Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ferris Bueller's Day Off Soundtrack

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Soundtrack

(soniclovenoize reconstruction)

1.  Love Missile F1-11 - Sigue Sigue Sputnik
2.  Oh Yeah - Yello
3.  Beat City - The Flower Pot Men
4.  B.A.D. - Big Audio Dynamite
5.  Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Dream Academy
6.  Danke Shoen - Wayne Newton
7.  Twist & Shout - The Beatles
8.  Radio People - Zapp
9.  I'm Afraid – The Blue Room
10.  Taking The Day Off - General Public
11.  The Edge of Forever - The Dream Academy
12.  March of the Swivel Heads - The English Beat

In honor of April Fool’s Day—and of course Spring Break—this is a reconstruction of the unreleased soundtrack to the classic 1986 John Hughes film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Even though much of the film’s music and songs have since become staples of pop culture, an actual soundtrack album was never released because Hughes thought the material was too stylistically diverse and wouldn’t function as a continuous album.  In effect, much of this material remained as rare vinyl-only b-sides and, in some cases, extremely out-of-print and nearly impossible to find.  This reconstruction attempts to collect the best versions of the relevant selections from eleven different sources and present the cohesive album that Hughes did not believe could be made. 

A top-grossing film at the time of its release that has grown to such celebratory heights as being selected for inclusion into the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is the story of three teenagers search for freedom in our modern world, something that every young Baby Buster and old Generation X-er seemed to relate to.  Following the antics of clever teen Ferris Bueller’s attempts to skip school with his friends Cameron and Sloane and jaunt around Chicago, the film also featured a classic soundtrack that bounced from then-contemporary New Wave to the classics to other cinematic comedic nods.  But what set Ferris Bueller apart from other 80s John Hughes films such as Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink was the lack of an official soundtrack album, despite having noteworthy and culturally relevant music featured in the film.  Quoted as feeling that he wouldn’t think “anyone would like it”, Hughes ditched the notion of actually releasing a soundtrack and instead released a hand-made limited edition 7” single of “Beat City” b/w “I’m Afraid” to the John Hughes mailing list.  That 7” is now long-forgotten and hard to locate, with copies sporadically appearing on eBay, selling for upwards of $200; this dire situation is worsened by the fact that this is the only release one could find those two specific songs! 

Although the Ferris Bueller soundtrack has been reconstructed by other blogs throughout the years, my version is a bit different as it does not attempt to be all-inclusive and exhaustively comprehensive, what I perceive as a pitfall of those other versions.  My reconstruction will be limited to an album-length soundtrack, comparable to other John Hughes soundtracks—what would have most likely been released in 1986.  In effect, I will not be including incidental music (notably the score by Ira Newborn) and other media themes used as comedic effect (The Star Wars Theme, the theme from I Dream of Jeanie); we will only include the music most likely to have been released on a 1986 soundtrack album. The songs are sequenced in the order they appear in the film and it is also available in a lossless option, something not previously found on other blogs -- especially for the Fan Club 7" tracks.

My reconstruction beings with the Extended Mix of “Love Missile F1-11” by Sigue Sigue Sputnik, which is featured as the music bed for the opening scenes in which Ferris lectures the viewer about skipping school.  This is a rare mix not found on any album, taken from the A-side of the Love Missile 12” single.  Next is probably the most well known track from the soundtrack, “Oh Yeah” by Yello which has become synonymous with greed and lust.  Featured throughout the film—but most notably when Cameron shows Ferris his father’s Ferrari, it is taken from the first pressing of their album Stella.  Next is one of the rarest tracks, “Beat City” by The Flower Pot Men, occurring during the scene as the trio drive to Chicago.  This recording is the actual film version taken from a lossless rip of the rare John Hughes fan club 7”, not the live recording found on The Janice Long Session EP.  Big Audio Dynamite’s “B.A.D.” follows, heard during the garage scene, taken from an original pre-emphasized copy of their debut album.  An instrumental version of The Dream Academy’s cover of The Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” is taken from the compilation album Boutique Chill, the only CD release of the track in existence; the song was famously used during the trio’s visit to the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Next is “Danke Shoen” by Wayne Newton, taken from the Capitol Collector’s Series CD; although the song is a reoccurring motif throughout the film, this recording is featured during the parade scene, “sung” by Ferris on a float.  The second number to be “sung” is “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles, this recording taken from their current 2009 remaster series (still the best master in my opinion!).  Notably, John Hughes overdubbed a horn section onto the track for the film to fit the setting, much to the displeasure of Paul McCartney; Hughes then kept the mix in the can after discovering he offended a Beatle!  Driving home from Chicago we hear Zapp’s “Radio People”, taken from their album The New Zapp IV U.  Probably the rarest of all recordings included is Blue Room’s “I’m Afraid”, heard during the poolside scene.  This is taken from a lossless rip of the John Hughes fan club 7” and is an alternate mix as compared to the circulating version, featuring a longer ending.  Another poolside track, “Taking The Day Off” by General Public is taken from the Classic Masters compilation.  As Sloane and Ferris have a parting heart-to-heart, The Dream Academy’s “The Edge of Forever” is featured, taken from an original pressing of their debut album.  My reconstruction concludes with the music bed featured as Ferris races to beat his parents home, The English Beat’s “March of the Swivel Heads”, itself an instrumental mix of “Rotating Head” and found on the deluxe version of Special Beat Service.  And with that, we can stop and look around at what we otherwise missed!

Sources used:
The Beatles – Please Please Me (2009 remaster Capitol Records CD)
Big Audio Dynamite – This is Big Audio Dynamite (1985 Columbia Records, pre-emphasized CD)
The Dream Academy – The Dream Academy (1985 Warner Bros CD)
The English Beat – Special Beat Service (2012 Edsel Records deluxe eddition)
The Flower Pot Men/Blue Room split 7” (1986 Fireball Records, vinyl rip by asid25)
General Public – Classic Masters (2002 Capitol Records CD)
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11 (1986 Manhatten Records 12”, unknown vinyl rip)
Various artists – Boutique Chill (2006 High Bias Records CD)
Wayne Newton – The Capitol Collector’s Series (1989 Capitol Records CD)
Yello – Stella (1985 Mercury/Polygram CD)
Zapp – The New Zapp IV U (1985 Warner Bros CD)

flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
* md5 files, track notes and artwork included


  1. Good Stuff. Keep doing this. I look forward to your new posts every month.

  2. This is great. I saw it mentioned in an earlier comment and I have been looking forward to this release. Thank you.

  3. The md5 checksum cannot verify "I'm Afriad - The Blue Room.flac"
    The file does play however.
    I am not sure what happened there.

    1. I changed the filename because I had misspelled "Afraid". That's why the checksum won't verify!

    2. I see. I changed the file name and now "I'm Afriad - The Blue Room" check-sums perfectly.

  4. Thanks for this - been enjoying your reconstructions, but this is near and dear to my heart (

    My version includes score and dialog, but that's how I like it. If I had to narrow it down like this, I'd still include the "Oh Yeah" mix from the credits.

    2 minor corrections to track names: "BAD" and "Danke Schoen".

  5. Cool. If you ever want to do another never-released soundtrack, try your hand at Robert Rodriguez's "Roadracers"

    1. I guess there was a partial soundtrack-- for the whole series. "Race With The Devil" is on there, though.

  6. My wife will enjoy this. (<--back-handed compliment)

  7. My suggestion for your next project: Compiling an album from the various demos created by the members of Yes between their 1980 dissolution and their 1982 reformation with Trevor Rabin, dubbed "XYZ", then "Cinema", before Jon Anderson was brought back in and the name "Yes" was resurrected.

    1. There were also various solo projects in 75, the best of which could be combined into a Yes album between Relayer and Going for the One.

  8. The Hollies - (1969 untitled last album with Graham Nash)

    1. "Jennifer Eccles" (album version: 2:40/ Single Version: 3:04)
    2. "Open Up Your Eyes"
    3. "Wings"
    4.Open Up Your Eyes
    5.Tomorrow When It Comes*
    7.Do The Best You Can
    8.Like Every Time Before
    9.Marrakesh Express (CSNY Version)
    10. Lady Of The Island (CSN Version)
    11. Man With No Expression (aka Horses Through A Rainstorm)
    12.Blowin' In The Wind (Nash version)
    13. A Taste Of Honey
    14 Listen To Me

    this. Also, amazing work on the soundtrack, although I don't listen to soundtracks all that often... the 80s drum samples gave me a headache, good work none-the-less

  9. Great work on this. Thank you as always.


  10. All of these are fantastic. Ever thought of doing a reconstruction of the album that was supposed to be the follow-up to Bat Out of Hell? It was supposed to be called Renegade Angel, and a lot of the songs were eventually recorded by Jim Steinman or by Meat Loaf later on.

