A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Rocky Horror Picture Show: 25 Years of Absolute Pleasure is the 25th anniversary edition of the soundtrack to Richard O'Brien's still-popular musical from 1975. The film became a cult classic several years after its release, and young people still "discover" the film and music today, attending midnight screenings that include a lot of in-joke audience participation. The movie and lyrics are overtly sexual, including numerous references to sexual lust, tension, and desire. "Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me" and "Sweet Transvestite" have the most sex in them, but every track contains that element, including references to transvestitism and homosexuality as well as heterosexual behavior. There are a few violent references ("threatened your life with a switchblade knife"), and a couple of curse words ("f--k," "dammit").
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What's the story?
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: 25 YEARS OF ABSOLUTE PLEASURE is the 25th anniversary edition of the soundtrack to Richard O'Brien's still-popular movie musical. The Rocky Horror movie is still in limited release -- usually as a midnight movie attended by teens and young adults -- and is the longest-running theatrical release in film history. The music, like the film, is about a nerdy, newly engaged couple -- Brad and Janet -- whose car breaks down, and who look for help at the "Frankenstein Place," a castle inhabited by an oversexed, transvestite Dr. Frankenstein-type (Dr. Frank-N-Furter, played by Tim Curry), his minions, and an incredibly beautiful blond "monster." This rock 'n' roll soundtrack, which describes much of the action from the film, includes bonus songs that were not included in the original film or soundtrack album.
Is it any good?
The music from The Rocky Horror Picture Show continues to delight teens and young adults decades after it was first released in 1975, and with good reason. The songs and arrangements have a great oldies rock 'n' roll feel, and the subject matter in the lyrics is racy, exciting, and often funny, too. Singing about a "Sweet Transvestite" isn't nearly as shocking today as it was in the 1970s, but Tim Curry was (and is still) a really talented singer and actor -- his songs are expressive and strong. Susan Sarandon's career in musicals was short-lived, but she sounds suitably sweet when she sings as Janet. And the "Time Warp" is probably as hooky a dance number as could be in a musical from the '70s.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the enduring nature of Rocky Horror Picture Show -- the film and music. Why do new generations of young people continue to discover and embrace it?
What do these songs say about human sexuality?
What did it mean for Richard O'Brien to write a musical about a transvestite in the early '70s?
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