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on April 18, 2001
Excellent Movie, excellent Soundtrack.We can expect more to come, cause there are so many great songs featured in "Almost Famous". Here is a list : 1. America - Simon and Garfunkel 2. Sparks - The Who 3. It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference - Todd Rundgren 4. I've Seen All Good People: Your Move - Yes 5. Feel Flows - The Beach Boys 6. Fever Dog - Stillwater 7. Every Picture Tells A Story - Rod Stewart 8. Mr. Farmer - The Seeds 9. One Way Out - The Allman Borthers Band 10. Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd 11. That's The Way - Led Zeppelin 12. Tiny Dancer - Elton John 13. Lucky Trumble - Nancy Wilson 14. I'm Waiting For The Man - David Bowie 15. The Wind - Cat Stevens 16. Slip Away - Clarence Carter 17. Something In The Air - Thunderclap Newman 18. Teacher - Jethro Tull 19. Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters - Elton John 20. Tangerine - Led Zeppelin 21. Search and Destroy - Iggy Pop 22. Sweet Leaf - Black Sabbath 23. Go All the Way - Eric Carmen & The Raspberries 24. Misty Mountain Hop - Led Zeppelin 25. The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks 26. Roundabout - Yes 27. Bron-yr-aur - Led Zeppelin 28. Small Time Blues - Pete Droge 29. Hour of Need - Stillwater 30. Paranoid - Black Sabbath 31. The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin 32. Everbody knows this is nowhere - Neil Young 33. Future Games - Fleetwood Mac 34. Albert Flasher - Guess Who 35. Love Thing - Stillwater 36. Burn - Deep Purple 37. You had to be there - Stillwater 38. Reeling in the Years - Steely Dan 39. Dear Jill - Bloodwyn Pig 40. Love comes and goes - Stillwater 41. Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix 42. Slip away - Clarance Carter 43. Wishing well - Free 44. My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder 45. Looking at you - MCS 46. Cortez the Killer - Neil Young 47. The Oogum Boogum Song - Brenton Wood 48. River - Joni Mitchell 49. Easy to slip - Little Feat 50. Peggy Sue 51. Cover of the Rolling Stone 52. Colour my World
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on September 25, 2000
1. At least one song from Crowe's wife, Nancy Wilson of Heart. "Jerry MacGuire" featured Sandy, on Singles she used the alias the Lovemongers.
2. An obscure Who track. Crowe clearly believes that if you multiply longevity by creativity, The Who are the greatest rock band of all time. He presents further evidence herein.
3. The rescue of a great ballad from obvilion to standard. With MacGuire, Crowe salvaged the bittersweet "Secret Garden" by Bruce Springsteen. Here, he does the same for the achingly tender "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. (As a side note, there's a good chance this track could finally become a single, some 28 years after its release. With that, Elton could extend to 31 years his record of consecutive Top 40 singles.)
4. A brilliant and eclectic collection of tracks that you will grow to love.
Remember, this movie takes place circa 1973. We could have been subjected to Tony Orlando & Dawn, the Stories and Clint Holmes, or else yet another collection of Pink Floyd, Deep Purple and ELP. Instead, the songs have been carefully culled, mixing soul, pop and rock into a brilliant pastiche of the era.
This one's a keeper. And expect to see the movie in several Oscar categories too!
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on September 19, 2000
One of the great tributes of Famous is its ability to revive the innocence of these songs. I've heard (most of) them enough times as background music, without context or concentration, that they turned to plastic; Cat Stevens and Elton John, in particular. The genius of the movie is that they are all forgiven of their detours, the cache of bad memories is cleared and the songs are reborn. It's like the first time you (anxiously, carefully) set the needle to the vinyl.
If you enjoyed the movie this will continue its vein until you can see it again. You will sit in front of your stereo and do nothing else but listen. Yep, it will set you free.
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on January 2, 2004
I don't know if anyone's interested anymore, but I made a list of all of the songs that appeared in the movie. It's not perfect, and at the end of the list, there are a few other songs that were in the closing credits, but I don't know when they were played in the movie...
The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
The Oogum Boogum Song - Brenton Wood
America - Simon and Garfunkel
Sparks - The Who
Search and Destroy - Iggy Pop
Paranoid - Black Sabbath
Teacher - Jethro Tull
Roundabout - Yes (not sure)
I've Seen All Good People: Your Move - Yes
Feel Flows - The Beach Boys
River - Joni Mitchell
Fever Dog - Stillwater
Sweet Leaf - Black Sabbath
Every Picture Tells A Story - Rod Stewart
Small Time Blues - Pete Droge
Something In The Air - Thunderclap Newman
Go All the Way - Eric Carmen & The Raspberries
Mr. Farmer - The Seeds
One Way Out - The Allman Brothers Band
Albert Flasher - Guess Who
Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Love Thing - Stillwater
That's The Way - Led Zeppelin
Everybody knows this is nowhere - Neil Young
Burn - Deep Purple
Reeling in the Years - Steely Dan
Tiny Dancer - Elton John
Lucky Trumble - Nancy Wilson
I'm Waiting For The Man - David Bowie
Love comes and goes - Stillwater
Hour of Need - Stillwater
You had to be there - Stillwater
The Wind - Cat Stevens
Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix
Misty Mountain Hop - Led Zeppelin
Cover of the Rolling Stone (sung by the band)
Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters - Elton John
Color my World - James Pankow
My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
Peggy Sue (sung by Russell)
Cortez the Killer - Neil Young
The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin
Bron-yr-aur - Led Zeppelin
Tangerine - Led Zeppelin
Other songs that I didn't know where to place:

It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference - Todd Rundgren
Easy to slip - Little Feat
Future Games - Fleetwood Mac
Dear Jill - Bloodwyn Pig
Looking at you - MCS
Slip Away - Clarence Carter
Wishing well - Free
Chance Upon You - Stillwater
Now this, in my opinion, is what should've been the soundtrack:
America - Simon and Garfunkel
Sparks - The Who
Feel Flows - The Beach Boys
Fever Dog - Stillwater
Something In The Air - Thunderclap Newman
Mr. Farmer - The Seeds
One Way Out - The Allman Brothers Band
Love Thing - Stillwater
That's The Way - Led Zeppelin
Tiny Dancer - Elton John
Lucky Trumble - Nancy Wilson
I'm Waiting For The Man - David Bowie
The Wind - Cat Stevens
Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix
Misty Mountain Hop - Led Zeppelin
Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters - Elton John
Cortez the Killer - Neil Young
Tangerine - Led Zeppelin
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on September 18, 2000
I saw "Almost Famous" last week and ran to buy the soundtrack the very next day. It was a great movie with a lot of great music. To my surprise, one of the most important songs in the movie was not included on the soundtrack. Elton John's "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" was played over an otherwise silent part of the movie. The song acted as a script for a tense part of the movie. I don't understand why it wasn't included. This soundtrack is "almost" complete.
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on September 12, 2000
Unlike the director, Cameron Crowe, or the film's protagonist, William Miller, I could not have been a music critic for Rolling Stone at age 15 or now. But I shall add my two cents worth anyway. I think many people who are buying this CD are like me. They saw the film and they want to connect more with the 1973 period of Cameron Crowe's film through the music. Therefore, a flaw I found with this CD is the liner notes. Although it contains shots from the film and a requisite centerfold of the fictitious band Stillwater in concert, I had hoped it would have included some notes on why Crowe and Bramson selected the CD's tracks, or included one or two excerpts of Crowe's original stories that were published in Rolling Stone when he was a teen (before he penned Fast Times at Ridgemont High). While the film had excerpts from about fifty songs in its soundtrack, the CD has 17. The few pieces written by Peter Frampton and Cameron Crowe are not on this CD. Of course, I enjoyed the popular cuts, like The Wind by Cat Stevens, America by Simon & Garfunkel, Yes' fourth cut, and Todd Rundgren's third cut. The other cuts were more obscure to me, but by a third listening, they grow on you and provide a better feel for that period in Rock. For example, Feel Flows by The Beach Boys (track 5) succeeds in combining the major streams of that period's heady, lazy rock spirit, and "Stillwater's" Fever Dog, which could have been a bad Spinal Tap parody piece, succeeds as a classic rock track. While it is comforting to hear Elton John's Tiny Dancer (track 12) in its original form, if I were producing this CD, I would have added a track of Tiny Dancer sung by the film's cast (the healing song sung on the bus after a major fight).
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on August 6, 2001
OK, while almost every song on this soundtrack is terrific...where is the rest of it? There are SO many good songs throughout this movie (one review below actually listed them all--you can see that this soundtrack has some big gaping holes) that really should have been on this soundtrack. They should have either:
a. made this a two-disc (three disc?) package, or,
b. left out some of the less meaningful songs on this soundtrack so they could include some of the more meaningful, powerful songs.
