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Into the Wild Soundtrack

4.7 out of 5 stars 368 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, September 18, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

track listing and sequence subject to change


Taking a break from his day job fronting rock heavyweight Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder immerses himself into the big-screen story of a young man who gives all his money to charity and hitchhikes to a new life--and his eventual death--in the wilds of Alaska. Prompted by the film's creator, Sean Penn, to contribute to the musical score, the Seattle musician tackled the entire project, playing every instrument on the soundtrack's nine original and two cover songs. Vedder contemplates the traveler "setting forth in the universe" in the opener "Setting Forth," then tracks in the remaining songs the realizations and disillusionments that follow. A wish comes true in banjo-plucked "No Ceiling" to "up and disappear," while affluence is questioned on the hard-rocking "Far Behind," with Vedder singing, "Empty pockets will/Allow a greater sense of wealth." No song in the album's first half exceeds two-and-a-half minutes, remedied by Vedder's pertinent five-minute stamp on the remake of Indio's "Hard Sun," complete with eerie backing vocals by Sleater-Kinney's Corin Tucker. The songwriter puts wealth on the hot seat in "Society," questioning, "If less is more/How you keepin' score?" The darkly sung folk song bookends the reticent declaration "Guaranteed," wonderfully delivered and quietly strummed, in which the prodigal Vedder wraps the journey in one line: "Leave it to me as I find a way to be/Consider me a satellite forever orbiting." (The record is packaged like a hardcover book, with vivid photography and lyrics.) --Scott Holter

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Setting Forth
  2. No Ceiling
  3. Far Behind
  4. Rise
  5. Long Nights
  6. Tuolumne
  7. Hard Sun
  8. Society
  9. The Wolf
  10. End Of The Road
  11. Guaranteed

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: September 18, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: J Records
  • Run Time: 31 minutes
  • ASIN: B000ULQV0W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (368 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joe Pierre on September 27, 2007
Format: Audio CD
For all those Pearl Jam fans out there, the release of what is essentially a solo acoustic Eddie Vedder album is manna from heaven. Of course, most PJ fans out there these days are in their 4th or 5th decade of life, and there are many young folks who view PJ as outmoded and other naysayers who have grown tired of Ed's gruff, mumbly baritone. But I belong to the first group, so I think this little album is pretty great.

"Into the Wild" is a 30-minutish album that has Eddie playing a variety of acoustic instruments over 11 short tracks. It's classic Vedder, but stripped-down and bare, kind of in the balladic "No Code" or "Binaural" vein with more acoustic strumming and minimal accompaniment. The tunes were written as a movie soundtrack, and having seen the film, it's hard not to picture Emile Hirsch traipsing over hill and dale during the songs. On the other hand, most of the numbers do have lyrics, which is a bit unusual for a soundtrack, and was sometimes distracting for me in the theater. But this review is about the music...

Many of the tunes are upbeat, rocky-mountain-high, kind of anthems, as on "Setting Forth," "Far Behind," and the all-instrumental "Tuolumne." The other half are more introspective, balladic numbers (in keeping with the kind of celebration of freedom/wasteful tragedy duality of Chris McCandless' tale), as on the banjo-inflected "No Ceiling," "Rise" (the ukelele invokes Ed's "Soon Forget" from Binaural or "Goodbye" from A Broke Down Melody -- I'm thinking an all uke-vocal album by Ed would be pretty great), "Long Nights," "Society," and "The End of the Road." "Hard Sun" is a stand-out in a number of ways -- clearly the one number that might either get radio-play or be released as B-side single.
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Format: Audio CD
This album written directly for the Sean Penn directed film "Into The Wild" (based on the best selling book by Jon Krakaur) is an excellent representation of the film soundtrack. It is not a mis-mosh of gathered songs that just happen to evoke, or hopefully evoke, the emotion and sentiment on screen. These are carefully crafted songs - deliberate in their sparce space, their tone and stripped down production.

Take a listen to the excellent "Society" - my favorite track on the album. It has a discord and yearning that is unlike most other songs I've heard. It rings, in sentiment and proper placement, much like the Bruce Springsteen penned "Streets of Philadelphia". No, it is NOT like "Streets of Philadelphia" but it fits much like that song does - the song fits the film, fits the emotion, fits the conditions. That is not an easy thing to do.

Finding the correct songs to fill a soundtrack, is not an easy thing and kudos should be sent to those involved with asking/requesting/pleading with Eddie Vedder to make a departure from Pearl Jam and try his hand. His take on the emotions - his vision of Sean Penn's vision - is very true to the film (and to the book, actually).

I can whole heartedly recommend this cd. It is NOT a Pearl Jam rocker - but it is a deeply moving accompanyment to a wonderful story. Much as the story goes, so goes the music - whimsical at times, stripped to the bare, reaching, searching, etc. It's a very well done soundtrack.

I can honestly say that several of the songs on this collection might be Academy Award worthy. Let's hope others feel the same way.

Highly Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
When I was a teenager I read Into the Wild. The book has haunted me ever since. While I have yet to see the movie, I can say that the music is worthy of the story it serves to help tell.

The story of Chris McCandless touches on something locked deep in the heart of almost every young American male that has ever lived. It is about the search for freedom, for the wild, for truth.

The songs on this disc are echoes of those goals/thoughts.

In a disc of strong songs, I find Rise to be my favorite. It is not the longest or most profound song here, but it reaches out. It calls us on.

Eddie Vedder was a great choice, maybe the pefect choice, for this CD. He takes a step sideways from his usual Pearl Jam fare. He has made a GREAT CD.

I give the Soundtrack for Into the Wild my highest recommendation.
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Format: Audio CD
My wife and I stumbled out of a Manhattan theater in stunned silence. In San Diego, so did my 22 year-old stepson. So has everyone I've urged to see "Into the Wild".

The film is the story of Christopher McCandless, who graduated from college (Emory, '92), then left civilization behind to experience life without constraints. His death in Alaska few months later made him a worthy subject for Jon Krakauer. But the story he tells in his book, "Into the Wild," is even better inspiration for a film, especially when the writer-director is Sean Penn.

Think what you will about Penn --- the guy has guts to spare. He stands up for what he believes and he doesn't mumble when he offers unpopular ideas. And in his acting, as in his life, he's always searching for the authentic --- just remember that scene in "Mystic River" when he tries to bull his way through a wall of cops to get to the body of his murdered daughter.

So his movie does not touch hardcore New Yorkers and West Coast surfer/law students and all kinds of people in between because we share a love of raw Nature in Alaska --- Penn didn't make a movie about a kid who stepped out of civilization with just a bag of rice and a book about edible plants to get him through. Nor did he make this film to ask us to decide: "Chris McCandless --- was he an idiot?" The questions he asks in this movie are much larger: freedom, identity, community. That is, the questions obsessing us just below the surface of our most ordinary days.

We watch this long movie that has an ending we already know with something like obsession because Chris McCandless carries our proxy. At one time or other, we all want to walk out of the familiar. And, far more often, we think of "freedom" nostalgically --- as something we once had.
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