"Why is there a soundtrack for everything except the show with music in every single second of it?"
So asked "Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz when he introduced the Arrested Development Band for their record release party in Hollywood last night. Celebrating the release of "At Long Last... Music and Songs from Arrested Development," a 42-song soundtrack from the recently resurrected television show, the party at The Record Parlour put the eclectic group of musicians who churned out more than 80 songs for the beloved comedy front and center. Featuring musicians Louis Price, Gabriel Mann, Steve Mazur (Our Lady Peace), Lucy Schwartz and Michael Jerome (Better Than Ezra), the Arrested Development Band was helmed by the man of the hour, David Schwartz, who served as the soundtrack's composer and bass guitarist.
Hurwitz had plenty of praise for Schwartz, calling his work ethic "prolific." "It's hard to express how quickly he did that music consistently," Hurwitz said before trying to express the time crunch in a relatable way. "He's got to arrange it, and he's got to get the musicians in, and then it goes to the mix stage and we put it in the show. It's unbelievably hard work."
Hurwitz said Schwartz was coming up with more than five times the amount of compositions per show than what's expected for an average comedy program. If his love for the work wasn't clear at the time, it certainly was when it came time to make the soundtrack.
"He gave me a list [of songs he thought would work for the soundtrack]," Hurwitz said. "It was like 90 songs, and I said, 'I think it's too much.' As much as I want everyone to know [all the work that went into it], I'll just feel it's like what I did with the last season of 'Arrested.' Like, it's too much. Dial it back a little bit. Leave them wanting more."
Schwartz lead the band in a five-song set including the "Arrested Development" theme song, a season three jingle Hurwitz described as "kind of 'Eye of the Tiger'" titled "Balls in the Air," the season four hit subtly referencing the origins of Gob's nickname "Getaway," "You'll Never Hear From Me Again," and a song from David's daughter Lucy Schwartz that closed out season four, "Boomerang."
"I thought at some point someone would tell me no," Schwartz said regarding his plans to release an album with 42 tracks. "We wanted to do vinyl, but it was prohibitive to do vinyl. That would be four sides of vinyl. But [in general] the record company said, 'The more the merrier. Let's do it.' They were great about it. Truthfully, we could have made it 88 [tracks]. There are a lot more songs left, [but] I'm happy with it."
The party also featured Bluth's Frozen Bananas handed out by "Bluth employees" decked out in banana suits (sadly Will Arnett was not one of them, nor his likeness, Mr. Bananagrabber), Cinco-de-Cuatro tacos from Lucille Bluth's self-proclaimed holiday, and many happy fans cheering and dancing along to the band. Hurwitz, who was Schwartz's biggest fan Tuesday night, positioned himself in the front row after his introduction and recorded most of the concert on his phone.
"At Long Last...Music and Songs from Arrested Development" is available now in stores and online. Here's the live rendition of the theme song: