'Bob's Burgers' Creator Loren Bouchard on Epic 107-Song Album: 'It's About Time'
At Comic-Con in 2012, Loren Bouchard -- creator of Fox's hit animated comedy Bob’s Burgers -- recalls fans lining up in front of a microphone for the Q&A portion of their event. He could almost always count on being asked, “What’s your favorite Burger of the Day?” Though that year, fans took interest in something else: the show’s colorful and comedic music.
“[Fans] started asking, “When are you going to put out a record?” It became a pretty consistent question, so we put it on our list of things to do simply because the fans kept asking for it," Bouchard tells Billboard. "It wasn’t ever something we thought would make money and it wasn’t something we thought would be a mainstream hit.”
On Friday (May 12), nearly five years later, The Bob’s Burgers Music Album -- complete with 107 songs from the first 107 episodes -- has arrived. Bouchard admits it took much longer than anticipated. “I got a little cocky," and remembers how he would say, “‘We will have the album out within a year,’ then a year would go by and I’d be back at the damn convention again and have to stand in front of some of the very same people and say, ‘I’m so sorry, we need another six months.’ Then another six months would go by.”
He says legal and financial hurdles got in the way and that it was all more difficult than he thought it would be. “The reaction so far has been, ‘It’s about time,’ and it’s totally appropriate,” he says.
As a result of the extended timeframe for completion, Bouchard says it became increasingly important to make the album special, which led to the impressively packed deluxe, limited-edition box set that includes three LPs on condiment-colored vinyl, a 7-inch single of “Bob’s Buskers” songs from the show performed by St. Vincent, The National and others (“The National in particular has been a really great and fun relationship because they’re not just covering the song, they’re reinterpreting it,” says Bouchard), a hardbound lyric book with original artwork, a sheet-music songbook, original posters and more. Main cast members (H. Jon Benjamin as Bob, John Roberts as Linda, Dan Mintz as Tina, Eugene Mirman as Gene and Kristen Schaal as Louise) all sing on the album, which also features special guests like Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Fred Armisen, Cyndi Lauper and Carly Simon, among others.
Since the show’s inception -- episode 1 aired on Jan. 9, 2011 -- music has played a vital role in the show, just as Bouchard always wanted. The now-famous theme song was recorded when the show was still in development, but even then Bouchard says he knew that feeling of the ukulele -- “that humble little sound for this humble little restaurant” -- was important. “When you’re doing animation in particular, music is such a weapon,” Bouchard relates. “We’ve always had it in our minds that this show is going to be soaked through like a dirty rag with music.”
While the most rewarding part of putting this album out is finally finishing it, says Bouchard, he admits he most enjoys playing it for his children. “They’re kids. They like a fart song as much as anyone,” he says. Though he admits, “I don’t know what to do when we get to the “Sex Sex Sex Sex Sex” song because they’re 6 and 8.” Similarly humorous track titles are “Mad Pooper,” “Not Bad for Havin' Three Kids,” “Bad Stuff Happens in the Bathroom” and many more, all of which harness the raw humor that fans have come to love and expect from Bob's Burgers.
“Doing music on the show has always been a great treat,” Bouchard says. "The fact that anybody wanted to listen to it, celebrate it, learn it on ukulele... It has all been incredible.”