  11. Don't see really any point to this one, its not really a soundtrack album. This seems like a 3 dollar greatest hits compilation of the 60s,70s, and today (today being80s), that you would find in the clearance bin at walmart. BUT as you said this is to be viewed as an april fools joke, downside is that we have another month of nothing new. I enjoy soundtracks that are actually albums like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid or Wonderwall Music, but weird mashups of popular radio hits are best left in the bin they are currently haunting.

  12. You should try a circa-2000 Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy post. That would be cool.

  13. OK, now here are a couple of Albums That Never Were...from the King of ATNW, Neil Young. No, I'm not talking about Homegrown, which is supposed to be released with Archives Vol. 2, whenever the hell that is. No, these are more obscure. The first, according to, is

    (untitled, 1970)

    A double live album based on solo performances from Carnegie Hall in New York, the Cellar Door in Washington D.C., and a show with Crazy Horse at the Fillmore East. Note: This is just a list of the songs to be included (not the proposed order). The first three songs are with Crazy Horse, the rest are solo performances.
    Down By The River
    Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
    I Am A Child
    Expecting To Fly
    Flying On The Ground Is Wrong
    Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
    Cowgirl In The Sand
    Old Man
    Dance Dance Dance
    Sugar Mountain
    See The Sky About To Rain
    The Needle and The Damage Done
    Bad Fog Of Loneliness

    The Cellar Door and Fillmore East shows have been officially released...but I don't know if there's a good boot of the Carnegie Hall show. Anyway, this one's probably easier than this one:

    'Young had already recorded four solo acoustic demos at A&M Studios in LA – “Letter From Nam”, “Last Dance”, “Come Along And Say You Will” and “The Bridge” – and worked up more new songs at Broken Arrow. The new record’s working title was “Last Dance”. There was even a tracklisting for it that included the songs “Time Fades Away”, “New Mama”, “Come Along And Say You Will”, “The Bridge”, “Don’t Be Denied” on side one, with “Lookout Joe”, “Journey Through The Past”, “Last Dance” and “Goodbye Christians On The Shore” completing the album.'

    Hyperrust doesn't even mention this one - basically a studio album that got replaced by Time Fades Away - but the author claims demos were made. This one would be very interesting, and I can't find these songs anywhere. Just thought I'd pique your interest...Cheers!

    1. Had never heard of this before. Looks like it would have been a great lp. In classic Neil, he held back a great lp for something inferior. Wonder if any of this will ever surface ?

  14. Three suggestions: The Yardbird's 2nd album & Last album (1968)
    Blind Faith's 2nd album
    Derek & The Dominos 2nd album

  15. Another suggestion : Iggy Pop & The Stooges LP from 1973-74

    Gather info from all the sources/studio sessions (across a bunch of hard to find bootlegs here: )

    The track list:

    Open Up & Bleed
    Jesus Loves The Stooges (all parts)
    Girl Hates My Heroin
    Rubber Legs
    I Gotta Problem
    She Creatures Of The Hollywood Hills
    Cock In My Pocket
    Head On
    Hey Baby
    Pinpoint Eyes

  16. Can you do an alternate history of pink floyd if roger waters didn't leave the band? Start with the pros and cons of hitch hiking and end with amused to death/the division bell.

  17. Good grief! After years and years of wandering in The Twilight Zone, I found a link to this amazing set of lovingly-made reconstructions.

    I am one happy and grateful old rocker!

  18. What about the unreleased album from Aleka's Attic (The band fronted by River Phoenix, and his sister Rain). The album had the proposed titles Never Odd Or Even and Zero.

    The tracks were:

    Zero (aka neveroddoreven)

    Alone We Elope
    Below Beloved
    Bliss Is...
    Dog God
    Get Anything
    Note To a Friend (Compilation: In Defense of Animals: Vol 2., 1996)
    Safety Pins and Army Boots
    Scales and Fishnails
    Senile Felines
    You're So Ostentatious

    Goldmine (released on tape by band 1989/1990)
    In The Corner Dunce
    Blue Period (Released on tape by band 1989/90)
    Popular Thinks
    Too Many Colors (featured on unreleased "My Own Private Idaho" Soundtrack (1991)
    Where I'd Gone
    Across The Way (1989 PETA benefit album: "Tame Yourself")

  19. New fan. Love your work. Executed with care and attention. Look forward to what you come up with next. That is all.

  20. "Incredible.
    One of the worst performances of my career,
    and they never doubted it for a second."

