Arrested Development fans have had the catchy pop confection "Getaway" stuck in their heads for a month, ever since Netflix released the show's Season 4 episodes. But there has been no official way to download the track — until now.
Arrested composer David Schwartz tells TV Guide Magazine that he's now working on a full-length version of "Getaway," part of a long-awaited Arrested Development soundtrack. Schwartz is currently putting together the soundtrack, which is expected to include both songs and score from all four seasons of the cult favorite comedy.
The original "Getaway" only appears for about 24 seconds on the show, and a mix of dialogue and Ron Howard's narration drowns out much of the song's brief appearance. (It pops up a few more times throughout the season, however.) "That's what Arrested is, there are always 10 layers going on," Schwartz says. "The song is just one of them." But among Arrested fans, "Getaway" has taken on a life of its own.
On the show, "Getaway" is performed by hack singer/songwriter Mark Cherry (no, not Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry), a Justin Bieber-like character who came up with the thinly veiled song about how he didn't want to hang out with Gob (Will Arnett) anymore. A clueless Gob, of course, thinks it's simply a catchy song.
"The joke of that is, for a composer, it's always a challenge of how can we make bad music in some way fun and likable?" Schwartz says. "That's always your evil plan. I'm glad it has some fans out there. There are other verses we didn't use, so we'll see what we can come up with."
Schwartz wrote the song with frequent collaborator Gabriel Mann late one night after spending all day writing the Arrested Development score. That's Mann's voice on the song. "Gabriel is a wonderful songwriter and has the advantage of being a fantastic singer," he says.
Eventually on the show, Mark Cherry winds up in a rehab clinic with Tobias (David Cross), who's trying to mount a Fantastic Four-themed musical. Tobias recruits Mark Cherry to write the songs. "It was Mitch's idea that all the Fantastic Four songs should sound like 'Getaway,'" Schwartz says. "He can do one trick, and this was it."
Schwartz says a medley of songs from the Fantastic Four knockoff musical will likely be featured on the soundtrack; he's also pushing to include an expanded version of "Balls in the Air," the 1980s-style power anthem from Season 3. "There are hundreds of pieces [that could wind up on the soundtrack], but I think I've cut it down to 40 or 50 so far," Schwartz says of selecting the songs. "I've received so many requests and now I'm trying to whittle it down."
The soundtrack will be available in iTunes, but Schwartz says he'd also like to see it pressed on vinyl.
Schwartz has been with Arrested Development for all four seasons. For this revival, Schwartz went back and tinkered with the show's theme song. Because the 15 episodes focus on different characters, he gave each one's theme a unique twist. "The idea was to add one instrumental calling card for each character," he says.
Schwartz, whose influences include Django Reinhardt and Duke Ellington, begins each episode with a swing tune that sets the show's tone. "To me that's like a key to the episode," he says. "Usually there's a space for it within the first minute or two of the show."
Where did he come up with the show's signature sound? It turns out via a Tahitian ukulele, made with fishing line for string. "I saw one in Bora Bora right before Arrested Development started," he says. "I fell in love with it and chased one down. Somehow that became the signature sound of Arrested Development."
Can't wait for the full soundtrack? Here's a slightly longer studio take of "Getaway" recorded for the show: