There was a time not so long ago when the ‘soundtrack’ was an institution. No longer just a nice reminder of two hours well spent in front of a movie screen, the soundtrack had become a tool to not only sell, but often save a mediocre film. But the party didn’t last, perhaps due to the mutual greed of the film and music industries.
Whatever the case, the days of 12 tracks of original music from well-known artists are presently dead.
All of which produces a rather unfortunate circumstance for the new Dukes of Hazzard film, which, based on reviews, could certainly have benefited from a stellar soundtrack of pristine material. What the listener gets instead is precisely what one would expect – a collection of old (albeit classic) southern rock, country and blues. Yes, you’ll hear Stevie Ray, Charlie Daniels, Molly Hatchet and The Allman Brothers. Is that Freedom Rock? Yeah man, turn it up!
Fortunately, aside from the unfortunate decision to default to Vaughn’s “Pride and Joy,” the producers of the disc fought the urge to rely on cliché standards for the other acts (e.g., Daniels’ “The South’s Gonna Do It Again” instead of “Devil Went Down To Georgia,” and Skynyrd’s “Call Me The Breeze” instead of, well take your pick really).
Sure, you’ll get a decent contribution from Southern Culture On The Skids and Willie’s remake of pal Waylon’s Dukes theme song is a pure Nelson interpretation. Oh, and you can’t completely dismiss the disc as star-powerless. Who can forget Jessica Simpson’s remake of “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’”?
Now hold on partner; I didn’t ask “who WANTS to forget it?” now did I?