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I'm Not There Soundtrack

4.1 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, October 30, 2007
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Product Description

2007 two CD set, the soundtrack to one of the year's most highly-anticipated films. Todd Haynes' I'm Not There is a meta-biographical film that re-imagines the life of Bob Dylan, who is portrayed by six different actors including Cate Blanchett! Performers on the album who sink their teeth into Dylan covers include Eddie Vedder, Sonic Youth, Stephen Malkmus, Mason Jennings, Willie Nelson, Mark Lanegan, Antony, Jack Johnson, Cat Power, John Doe, Sufjan Stevens, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Iron & Wine and many others. Features two versions of the title track: the previously officially unreleased Dylan version and a new version from Sonic Youth. Columbia.

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Many people have covered Bob Dylan's songs over the years, but few quite like this. On the double-disc soundtrack that accompanies Todd Haynes' extremely confounding biopic of the already plenty confounding folk icon, we get the likes of Sonic Youth, Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, the Hold Steady, and Antony & The Johnsons doing their best Dylan impressions and often failing gloriously. Former Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus does a particularly fine job oozing his way through "Ballad of a Thin Man," while Wilco's Jeff Tweedy draws the moody beauty out of "Simple Twist of Fate," and Sufjan Stevens lends his typically baroque touch to "Ring Them Bells." Special credit has to go to the Million Dollar Bashers, the unofficial house band that includes Steve Shelley on drums, John Medeski on piano, and Tom Verlaine on guitar, along with other notable musicians. The generous track list and dynamic set of contributors promises that this album will provide plenty of awe long after the film itself has been forgotten. --Aidin Vaziri
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: October 30, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 159 minutes
  • ASIN: B000VS6P9Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,074 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There are a few multi-artist Dylan comps on the market, notably A Nod to Bob: An Artists' Tribute to Bob Dylan on His Sixtieth Birthday and the decent 30th anniversary concert soundtrack, the latter recorded long before his late 90's artistic revival when his new recordings again became as indispensable as his 60's and 70's output. Then there's compilations by individual artists like the Byrds, the Hollies, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, the Dead, and recently Brian Ferry, which aren't always spectacular either. Joan Baez, in my mind, is the greatest interpreter of Dylan's work; she can make each song her own like no one else.

Baez doesn't appear on this album, and neither do the remaining members of the Band. Perhaps they've developed and have been developed to such an extent by Dylan that an interpretation by either would be almost worthless. It's far more interesting to see an artist with an entirely different style, like Sonic Youth, Steve Malkmus or Cat Power, come along and modernize an old Dylan song.

Cat Power covered Dylan on her first Cover's Album, but her version of 'Stuck Inside a Mobile..' is not only recognizable, but up-tempo and very non-Cat-Power-like (almost happy). Former Pavement front-man Steve Malkmus has three songs on the album, as do Calexico. Both sets of contributions are outstanding; Steve Malkmus channels Dylan's vocals without leaving his own Lou Reed-influenced delivery far behind and Calexico may be an ideal backing band for Dylan himself if he didn't work so much in country and rockabilly; instead they play behind Willie Nelson, Roger McGuinn, Iron & Wine, and Jim James (of My Morning Jacket).
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Bob Dylan is the greatest and most influential songwriter in rock history. Like Shakespeare before him, artists and poets will reinvent and replay his music. Even though Bob is still with us, this is one of the first real examples of the future of Dylan's music. It is strange hearing various artists and bands play music heard hundreds if not thousands of times. Each artist here tweaks and reworks the song in a way to make it their own while keeping the spirit of the song intact. I would recommend this album to hardcore Dylan fans like me and to those who never got into Dylan's music because they didnt care for his voice. This album makes you look at Dylan from a different angle and the result is still absorbing, frustrating but ultimately supremely rewarding.
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Bob Dylan's material has always been popularly when interpreted by other artists. Witness the works of The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix, and Judy Collins among many others. This collection of Dylan covers is stellar. In particular, the Calexico collaborations stand out. "One More Cup of Coffee" featuring Roger McGuinn and Calexico is a real highpoint. These two artists should sit down in a studio and do a full album together - a match made in heaven! Also, the Tom Verlaine interpretation of, "Cold Irons Bound" is brilliant. I highly recommend this collection to all Dylan fans, as well as fans of the many artists featured.
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Format: Audio CD
I think the critical review posted on here is a bit over the top. This is a fantastic collection of Dylan songs - both famous and more obscure ones - by some of the most relevant artists working today. It's a loving homage to the master songwriter. Each artist brings his/her/their own interpretation of the song to the table, but they also keep his sensibilities in mind (with a few exceptions). Some of the covers are obvious love letters to their songwriting hero (e.g. those by Cat Power, Jeff Tweedy, Stephen Malkmus), but there are also many artists on this collection that I previously wouldn't have associated with Dylan, but now I'm happy to see the connection. My advice is simple: take a look at the artists who appear on this collection. If you like them, and you love Dylan, I think it's a safe bet you'll enjoy this soundtrack.
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I just looked over some of the reviews for this album, and I can't believe how many old hippies have posted on here about how "only Bob can do Bob" (one old-timer even insisted that the list of great artists to cover him begins with the horrible, uninspired noodlings of the Grateful Dead!). These songs are reinterpretations of great songs, and yes, many of them are quite different than the originals. One reviewer suggested that these versions are "too modern," which says a great deal about that person's closed-mindedness when it comes to music produced after the 1960s. Most of the other negative reviews are clearly unfamiliar with the bands on this album (most of whom are pretty popular among music fans, by the way). I don't know why anyone would want these songs to sound just like Dylan, or why anyone would say he'd rather hear Dylan do them when all he'd have to do is pop a Dylan album in.
This is an excellent soundtrack full of excellent versions of excellent songs. It's really interesting, too: halfway through my first listen to Ramblin' Jack Elliott's version of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," I was about to dismiss it as a cheap Dylan imitation, only to realize that hey, early, acoustic Dylan is really a cheap Ramblin' Jack impression, as he's the first to admit, so it's really almost like hearing 1963-era Dylan covering 1965-era Dylan, if you catch my drift, which is really awesome.
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