Records, a small, respectable label in Seattle that specializes in resuscitating obscure funk LPs. Striking their match this time in the sticky Las Vegas basement of Arrow Productions (the masterminds behind Deep Throat, Debbie Does Dallas, and other seventies adult classics), they dug up second- and third-generation reels of the soundtrack, originally given away as a free souvenir at movie theaters. They also tracked down the masters for Deep Throat II, the less revealing—and consequently less popular—R-rated sequel from 1974 that nonetheless features a far superior soundtrack. Songs like “She’s Got to Have It” are full of double entendres and backed by a raunchy Rhodes piano, horny horn section, and groovy percussion. You can hear the smile on singer T. J. Stone’s face as he sings the lyrics: “When she wakes up in the morning, she’ll make it hard for you with just one smile/Starry-eyed…she knows what’s coming in a little while.” But already the listener knows what’s coming, too—twenty tracks of similar fluff and movie dialogue that promises much more than it actually delivers.

The reissue’s chief appeal then, lies in its copious liner notes. A salacious interview with self-proclaimed porn spokesman Ron Jeremy shares space with full-color film stills and the musings of a Professor William Wackenstein, who waxes nostalgic about Deep Throat’s cultural significance. “For the first time in history, sick bastards and Bible thumpers alike could eat popcorn and watch porn without shame,” he says about the “little flick that spread like chlamydia at a rural college.” Still, this is all just window dressing for a musically mediocre album that relies heavily on its schlock value. This is perhaps best illustrated by the CD’s cover, which shows Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace in action. A discretely placed yellow sticker admonishes us to “PEEL BACK SLOWLY AND SEE…” I resisted the impulse, and I only wish the kitsch archaeologists who thought they were “rescuing” this album from obscurity had done the same.

Contributor

Derek L. John

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