There aren’t many shows that would hype a soundtrack with the slogan, “It’s like huffing glue through your ears.” Then again, there aren’t many—or any—shows like It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the boozy, anarchic sitcom whose sixth season debuts tonight on FX and whose first collection of featured music was released earlier this month. “That was not my idea,” says Charlie Day, who co-created the show and essays the role of the unhinged, and paint-huffing, “Charlie.” “But I wish I could take credit, and I do imagine you will get a similar sensation when you listen to it.”
The soundtrack rounds up the soothing muzak that punctuates and somehow perfectly complements the show’s mayhem. How did the It’s Always Sunny… team come up with the idea to mix easy listening vibes with their characters’ hard living ways? “The original pilot took place in Los Angeles,” explains Day. “All the characters were actors and we had this sort of ‘cha-cha’ version of ‘Hooray for Hollywood.’ FX loved the show, but wanted to take it out of the entertainment industry. We had a music supervisor called Ray Espinola and we said, ‘Give us everything you have in a sort of Leave It to Beaver with a big band-swing kind of feel,’ and the majority of the songs are from what he sent over. When you set it against what these characters were doing—which often times can be perceived as quite despicable, or wrong—it really disarmed the audience. It just became our go-to library of songs.”
The soundtrack includes the show’s theme tune, “Temptation Sensation” by Heinz Kiessling—a number whose excitable, suggestive title could not be more at odds with its mellifluous nature. “Yeah, it’s much more a title for a pornographic film,” laughs Day. “Some of these have the most bizarre titles for what they are: ‘Hotsy-Totsy,’ ‘Honey Bunch.’ We were leaning towards ‘Off Broadway’ to be the theme song. But John Landgraf, the president of the network, really liked ‘Temptation Sensation’ and he put his foot down. Now I’m happy it’s the theme tune. But it is an odd title.”
Tragically not included on the soundtrack are any songs from the show’s berserk rock opera “The Nightman Cometh.” Day acknowledges is an omission that is bound to disappoint many members of the sitcom’s rabid fan base. “The fans really love the original music from the show and I’d love to sit down and record some of it and give it to them,” he says. “That must be done!”
Those who need reminding of quite why that must be done should check out the clip after the break, where you’ll also find a soothing slice of “Temptation Sensation.”
Are you tempted to buy the soundtrack? Or disappointed by the absence of “Day Man” and the rest of the homegrown Sunny tunes?