Finding the Music From the 1977 Classic Slap Shot

Rick Forchuk explains why the music from the Slap Shot DVD is different than the TV and movie versions


Slap Shot DVD

The 1977 classic Slap Shot

I love the hockey movie Slap Shot with Paul Newman, and finally got around to getting it on DVD. I have seen it a few times on television before, and am old enough to have seen it in theatres. Problem is, as I listen to the soundtrack on the DVD version, I can’t identify any of the songs that I remember from the movie. What’s up?  – M. Q.  – via e-mail

This kind of thing happens quite often with both movies and television series. Slap Shot (1977) is the story of a tough bunch of minor league hockey players who struggle to just get through the day, let alone getting to the big time.

Paul Newman was Reg Dunlop, and Michael Ontkean played Ned Braden. For the day, the language was unbelievably salty, although by today’s standards, no big deal, and the rock-‘em-sock-‘em action was all about hurting the other guy.

You are quite right about the music – the songs you heard in the theatrical version, as well as those on the TV version, were all replaced for the VHS and DVD release. The reason is the price for the rights to the music.

When a “little” movie or TV series becomes popular, those whose music was included often want more for the rights. Sometimes the distributors pay, and sometimes they just replace the tunes because it’s much cheaper.

WKRP in Cincinnati had the same problem when the TV series went into syndication. All that great music that was played by Venus Flytrap became too expensive, so it was replaced . . . and the same thing held up the DVD release of that series for years. As for Slap Shot, easy to get on DVD online or through your favourite retailer.