For example, 'Tangerine' by Led Zeppelin. The closing song to the movie (when the bus is driving away). Probably my favorite Zeppelin song, so maybe I'm biased, but I really think this should have been included. It fit the end of that movie PERFECTLY. It made the whole movie for me. That's one thing I always remember about this movie, that it closed with that song and how perfectly it fit the scene. Perfect. Everytime I watch the movie, hearing the song just makes me sad. It fits the mood just right. (movie spoilers...don't read the rest of the paragraph if you don't want it spoiled) Penny Lane goes to Morocco, and you never do find out if she sees William before she leaves...you know she probably does, but Cameron Crowe didn't include it in the ending. Makes you feel kinda sad...after hearing how much Penny cares about William, then she leaves. Then the movie closes with the lyrics..."I was her love, she was my queen, and now a thousand years...between." PERFECT.
And it's not on the soundtrack. To me it's the most memorable part of the movie, and it's not on the soundtrack.
A soundtrack should tell the story of a movie, only through the music (especially THIS movie, which is entirely about music). There are many songs that added so much more meaning to the movie than, for example, the Rod Stewart or Todd Rundgren songs, which I could have easily dealt without in place of:
'Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters?' by Elton John?
'The Rain Song' by Zeppelin?
'Everyone Knows This is Nowhere' by Neil Young?
'River' by Joni Mitchell?
Again, a very incomplete soundtrack. It has some good songs, but if you're looking for a soundtrack to the actual movie, you'd be better off compiling your own.
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on October 16, 2000
Cameron Crowe just has a knack for picking the perfect music for a movie, tunes that complement the film so perfectly that it's impossible not to think of the movies they were included in when you listen to them years later: Peter Gabriel's 'In Your Eyes' in Say Anything, Bob Dylan's 'Shelter From The Storm' in Jerry Maguire, Jackson Browne's 'Somebody's Baby' in Fast Times At Ridgemont High (okay, Crowe only wrote that movie), and who will ever forget the soundtrack for Singles, a film so hip that it partially celebrated the Seattle grunge scene before the music exploded (the film was shelved for a year).
Almost Famous continues the trend, with an eclectic collection of late sixties-early seventies music. There's the wide-eyed suburban sincerity of Simon & Garfunkel's 'America' that serves as one of the movie's themes, an instrumental from The Who's Tommy album marking the birth of the music fan the film's main character became, Cat Steven's 'The Wind', which will have listeners picturing Kate Hudson's dance in the empty post-show hall for the rest of their lives, and the real scene-stealer, Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer' (one of the only good songs the Disney singer has done), which is featured in the now-famous tour bus singalong scene.
The most noteworthy thing about the Almost Famous soundtrack is the first-ever inclusion of a Led Zeppelin song on a movie soundtrack album, and Crowe makes an interesting choice in Led Zeppelin III's 'That's The Way'. The movie itself is full of lots of Zeppelin songs, and it would have been nice to have 'Tangerine', the movie's closing song, included as well.
The rest of the songs on the soundtrack are quality stuff as well: Todd Rundgren's sappy sentiment, Yes's folkie pomposity, an underappreciated Beach Boys gem, awesome Southern rock from The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd, a 1967 song from garage rock pioneers The Seeds, a scorching Bowie-Mick Ronson cover of a Velvet Underground song, Clarence Carter's classic 'Slip Away' (which also makes an appearance on the Wonder Boys soundtrack), and Thunderclap Newman's spacy 'Something In The Air'.
There are two new songs as well: a whimsical excerpt from Nancy Wilson's score for the film, and a song by the fictional band Stilwater, featuring guitar work by Wilson and Pearl Jam's Mike McCready. 'Fever Dog', which mimics the style of Skynyrd and other blue-collar rock bands of the era, fits comfortably with the rest of the songs on the album.
Almost Famous is a touching coming-of-age story, but like 2000's other great film, High Fidelity, it is more of a tribute to rock music and the people who love it. It has the power to change one's life, to be one's life, to be the soundtrack for someone's life, or just say what needs to be said when the perfect words don't come. Anyone who was moved by Billy Crudup's closing line in the movie knows what I'm talking about, and will really dig this soundtrack.
