Monday, August 15, 2011

THE BIG LEBOWSKI SOUNDTRACK

The other night I watched The Big Lebowski for maybe the 50th time.  I lent out my DVD, so I bought it on iTunes so I always have it on my computer. It's a perfect film on every level: it's fun, funny, holds up to repeated viewings, has a great story, it's quotable, the acting is great. Even Tara Reid shines.

But it struck me how great the music is. The Coen Brothers definitely know their music (further proof of that is O Brother Where Art Thou). The often use T-Bone Burnett to be music supervisor, and he did an incredible job here.

Bob Dylan's "The Man In Me" which opens the film sets the tone perfectly.  Kenny Rogers & The First Edition "Just Dropped In" during the freakout sequence: genius. The Gipsy Kings cover of "Hotel California" during Jesus' bowling scene: awesome. Especially given that The Dude hates The (fuckin') Eagles. Also the choice of fairly obscure artists: Captain Beefheart, Moondog and Meredith Monk is cool.

The Dude's music choices make sense: he loves Creedence Clearwater Revival. He's listening to Elvis Costello at the doctor.  But sometimes he just listens to tapes of bowling.

The movie rocks even more with its choice of cameo actors. Aimee Mann as the nihilist who cuts off her toe. Flea, another nihilist with a ridiculous accent.  Jimmie Dale Gilmore as Smokey, did he really step over the line? Jeff Bridges as The Dude is just perfect, and he's a rocker in his own right (he actually releases his second album tomorrow. It's produced by... wait for it... T-Bone Burnett).

I've often talked of my respect for music supervisors who do their job really well.  So, I have to tip my hat to the Coens and T-Bone for this one.

1 comment:

fugeecat said...

I love that soundtrack and you do have to admit the Just Dropped in song was probably the perfect choice for the scene it was in.