Customer Reviews: Leaving Las Vegas
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on September 24, 2000
There's some dissenting viewpoints on the idea of putting dialogue into soundtrack albums, and unfortunately, Leaving Las Vegas won't be winning over any of those critics. Unlike the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, which has a comedic flavor to it and weaves the dialogue perfectly between the music, with an emotional score like the one used in Leaving Las Vegas, words can only detract, and too many words only spoil. Some of the dialogue, while interesting and bringing us back to scenes from the movie, is more often than not superfluous, and doesn't add a great deal to the musical experience. It's almost a cross between watching the movie and listening to the music *from* the movie. But that's what the producers felt was right, and I'm not going to say it's unlistenable (unlike one professional review I read which gave this soundtrack 1 star because of this). There's just too much great music on this album to give it anything less than 4 stars. I secretly wanted some dialogue to be on this soundtrack, as the events in the film are tightly woven into the musical flow, but just not as much, so let's just leave it at that.
As for the music itself, it's an emotionally aching experience, intercepted by periods of nostalgia and joy--just like the movie itself. Mike Figgis, who produced, directed, and wrote the original score for the film, is obviously a real jazz hound, as he put some real gems into his movie. Having 2 great singers to re-interpret old jazz standards was another ingenious idea. All the songs performed by Sting and Don Henly were written by some greats:
Angel Eyes (written by Matt Dennis and Earl Brent)
My One and Only Love (written by Robert Mellin and Guy Wood)
Come Rain or Come Shine (written by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen)
It's A Lonesome Old Town (written by Harry Tobias and Charles Kisco)
This soundtrack is a great introduction to good jazz. So if you liked these songs, I suggest you search out more by these artists. But as for how how this soundtrack stands up on its own, I have to say I couldn't afford NOT to get this CD. It truly is music that transcends mere soundtrack status and can become an anthem for those days when not everything is going well, when not everything you do gets a stamp of approval from those around you, when the world seems to be an empty place and you feel all alone, yet you can still smile wickedly like Nicholas Cage's character and say, "Maybe I shouldn't breathe so much..? Ah-haaaa!" (the soundtrack would not have been complete *without* this dialogue segment--track 8, "Burlesque")
If you connected with the film at any level more than as mere movie entertainment, if you could connect with either characters at a deeper poetic level, then you will connect with this music as well. And if you look at this for more than a mere CD, a mere soundtrack album, but as an experience, an experience in itself, an equal to watching the movie itself, then a little dialogue is very welcome. So you have to bring a bit of yourself to the listening experience. I gave the objective viewpoint in the beginning of this review, and now I end with a very subjective analysis of my own experience with this music. As for me, nothing less than 5 stars will do this album justice.
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on July 13, 2000
I love how this soundtrack brings nastalgia back into the classic hollywood cinema. Not since Blade Runner has there been a soundtrack as dramatic and emotional as the film itself. Classic movies are usually those that include a classic musical score. And it is true with this score. Sting shines at his best singing three songs that aren't found in any of his albums. My One And Only Love is the most beautiful song you'll ever hear from Sting and was well chosen as the love theme for this beautiful film. What makes this soundtrack truly special though is the jazz/blues music in between tracks which captures the essence of the film and the backdrop of Las Vegas. All the music from the movie is here including great dialogue. The only thing that is missing is the song Lonely Teardrops. It would have been nice if this lovely song was included in the soundtrack and i was dissapointed at first like others that it was not but as i think about it maybe it was a good idea that Mike Figgis didn't want the mood of the music to change from blues to rock n roll. I think it would have been a great song to end the album with, but the song I Won't Being Going South For A While is just as great. This is a great album to have for any blues collector, or music lover. Its a fantastic play for those rainy days, lonely nights and special moments with that special someone.
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on January 24, 2002
Nothin will give you emotions like that of Stings' my one and only love. It'll make you fly away. It's sad really but never sadness has been so inspiring of joy as this one.
You're alone with your girlfriend, outside a cold winter, leaves falling down from the trees, you put this song on and then embrace your lover..
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on December 28, 2001
So far I enjoy it. It has memories of the movie in this kind of intense feeling but some of the music is mellow and so Vegas like.

I don't enjoy the sound bites that much because I have the movie on tape, but somehow it sort of works. I would love to hear a version without the sound bites and I bet I would rate it a 5 star.