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on June 8, 2001
Almost Famous is a state of mind, as is the art of Cameron Crowe. His films are like Hitchcock's -- a genre all of their own. Almost Famous, as he has said, is a kiss blown to his past, and we are all very lucky to get a bit of that kiss. This soundtrack was produced by Cameron, and plays like an album, not like a random compilation. As with all of his other soundtracks (which I have), Almost Famous is like a Cliff's Notes for the film, just enough to remind you of the joy felt while watching the movie, but not so much that you never want to see the film again.
Because of Cameron and this album, "Tiny Dancer" will forever be connected to road trips, and will always belong to Cameron and Almost Famous, as "Miserlou" will always be connected to the beginning of Pulp Fiction and belong to Tarantino, as "In Your Eyes" will always conjure images of John Cusack holding that boom box above his head, owned by "Say Anything...", Cameron's sweet 1989 work.
This album makes you wish it would never end. It makes you want Stillwater to exist. It makes you want to be a Band Aid. It makes you want to be a brilliant wunderkind rock journalist. It makes you want to envelop yourself in the blanket of joy that is Almost Famous.
In short, a fine selection, especially for those that are just dipping their toe in the golden waters of classic rock.
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on October 22, 2005
Do mind that I'm giving this CD a five star rating - because it really is fantastic. Other than Quentin Tarantino, no director is more aware of the importance of songs in his movies than Cameron Crowe, which perhaps shouldn't be surprising considering his past as a rock journalist, and Almost Famous is one of the best song-based soundtracks I've heard - it's a nostalgic trip through Crowe's youth, as much as the Singles soundtrack was a fascinating exploration of the then-current rock revival, and it has some wonderful, classic songs. There are very few chewed-up mega-hits here; the soundtrack features some excellent, long forgotten artists like Clarence Carter and Thunderclap Newman (whose song, 'Something in the Air', doesn't really appear in the movie, but it's one of my favorites on the album) and some truly grand artists who are not quite as famous as they used to be, like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band. Even from the few huge stars that are featured in the soundtrack, the songs selected by Crowe are not their biggest and most familiar hits, but brilliant and lesser known songs - Led Zeppelin's beautiful acoustic 'That's The Way'; Yes's 'I've Seen All Good People'; David Bowie's performance of the Velvet Underground's 'Waiting For The Man'; and Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer', one of the best songs he'd ever written, which predates his time as a mega-star.

And it's specifically because the music in Almost Famous is so good that this soundtrack is not quite satisfactory. The fantastic songs that appear in the film but are not on this soundtrack are almost too many to list - 'Search and Destroy' by the Stooges, 'Everybody Knows This is Nowhere' by Neil Young , 'Teacher' by Jethro Tull, 'River' by Joni Mitchell, 'Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters' by Elton John, 'Burn' by Deep Purple, 'Future Games' by Fleetwood Mac, 'Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)' by Jimi Hendrix, 'Sweet Leaf' by Black Sabbath, 'Misty Mountain Hop', 'Tangerine', 'Bron-Y-Aur' and 'The Rain Song' all by Led Zeppelin, 'My Cherie Amour' by Stevie Wonder - featured in one of the film's most beautiful moments. And there are more. It seems only natural to have released the soundtrack as a double album, or at least to release a second part with as many of these songs as possible. I also think it would have been incredible appropriate to include 'Cover of the Rolling Stone' by Dr. Hook (written by the great Shel Silverstein), which the band members sing in another one of the film's great scene.

Most of all, I'm missing the original Stillwater tracks, all written by Peter Frampton, Wayne Kirkpatrick and Gordon Kennedy. 'Fever Dog' is the only one that's in here, but the other great songs - 'You Had to Be There', 'Love Thing', 'Chance Upon You', 'Hour of Need' and 'Love Comes and Goes' - all of which run through film's many concert segments - can currently only be heard by buying the 2-Disc Director's Cut DVD, and that's a real shame. These are all fantastic rock songs, with great sound, great musicianship and great production (Frampton's mark can really be heard on them) and they should be released. I would rather see them on the soundtrack than classics that can be found on various classic albums from that time (e.g. Led Zeppelin III, Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends, Elton John's Madman Across the Water).

But hey, these are my two cents. It's still a great album. I love the idea of younger listeners who weren't previously familiar with this great music and are getting into it because of the movie. For those, and for anyone who loved the movie, this soundtrack is a great buy, but also check out some the albums I mentioned above, as well as Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, Elton John's Honky Chateau, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, Jethro Tull's Living in the Past, and Led Zeppelin's ZOSO - all of which contain songs which are in the film. I'm entirely convinced that that's what Mr. Crowe wants you to do, too.
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