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Dead Man Soundtrack

3.7 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, February 27, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Haunting & atmospheric 1996 soundtrack featuring instrumental soundscapes written & performed by Neil Young. Also includes a reading by Johnny Depp.

Amazon.com

Musicologists looking for evidence of Neil Young's connection with the avant-garde likes of Sonic Youth need look no further than this uncompromising soundtrack to Jim Jarmusch's film Dead Man--the first post-punk western to make any sense at all. The music here is scattered and fragmentary, and performed mainly on electric guitar. Though Young's instrumental musings work well in the film, this soundtrack album will be of interest mostly to hardcore Young fanatics (for whom the feedback epic of "Weld" was too brief). The film's most accessible piece of music came during the opening credits, with Young blending acoustic and electric guitars to great dramatic effect. Unfortunately, it's not on this CD. Rent the video. --Steve Appleford
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 27, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: February 27, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Vapor Records
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • ASIN: B000005J5D
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,663 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Theresa Williams on June 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have read through the other Amazon reviews, and I sympathize with the reviewers who were frustrated with this CD because they didn't like the dialogue sections or the sections during which Depp reads from William Blake. So if you buy this with the intent of experiencing Neil Young exclusively, you will be disappointed.

But I have to say that as a lover of Neil Young (I have more of his music in my collection than that of any other artist), a lover of DEAD MAN (I have seen it multiple times), and as a lover of the real poet William Blake, I couldn't be happier with this CD unless, of course, it was longer.

I can hardly imagine anything BETTER than hearing Johnny Depp (one of my favorite actors) read from William Blake!

I keep my music on my computer and also have a collection of audio poetry on my computer (yes, I am a University English Lecturer and poetry really turns me on). Depp's readings from Blake, with Young's haunting music in the background is mind blowing and more than I could ever ask for in my wildest English-Lecturer-dreams.

This CD will take you to a place in the deepest center of yourself where your dreams reside. William Blake believed in the supernatural and in the power of dreams. He also was a rebel. He was one of the most spiritual people ever to have existed. DEAD MAN is also about a spiritual quest, and that's why the marriage of Young's guitar and the dialogue/poetry readings from DEAD MAN really work!

Excellent to listen to in order to jumpstart your own creative life! Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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Format: Audio CD
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?
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Format: Audio CD
It's always a mistake to overlap dialogue from a film with the soundtrack, if you must do it, put the dialogue on seperate tracks so we can skip over it. The most glaring and horrible mistake was placing the sound of car engines and highways over Neil Youngs amazing, raw score. Where William Blake and Nobody are having their adventures will soon be highways and cars. YEAH WE GET IT, AND THANKS FOR RUINING THE SCORE WITH YOUR HEAVY HANDED ARTISTIC SENSIBILITIES. Another pisser, the absolutely wonderful title intro wasn't even included!?!
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By Josh on September 30, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I love Dead Man and I love the musical score, but this CD is hardly representative of the actual music from the actual film. The instrumental from the opening credit sequence of the movie was the highlight of Neil Young's score, but it's NOT HERE. Also, there was no poetry readings by Johnny Depp in the film, but there are on this so called "SOUNDTRACK". And what's with the idling truck engine and slamming car doors in the background? There were no motor vehicles in the film. If you're looking for the music from DEAD MAN, you just have to watch the film, you won't find it here.
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Format: Audio CD
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.
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