Lone Star – Original Soundtrack

There’s actually two different kinds of soundtracks out there.  Some are original scores to the film by a certain composer (Lord of the Rings,) and the rest are collections of actual songs either new or old.  Musical scores are okay, but really when’s the last time you pulled out the score from Blade Runner to throw on at a party(aside from you, Pete)?  And then there’s music soundtracks which, for the most part, are usually for shit.

The labels and studios seem intent on using the movie soundtrack format to promote new songs from horrible artists, i.e.: anything that has a sticker on the CD that says “Featuring the New Hit Single from Crazytown!” Or you get a creatively defunct top 40 classics mix, ala Forrest Gump that you could hear just by turning on the local oldies station.

A good soundtrack, on the other hand should both accentuate the mood of the film, help drive the story, and be a little creative in it’s selection.  Notable examples of this are the brilliant soft-rock of The Virgin Suicide’s soundtrack, any of the Tarantino soundtracks (he’s like the soundtrack king,) or most recently Juno (which has me on a serious folk kick right now.)

Of all the soundtracks I own though, few hit the target quite like the Lone Star Soundtrack.  The movie takes place in Rio County Texas near the Mexican border, and like the location,  the collection of music walks a multifaceted line between the two countries.  With it’s mix of norteno, country, blues, and folk it puts you not just into the film, but into a feeling. Like sitting on a porch in the hot summer night and listening to the radio coming from a nearby bodega.

You have to love the amazing harmonica of Little Walter on tracks like ‘Boogie,’ or the mournful wail of Little Willie John on ‘My Love is.’  Apparently using the word “Little” in your name was much more popular back in the day than it is now.  Also there are standout tracks from Lucina Wiliams, Fito Olivares, Lydia Mendoza as well as some magificent loose score work by Duke Levine.

Some of the sound quality is a bit scratchy here, but in a way that I think adds to the listening experience.  That and they used a lot of old stuff with questionable source formats like 45s.

Just so you know, this is a John Sayles movie…and John Sayles is a badass.  He writes, directs, produces and edits all his own movies.  That means no one fucks with his shit and it turns out exactly how he wants it.  And I have a feeling this soundtrack was the same way.

Apparently this soundtrack is out of print, and a new copy fetches like $70.  Luckily Amazon has a buttload of used copies for like $5 a pop!

Or not!



1 Response to “Lone Star – Original Soundtrack”

  1. April 10, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Ya haven’t had a real party until you’ve jammed Wendy Carlos’s Tron soundtrack at a disco, and that’s a fact jack!

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