Overall it's a good CD but if you don't know the movie and didn't get into the Benisms, you may not enjoy it but for Sting and Don Henley which really make this a keeper.
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VINE VOICEon June 11, 2007
I found this soundtrack quite enjoyable and I am not the world's biggest jazz fan. Don't get me wrong, I think jazz is a great but it isn't the first type of music I run to when I want to relax. However on the soundtrack for Leaving Las Vegas, it works. The songs on this soundtrack are very moody. The tempos are coarse and cool, mean and mellow.

There are a couple of vocal songs on this soundtrack, five to be exact. Three of the songs are by Gordon Sumner A.K.A Sting, which are wonderful piano/jazz/love songs. The songs are "Angel Eyes", "My One and Only Love" and "It's a Lonesome Old Town". As amazing as it might seem, Sting recorded all three of these songs in one day. I have always been a fan of Sting, all the way back to his days with The Police. These songs aren't written by Sting, rather covers of classic jazz tunes.

The other two songs with vocals are by Don Henley and The Palladinos. Don Henley's track again is a cover and it isn't bad. I have to be honest; this isn't my favorite track on the soundtrack. Don't get me wrong, Henley puts plenty of work into "Come Rain or Come Shine", yet it doesn't grab me like most of the other songs on this soundtrack. As for the song by The Palladinos "I Won't Be Going South For A While", this tune seems very out of place on this CD. Why, because the entire soundtrack is mellow and "I Won't Be Going South For A While" is loud, fast and almost bubbly. Some of the jazz/instrumental is mellow and some selections are louder than others, but the music tempo still has a good flow throughout, much like pieces of a puzzle fitting together. Even the songs by Sting and Don Henley blend well into the track selection. I guess that is why it is the last song on the CD. It isn't a bad song; it just doesn't seem to fit. I realize it is from the movie, hence why it is on the motion picture soundtrack. Consequently, with respect to music continuity it seems like a black sheep with the rest of the melodies.

As for the movie dialogue included in the soundtrack, that wasn't a problem for me at all. I actually liked it and felt it gave the entire listening experience some character. The dialogue is spoken on its own tracks, in between music, as introductions to music and in the middle of music almost as a bridge. Now Leaving Las Vegas is deep, dark drama cloaked as a romance or a romance cloaked as a deep, dark drama. Regardless this movie is very powerful, with that said some of the dialogue selected seems almost humorist. The dialogue doesn't seem straight up funny, just maybe a bit lighthearted, which is odd because this movie isn't funny or lighthearted.

Again Leaving Las Vegas is an interesting movie and has a special place in my nostalgic heart. I have already written a review of the movie here on, so I won't rehash what was already written about my first experience watching this film. However, this is a pretty good soundtrack and is a nice addition to this deep, dark drama cloaked as a romance or a romance cloaked as a deep, dark drama.
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on September 9, 2002
Sting's version of various Jazz tunes is incredible. Don Henley's version of 'Come Rain Or Come Shine' is done with a lot of feel. 'Biker Bar' has a groove that inclines me to set the song on repeat, pick up my guitar, and just jam with it. Plus a lot of movie dialogue for a little variety . This one's a winner. If you're not a Sting fan, a jazz fan, or at least a fan of the movie then this probably isn't for you.
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on July 8, 2000
For all of you that haven't seen the movie, four songs in this compilation make this disc a must. Sting sings three jazz tunes that are among his best of all time, Angel Eyes, My One And Only Love, and It's A Lonesome Old Town. Don Henley contributed a track as well called Come Rain Or Come Shine, which also has a jazzy feel to it. Never have I bought a twenty track CD simply for four of its songs, however, the Leaving Las Vegas Soundtrack is an exception.
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on December 23, 2004
Why bother with a whole soundtrack if you are only going to put a handful of songs on it. The best tunes from the movie aren't even on the disc. An EP would have been sufficient for the Sting and Henly tracks. Not 4 songs and 21 tracks of dialogue.
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on March 31, 2010
Very disappointed, the only song that I wanted "You Turn me On" wasn't on the CD. Went back and looked and it was listed as one of the songs with a disclaimer. why even list it as a track, if its not on the disk???
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on October 4, 2008
Leaving Las Vegas sountrack is a beautiful collection of songs ranging from Sting to Don Henley. My only gripe about this soundtrack is the missing song Lonely Teardrops sung by Bob Seger, the song is played numerous times in the film and I was disappointed it's not in this album. Some of the rest of the tracks that are not played in the film are gorgeous and I love the dialogue that's added between Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue. Great soundtrack from the '90s, I highly recommend the movie as well, a classic!
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