Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Natural Born Killers (1994) - Original Soundtrack

A Defining Movie Soundtrack from the 90's 

Film maker Oliver Stone couldn't have picked a better soundtrack producer for his 1994 ultra-violent cult movie "Natural Born Killers" starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Rodney Dangerfield, Robert Downey, Jr., Tom Sizemore, and Tommy Lee Jones than Nine Inch Nails' Trent ReznorReznor, the leader of Nine Inch Nails, was hired to sort through the more than 70 songs used in the film to create this a one of a kind soundtrack that would complement the controversial storyline incidentally based on a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino.

The final product is one of the more eclectic soundtrack compilations ever assembled. In addition to the 27 songs which appear on the disc, snippets of dialogue from 27 different characters in the film can be also heard. How many other discs could feature greats like Patsy Cline, Peter Gabriel, Leonard Cohen, and Bob Dylan with the likes of Rage Against the Machine, Marilyn Manson, Jane's Addiction and Dr. Dre? Fans of every type of music will find something they like on this soundtrack. 

The disc opens with Cohen's "The Miracle" and ends with Tha Dogg Pound's "What Would U Do?" In between, it's a ride through the vibrant landscape of music past and present. Nine Inch Nails is featured on three of the disc's tracks. Two of them, "Burn" and "A Warm Place," are great tracks. There is also a remix of "Something I Can Never Have" from the band's debut album. The new mix of this song includes sound bites by some of the characters in the film, and the dialogue adds to the dark mood of the song. Reznor also remixes the Jane's Addiction song "Ted, Just Admit It." The remix, titled "Sex is Violent," features an interesting section of Diamanda Galas' "I Put a Spell On You." Similarly, the Peter Gabriel track "Taboo" is an exotic affair featuring support for Pakistani Sufi Legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

While some soundtracks are nothing but boxed collections of the songs you hear in the film, this one stands apart because it captures the tone of the film itself and the music of those days. Although this album never sold as many copies as the likes of other 90 hit soundtracks, say "Forrest Gump" or "Bodyguard" soundtracks, it is more adventurous and creative than either of those. Even after 20 years, there is yet to release an album of such vivid contradictions and extreme variety blended in one soundtrack. Perhaps, with the "Natural Born Killers" soundtrack, Trent Reznor wanted to set the standard by which other future soundtracks would be judged. A challenge that is still to be bettered!

1 comment:

  1. The director's cut is PHENOMENAL and the soundtrack is terrific as well; jarringly bold and effective!!


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