47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Neil's contribution alone justifies its purchase...,
This review is from: Philadelphia: Music From The Motion Picture (Audio CD)
I'm *not* a big soundtrack fan, but this one seems to work better than most others. Having the likes of the Boss and Neil Young contribute to it certainly doesn't hurt, and Peter Gabriel's "Lovetown" is another great addition.
But what really stands out on this disc in my mind is not the award-winning composition by Bruce, but the hauntingly beautiful ballad from Neil. Being a Neil completist, I've heard them all, and this one is easily in his top five most beautiful songs to my ears, maybe even number one. There's something painfully honest and heartfelt in the way Neil sings, and his mournful piano tugs at your heart and begs your attention.
When he was asked to contribute to the soundtrack, the producers requested something in the vein of "Southern Man," his incendiary guitar rocker decrying the racism of the South at the close of the 1960's. In typical Neil fashion, he turned around and delivered them an aching piano ballad instead, and he hit it out of the park. Tom Hanks said it best during the awards ceremony, that with all due respect for Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia," the wrong song won. Neil's track really captures what this film is all about.
Controversy aside, what it means for you is that you get an even stronger album here. Those two songs alone are essential, and with the addition of Peter Gabriel and the accompanying songs from lesser-known temporary artists from other genres which do little more than provide filler (although it's good filler), you can't really go wrong by this CD.
I'd also recommend fans of Neil's performance check out his "Silver & Gold" DVD, culled from his solo acoustic tour in '99. That disc features a lot of Neil's newer material, but he also revisits "Philadelphia" for the first time on stage. Sitting alone at the piano, his cracked tenor can bring you to tears.