Various Artists: Soundtracks

Indifferent or Mixed Wes Anderson: The Royal Tenenbaums (2002) -- Mark Mothersbaugh makes interesting enough soundtrack music for the movie, but maybe not for listening as an album. The pop highlights are Nico's "These Days" and "The Fairest of the Seasons," Nick Drake's "Fly," The Vince Guaraldi Trio's "Christmastime Is Here," and The Velvet Underground's "Stephanie Says."

Really Like It John Badham: Saturday Night Fever (1977) -- A wonderful disco album. The Bee Gee's efforts alone ("Stayin' Alive," the gorgeous "How Deep Is Your Love," "Night Fever," the other-gorgeous "More Than a Woman," and "You Should Be Dancing") are worth it, but you also get Yvonne Elliman, Walter Murphy and David Shire's classical music-turned-disco send-ups, "Boogie Shoes," and "Disco Inferno." The only stuff not absolutely essential is the calypso and a few other stray tracks, but you probably won't find a better collection of disco-era songs.

Really Like It Patrick Read Johnson: Angus (1995) -- A soundtrack which far exceeds the mediocre movie, featuring some of the more punky alternative kids from the mid-nineties, including Green Day, Ash, and Weezer.

Really Like It Randal Kleiser: Grease (1978) -- One of my first musical memories is being three-years-old at my cousin's house where my eight-year-old brother was trying to convince Mom to buy him this album, suggesting that even she'd like it because it sounded like 1950s music.  Then he put my cousin's copy of the record on and the definitely non-50s 1970s strains of "Grease" by Barry Gibb blasted through instead of doo-wop and it looked like his (and my) hopes were shot.  But we eventually got the album and listened to it a billion times.  I learned the word hooker from this album (definition from Mom: "a bad woman") and got to hear other fun words like shit, tit, and pussy wagon.  It wasn't until I grew older (and learned more about 1950s music) that I realized how funny these songs are as pastiches.  They're also simply great as as musical numbers.  The Sha-Na-Na songs bog the album down a little in the middle (with the exception of "Born To Hand Jive"), but even those are fun in their own way.  Disco "Grease," silly "Summer Nights," Olivia Newton John's sweet  "Hopelessly Devoted To You," "You're the One That I Want," John Travolta's "Sandy," the hilarious Frankie Avalon song "Beauty School Dropout," Stockard Channing's "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee," the kickin' "Greased Lightning," "It's Raining On Prom Night" (which, when I was young, sounded like the most serious song ever), "Born To Hand Jive," "Tears On My Pillow," "Mooning," "Freddy My Love," There Are Worse Things I Could Do," and the rama-lama-ding-dongs of "We Go Together": they're all here.  Fun, fun, fun!

Like It David Lynch: Eraserhead (1982) -- Essentially about half of the actual soundtrack from the movie, including the songs interwoven into the noises. Not something to put on every day, but interesting.

Indifferent or Mixed David Lynch: The Elephant Man (1980) -- The music from the movie, which isn't always good for putting on of course.

Like It David Lynch: Blue Velvet (1986) -- The start of Lynch's collaboration with Angelo Badalamenti, and interesting work even if it wasn't as developed as the later soundtracks. Also includes their original work with singer Julee Cruise.

Love It David Lynch: Twin Peaks (1990) -- Music from the television show, and excellent music in its own right. Both the instrumentals and the Julee Cruise songs are wonderful and dreamy.

Really Like It David Lynch: Season Two Music and More (2007) -- It took seventeen years, but they finally released additional music from Twin Peaks.  It includes stuff similar to the first disc as well as the more wacky or purposefully cheesy stuff ("High School Swing," "Hayward Boogie," "Barbershop," and of course "Just You"), which means that it's very interesting, but doesn't work as perfect mood music.  Highlights include "Blue Frank" (by Lynch himself--the rest are by Badalamenti) and the lovely and saxy "Half Heart."

Like It David Lynch: Wild at Heart (1990) -- A mix of new and old pop songs and Angelo Badalamenti tracks that works pretty well as a listenable soundtrack.

Love It David Lynch: Twin Peaks--Fire Walk With Me (1992) -- As awesome and interesting as the soundtrack from the TV show, with creepier and darker arrangements this time. Also, it was the first compact disc I ever bought.

Like It David Lynch: Lost Highway (1996) -- A collection of dark music from pop people doing some gothy stuff as well as very cool Angelo Badalamenti and Barry Adamson music.

Like It David Lynch: The Straight Story (1999) -- Angelo Badalamenti's very good, simple, elegant, country score.

Like It David Lynch: Mulholland Drive (2001) -- More great music from Badalamenti (and others), though this time the music seems to work better for the movie than simply by itself.

Like It David Lynch: Inland Empire (2007) -- The movie was a personal, make-it-yourself project for Lynch and so was the soundtrack, with about half of the songs being written and performed by the man himself.  No Badalamenti here, but you do get "The Locomotion" and a spooky version of Beck's "Black Tambourine."

Like It Larry Roemer: Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (1964/1995) -- This CD of the soundtrack to the stop-animated Christmas musical was eventually released in 1995, featuring all the great songs: "Holly Jolly Christmas," "Jingle Jingle Jingle," the lovely "There's Always Tomorrow," "We're a Couple of Misfits," "Silver and Gold," "The Most Wonderful Day of the Year," and of course the title song.  The last half of the CD is rounded out by instrumental versions of the above and others.  Great stuff for when you just want to hear the songs and not necessarily watch the movie.

Really Like It Quentin Tarantino: Reservoir Dogs (1992) -- The master of the soundtrack, Quentin Tarantino, and his very good collection of music from the 70s mixed with the (somehow not annoying) Stephen Wright radio segues. The only thing that messes it up is the actual movie dialogue, a pet peeve of mine, and something I've never understood why anyone would want.

Like It Quentin Tarantino: Pulp Fiction (1994) -- Somehow not as cool a soundtrack as Reservoir Dogs, and the movie dialogue is even more intrusive here, but still a great collection of songs.

Like It Quentin Tarantino: Jackie Brown (1997) -- Stop adding dialogue! I don't want to have to skip tracks/program these out. I also don't want to feel like I've heard something a million times once I watch that particular scene in the movie. Other than that: this is a pretty funky collection of 70s songs. The Johnny Cash one feels out of place, as does the modern rap song, but everything else is very cool indeed.

Like It Quentin Tarantino: Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004) -- With the exception of the stupid dialogue (David Carradine's long speeches slowed down the movie, so you can imagine what it does to a musical soundtrack), a pretty decent soundtrack of Western-tinged music.  Not as good as Volume 1's soundtrack, but sets a good mood.

Like It Wim Wenders: Until the End of the World (1991) -- They're mot the greatest songs ever, but this is a very consistent album where it seems like all the songs were written to be together.

Like It Robert Zemeckis: Back To the Future (1985) -- A mandatory soundtrack for anyone who needs time-travel music, and while the pop songs aren't spectacular, none of them are at all bad.

Copyright (c) Jul 2002 - Feb 2008 by Rusty Likes Music