The Neverhood – “Cough Drops” (Terry S. Taylor)May 2, 2010
To end up the ‘joke’ track week, here’s another piece by Terry S. Taylor, “Cough Drops” from The Neverhood (1996). Taylor plays his acoustic guitar with accompanying trumpet noises and random grumbling punctuated by loud hacks. An absolutely delightful piece sure to provide some laugh-out-loud moments. When the game was released, it was voted one of the funniest soundtracks of all time (an award it still maintains to this day). Also turns out the 2004 album is actually available for purchase at a reasonable $20 from DanielAmos.com.
The liner notes are quite extensive and very interesting. For Imaginarium (the first game produced by Dreamworks), Taylor was given instructions by director Doug TenNapel to create something “claylike” that was “clunky” and “ragged”, “earthy, sloppy, rough around the edges.” And of course no listener fatigue (due to the inevitable constant looping in a puzzle stage). Told to “work his magic”, Taylor went on his way to design the soundtrack, which he describes as an “audacious labor of love” that “deserved a soundtrack equal in its attention and detail and epic in its scope.”
Taylor doesn’t write musics scores, but composes on the fly. Because of this and the fact that his soundtracks are incredibly ridiculous, he required a recording artist and for other songs trumpet players who would be able to take verbal instructions and not rely on sheet music as well as not crack up. There are a few great songs on here that take advantage of this such as “The Neverhood Theme” which has some extensively ridiculous lyrics.
Speaking of which, “Cough Drops” has “lyrics” too. The liner notes include specific instructions such as “continue singing with various grunts, groans, and assorted nonsense”
Boot boot boo
Boo boot boo….etc.
Bah biddly biddly biddly hop
Bah diddly diddly cuddly op
Bah diddly huddly bubbly buggly
Huddly clop (and other various gruntings)