    This is so fuckin great bro!
    I treasure all your wonderful work,
    and this one's ranking high in my faves already...
    it's just what I needed...
    ...ha ha, I had just happened to buy Ferris on dvd the day you posted this OST :)
    simultaneous smiles synchronicity
    Thank You so much my man!

  21. How about Nirvana's supposed "Fourth" album ?
    here are the tracks (ones with "quotes" around them are made up titles for the unknown songs...

    4th Nirvana album: “I Hate Myself & Want To Die”

    You Know You’re Right
    Do Re Mi
    Unknown Song (1993) “Ivy League"
    Talk To Me
    Sappy / Verse Chorus Verse (in his hands)
    Alone+Easy Target
    Unknown Song #2 (11-25-91 studio session) “Weirdo"
    Unknown Song #3 (12/29/93 before Donuts) “The Son?"
    Old Age
    The Other Improv
    Nobody Knows I’m New Wave?
    Opinion (probably not likely.)

    This correlates with what Kurt & Krist said about changing direction: Noisier (unknown songs...) as well as mellower acoustic type stuff (R/E/M style)

    You would have to mix the studio instrumental jam of "Unknown Song 1993 (Ivy League)" from Robert Lang Sessions, with the vocals from the live version in 1993..., it makes for a good listen.

  22. Earthlings? - e3 Album (A stoner rock/ psychedelic rock band from Joshua Tree, California...)

    (e3 is the proposed title of the album from which the singles/EPs Disco Marching Kraft and Individual Sky Cruiser Theory come. It has been in production since Human Beans was released.)

    Here's the track list i made in chronological order (Omitting the cover of "Johnny B. Goode" since it was already released on Human Beans) :

    e3 Album:
    Pleasure Seekers (Johnny B. Goode b-side single)
    Disco Marching Kraft (Disco Marching Kraft EP)
    Waterhead (Disco Marching Kraft EP)
    Gentle Grace (Disco Marching Kraft EP)
    Family Ford (Disco Marching Kraft EP)
    Individual Sky Cruiser Theory (Individual Sky Cruiser EP)
    Stoner Rock Rules (who wrote?) (Individual Sky Cruiser EP)
    Sick Ass Pretty (Individual Sky Cruiser EP)
    Tea Glitter (Humalien EP)
    666er (Humalien EP)
    Disposable Brain (Humalien EP)
    Unicorn (Humalien EP)

    All of these are fairly easy to find in vinyl/ digital rips/ CDs.

  23. A full "Woodstock" performance, complete with all stage banter ect. would be nice, but there's already a bootleg reconstruction (from 2009 i believe so it may not be updated.)

    A good suggestion would be the Altamont concert, in full, in order of appearance.

  24. Beatles live in 66 would be cool, using the best SBDs from the best performances to make the best show. The setlist didn't vary much so just replicate the usual songlist/order, but use different sources/performances.

  25. How on God's Green Earth could you compile this and miss out Ca Plane Pour Moi by Plastic Bertrand, from the gallery scene? That would be like releasing a soundtrack of Crossroads (Ralph Macchio) without the guitar duel! Oh .. wait. (Note to socniclovenoise -- can you do a proper soundtrack to Crossroads, including all the non-Ry Cooder bits? Especially the guitar duel!!)

    1. Sorry, the scene you refer to is from National Lampoon's European Vacation! Great scene and perfect use of the music, though!

  26. This is perfect. Completely plays like it would have at release. So authentic.

  27. Thanks a bunch for all of these. I made one minor addition once I downloaded this: After a minute of silence following the final track, I added the post-credits line. He didn't say movie specifically, so it can totally apply to an album.

  28. Thanks for making this available, although with one quibble; there is no way the Beatles would have been included on a soundtrack album in the 80s, their legal team would never have approved it, even if it had not been messed with to the displeasure of McCartney.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Haha. Now we'll see if it's as good as yours:

  31. My own addition to this: After roughly a minute of silence, the audio of the movie's post-credits scene plays.

  32. What about the film, "The Chase," which had the tag "Soundtrack available on Epitaph Records" at the end of the film but was never released?

    Thanks for all your work! This site is fantastic.

  33. Hi the download link seems to be broken. Do you still have the files?
    Would be really grateful if you could make them available again.

    1. Since this Soundtrack was just recently released officially, this one is retired from my blog.

  34. I've been sharing a playlist with friends for two decades called 'Ferris Bueller's Bedroom Playlist'. It's so old that most of the files are mp3!? I just threw together a video playlist on youtube:

    Maybe you want to tackle this using high quality sources?
    Anyway, great blog, great work! A FANTASTIC labor of love!