Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Soundtrack To "Alice's Restaurant" Gets Expanded For It's 50th Anniversary

It all started 50 years ago, that's 50 years ago on Thanksgiving that folk artist Arlo Guthrie created a soundtrack to the movie, of the song that has become a national pastime for Thanksgiving. The song is called "Alice's Restaurant" and it tells the story of how Arlo got arrested for dumping garbage over a cliff because the town dump was closed on Thanksgiving. This 18-minute tale has become the anthem of how a simple task of helping out a friend can become a fight against politics.

A movie about the song was directed by Arthur Penn (who directed "Bonnie And Clyde") and starred Arlo Guthrie in the tale he wrote about in his song "Alice's Restaurant." Penn would later receive an Oscar nomination for his direction of the film. Even better than the film, in my opinion, is the soundtrack that features a studio version of the "Alice's Restaurant" tale, along with bluegrass ("Traveling Music" and "Trip To The City") and bluesy ("The Let Down" and "Harps And Marriage") instrumentals, as well as a gospel choir performing the timeless song, "Amazing Grace."

In 1998, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film, the soundtrack was remastered and eleven new bonus tracks from the movie were added to the soundtrack. Now, for it's 50th anniversary, "Alice's Restaurant: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack" will feature all 21-tracks from its previous releases, along with a 24-minute version of the song "Alice's Restaurant" from 1968 that tells the tale of the "Multi-Color Rainbow Roach Affair." This studio version of the song has never been previously released and is a wonderful addition to this soundtrack. The quality is not as clear and sharp as the rest of the soundtrack, but listening to this song makes you feel like you are sitting in the studio with Arlo, as he is just playing for the people in the studio that day.

This new 50th anniversary version of the soundtrack to "Alice's Restaurant" will be released on August 23 on CD and on double vinyl LP. Included with the CD is a 16-page full color booklet with liner notes from music author Lee Zimmerman and a reflection from Arlo on what the 50th anniversary of this release means to him. To find out more about this new version of "Alice's Restaurant: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack," please visit

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