Saturday, March 27

Pulling Rabbits: The 6 Best Original Movie Soundtracks

Lots of wicked movies to discuss, but I decided to do things a little differently this time. Instead of just reviewing a movie I will discuss certain things about movies in general, about directors, or, in this case, music. I will be pulling these articles from under my hat like rabbits, hence the incredibly stupid name.

I think it is pretty clear by now that I love movies and that I love music. And at times, I love the combination of the two. I chose to exclude soundtracks that feature existing music, so unfortunately no Juno, Tarantino or Kubrick. I also chose to excludesoundtracks that just serves to support the images: they have to work on their own. With apologies to Bernard Herrman.

Allright. So within these limits, what do I think are the 6 finest movie soundtracks?

6: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I have no idea if I genuinely like this music or if I just like it ironically. I only know that I have listened to it every day since I saw the movie. And with it's crazy lyrics, weird disco beats and actually pretty catchy tunes, I doubt I will stop doing that for quite a while.

Standout Track: The Time Warp, duh.

5: Chicago

This soundtrack is neatly summed up by one of the track names: And All That Jazz. Almost every style and genre of jazz passes the revue: slow and soft numbers (Funny Honey), rags (We Both Reached For The Gun) and massive bigband pieces (Can't Do It Alone). There is hardly any repetition in the styles, yet they all work really well both in the movie and on their own.

Standout Track: The Cell Block Tango

4: Where the Wild Things Are

Is it too early to include this one? Time will tell. As for now, I am so delighted by these songs I just had to. Karen O combines the playfulness of Kiya Dawson with the depth and complexity of Belle and Sebastian and creates the best she's ever done in the meantime.

Standout Track: All is Love

all is love by karen o and the kids from l'art des rĂªves. on Vimeo.

3: Moulin Rouge

The fact that this is the only movie on this list that was also on that other list has quite a lot to do with the music. Simply put, it is great. The mix of grand broadway pieces, bollywood melodies and simple love song lyrics (sometimes withitn the same song!) works crazy well and immediatly brings back the bohemian atmosphere of the movie.

Standout Track: Another tango would become a bit tedious, so here is one of the funniest songs ever.

2: Into The Wild

Eddie Vedder's deep voice and simple guitar rythms echo the great singer-songwriters such as Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan in their early years. The songs pour over with atmosphere and emotion, but they still never get old. Another case of the going-solo-and-making-their-best-stuff, this is a must-listen.

Standout Track: I already listed Guaranteed as a butterfly and Hard Sun under my review of Grizzly Man, so here is the third best song of the album, Society.

1: I'm Not There

The fact that I'm Not There is my favourite movie is only part of the reason this album is included. Some of the music on this album is not even included in the movie, or only in snippets. And although it contains two or three shitty songs, this doublealbum features almost all of the worthwile Bob Dylan covers I know. The songs are manyfold: some people alter almost nothing, others rework the songs until they are barely recognisable. Just like Dylan himself is know for. I would consider some songs (As I Went Out One Morning, Goin' To Acapulco, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll) to even be improvements over the original songs and believe me, I don't say that lightly.

Standout Track: This was a tough choise, since there is so much greatness. But Jim James' heartbreaking adaptation of Goin' To Acapulco might just be even more of a masterpiece then everything around it. It still sends shivers down my spine.


Notable omissions: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly because the list got too long and Amelie because it is a compilation of previous work from Tierssen.

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