On Record Store Day this year, a number of fun, fantastic and even frivolous soundtrack recordings found their way into the bins for fans to snap up. Here at Audiophilereview.com we got our hands on a few which we are really enjoying.
The movie was apparently a bit controversial, but the soundtrack was popular in rock music circles featuring a bevy of tracks mostly by indie rock legend Lou Barlow and his various musical guises (Folk Implosion, Sebadoh, etc.). Released primarily on CD back in the day, the vinyl pressing of this album has been out of print pretty much since its debut and has gone on to become a pricey collectors album. The music is really good on this album, especially the hit song “Natural One” performed by Barlow’s side project The Folk Implosion. This was a long over due reissue and it comes in four different colors of vinyl to match the cover’s palette. Mine is yellow and sounds real nice and clear, is well centered and overall quiet. No complaints there.
This picture disc is great fun and I admit to being a biased dork because I bought it on Record Store Day and I love it, start to finish. Dumb fun, kids. I was a Lost In Space fan as a little kid (Star Trek appreciation came later) so I have a soft spot in my heart for this smile-inducing, happy-making release. Side one features the original theme music in numerous variants over the years of the show. Side two has interviews with some of the actors including Dr. Smith! My vinyl plays ok but I will admit it is a little noisy (to be expected with picture discs) and more annoying it came with a bad bowl warp — it still plays fine but after the quality experience I had with the David Bowie picture disc last year, I was a bit disappointed. Hopefully now that the shrink wrap is open it will eventually flatten out after I file it away in my soundtracks and original casts collection, snuggled between Little Shop of Horrors and Kurt Weill’s Lost In The Stars. This one was a much sought after fairly limited edition of 1000 copies so you may have to look around to find this.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love so it makes perfect sense that they reissued the soundtrack to a film which many associate with the period, yet which came out two years later, Easy Rider. Well, perhaps not so much… But… in many ways, it does have some logic if you look at the “late 60s” as time period unto itself — much of the music here pretty much became part of the soundtrack to the late 60s vibe, with 1967 was the beginning more or less of “the late 60s.” More aggressive music. Bolder lyrics. More dynamic production values. So the times and the movie are culturally-related, if you will…
That said, here we have a reissued soundtrack to the film on spiffy, well pressed, well centered, quiet ‘n clear standard weight vinyl. The album is pretty rockin’, kicking off with two seminal proto-Metal tracks by Steppenwolf (“The Pusher,” “Born To Be Wild”) and including three Byrds-related tracks including two credited as solo songs from head Byrd Roger McGuinn (“Its Alright Ma I’m Only Bleeding” and “Ballad of Easy Rider,” the latter featuring lyrics written by Bob Dylan for the film). You also get Jimi Hendrix’ “If Six Was Nine” for the price of admission.
If you had this album back in the day and want to relive a memory — or if you want a handy 30 minute snapshot of what some of the music was like around 1968-69, this might be a good place to start. If 30 minutes isn’t enough time for your flashback, you can find a nice two CD deluxe edition reissue fairly easily, expanded with more music from the period. Notable is the inclusion of a song used in the film but which was not originally licensed for release on the LP: “The Weight” by The Band (which is supplemented by a fine cover from Smith on the vinyl).