Talk about bummers. I dig Neil Young. I dig Dead Man. That soundtrack was perhaps the perfect marriage with cinema. It seems so much of the movie is just marinated in these sprawling guitar improvisations that swelled out of Young's awe-inspiring Dead Man theme. There's at least enough music in the movie to fill a CD. I rushed out to the store to buy the soundtrack right after seeing the movie. I sold the soundtrack a month later, completely frustrated. Most of the soundtrack isn't here, including the opening theme which gives us the straight-up version of the theme before Young begins tearing it down and messin' with it. I guess no one thought that important. Watch the film and check out all the places where gorgeous scenes are stretched out with minute upon minute of Young's music. Then try to find them on the CD. Not there either! What we've got instead is half the disc filled with Depp reading William Blake. Wow, what a concept. The idea that instead of wanting to get the actual soundtrack I'd just want Depp reading poetry still blows my mind. I think that if the REAL soundtrack to Dead Man was ever released it would rank among the best things by Young. Certainly one of his most important works. All the variations he creates upon this one theme. Turning one song into enough to fill up an hour easily. I still can't believe he did it. It's gotta be the best thing he's done since Zuma. Certainly one of his best works ever. Too bad you can't buy it. Oh, and the DVD doesn't have an isolated soundtrack. So we can't win there either. If you absolutely need PART of the soundtrack on a CD, I guess you have no choice but to purchase the Dead Man soundtrack, but I bet you have better things you could spend your money on.
I bought this wanting to re-experience the hypnotic guitar music of Dead Man. What is the trend lately with companies adding dialogue from the film onto soundtracks? Oh well, I can deal with that in this instance because the dialogue to Dead Man sufficiently blends with the resonating guitar, but what's the deal with the background noises? On the copy I got the feeling somebody had mastered the album with two boom boxes in their Dad's garage. There is the distinct sound of a motorcycle being gunned and several points in the album...weird. Thankfully the guitar is usually loud enough to overwhelm this. Also, as pointed out elsewhere, that great methodic opening and closing theme is absent. Too bad. Young comes off in regards to this movie like a modern day Ennio Morricone - puncutating key moments in the film with discordant strikings of his guitar. This really is a fantastic soundtrack - but again, as said elsewhere, don't buy it without seeing the movie first.
As in the movie, the tracks on this soundtrack start clean and gradually turn into a grungeful and distorted piece of the same thing. And it sounds great! No other musician could pull off what Neil Young did here. This music reflects upon the premise of the movie: William Blake starts out in Cleveland in a suit and tie and slowly ends up an injured and wanted man, strugglisg to survive long enough to "Go back to where all spirits come from, and all spirits return" as put by Nobody. This album is also a bit different from the movie, it has added sounds throughout. Maybe the sound of a vehicle driving along and stopping, with doors opening and shutting along the way, possibly to symbolize his journey? Or to add a bit of interesting background noise to give it more of a grunge feel? I'm still trying to figure it out... And there is a lot of dialogue added to the soundtrack, most from the movie, and also some of William Blake's poetry read by Johnny Depp. If you listen closely, you can notice that some of the dialogue has been changed: "I've got some food here that even Nero couldn't command." "I've got some food here that even Goldilocks couldn't command." Which version came first would be interesting to know... So overall it's one of the best soundtracks I've ever bought, if you're a fan of the movie it's a must have, and if you're not a fan of the movie...why are you reading this review?
I was excited to get this soundtrack becuase I love the music in the movie. That said, I must say, that when I began to listen to the c.d. I thought something was wrong with it. Who ever thought it cool to add that sound, of a running car in the background was way off base - it sounds awful(and left me feeling ripped off). Also, the production is just plain poor. The poetry reading, the bits from the movie, all have a tape recorded quality. And again, with that annoying running car sound, the soundtrack often sounds like we are listening to someone listening to the soundtrack while driving in a car and that, in turn, was recorded on a tape recorder. What gives?!! Neil's music stands on it's own and some bonehead loused it up! You'll have to work hard to get past all that crappy production to appreciate the haunting, awesome atmosphere of one of Neil's most artistic forays. I wouldn't buy it if I were you. You'd do better to record it straight off of the dvd, it would be less irritating.
This soundtrack is specifically for those who loved the movie. Neil Young fans who didn't see the movie may be somewhat dissapointed. The film was a landmark in Jim Jarmusch's career and was helped, no doubt, by the guitar playing of Neil Young. This soundtrack is anything but straightforward and may be what some consider to be an "acquired taste". Like the film, the cd has a minimalist feel that just seethes with atmosphere and only gets better with each spinning. It's absolutely gorgeous from beginning to end and there are few surprises hidden throughout. It's a real treasure and a major accomplishment, but PLEASE see the movie before buying it. It's almost imperative. All I can say is "wow".
some folks like everything to be straight-forward,and some don't.I must admit I would've liked to have had some more tunes on the album,but I think it would've thrown the whole thing outta' whack.what they were trying to acheive,I believe,with the soundtrack was an ambient feel.I was very glad they took some of johnny depp's(and jon voight"s(?)) poetry readings that accompanied the music and actually kept them with the score.If you liked the movie I see no reason whatsoever why you would'nt greatly enjoy the soundtrack,too!
I seldom write reviews so that should tell you something right off. I'm a big time Neil Young fan which explains why I bought this CD. So what's this cd like. Imagine you're in a room and someone is tuning their electric guitar. They may connect a few notes here and there. They might strum a few chords on occasion. But you're waiting for the music to begin. Then imagine someone sits down center stage and reads from a book. If you can imagine just this, you already know what this cd is like. Other than a reasonably nice selection in the middle of the cd, there is nothing music worthy on this cd and that one selection isn't worth your spending your hard earned money. So who should buy this CD? Well if you're into getting high and letting the music play in the background, go for it. If you're a Neil Young fanatic, like I am, and want to have every CD he ever made, yes buy it (but you don't have to listen to it). Otherwise, spend your money on Zuma or one of his other CDs.