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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 28, 1997)
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The DAS Label/Mercery Recards
Most film soundtracks contain a lot of music that
sound as if it belongs in the film, but really doesn’t
have anything to do with the film — meaning it was
either a tossed off b-side from a well-respected artist, a
quirky cover song by an even quirkier modem rock
band or a song that everyone has heard before.
Not the case with “When We Were Kings,” which
is a long-awaited documentary about “The Rumble in
the Jungle,” the name that traditionally has been asso
ciated with the 1974 heavyweight championship bout
between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.
The inclusion of two live songs by James Brown—
“The Payback” and “Gonna Have a Funky Good Time”
— alone would warrant the purchase of this disc. But
executive producers David Sonenberg and Scot
McCracken didn’t stop there, throwing in an exciting
blend of traditional African music and old-school blues
and soul standards by African-American artists, in
cluding the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around” and Bill With
ers’ hauntingly good medley of “Ain’t No Sunshine”
Live tracks by B.B. King and the Jazz Crusaders
round out the disc’s coverage of the live music event,
while brief but fantastic dialogue clips from
Muhammad Ali provide both comic relief and memo
ries of Ali when he still ruled the boxing world.
The new tracks on the CD are less consistent, with
the efforts from Brian McKnight, Diana King and
Zelma Davis falling flat before they even have a chance
to pick themselves up.
But the disc’s first track, a pass-the-mic groove pro
duced by the Fugees’ Wyclef, more than makes up for
any of the other new material’s weaknesses. The song,
“Rumble in the Jungle,” features all three members of
the Fugees as well as A Tribe Called Quest, Busta
Rhymes and Forte.
The result of all these elements is a soundtrack that
pays homage to Muhammad Ali, the music of the era
that spawned his greatness and the sport of boxing —
all at once. And that is no small feat.
— Jeff Randall
“Suburbia,” the latest film from “Slacker” king
Richard Linklater, looks to be more of his usual fare
—jaded kids set against a backdrop of all-too-mellow
parents, police officers and other trappings of subur
And no greater evidence of this exists than the songs
on the film’s soundtrack.
A low-key collection of alternative rock mainstays,
the “Suburbia” soundtrack is effective in that it does
actually sound like a mix tape make by one of
Linklater’s 20-something-and-younger characters.
Sonic Youth figures heavily into the music mix,
contributing three tracks as a group and one from their
frontman, noise-rock icon Thurston Moore.
Groove rockers Girls Against Boys contribute “Bul
let Proof Cupid,” a track from their magnificent 1993
release, “Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby.” Other previously
released numbers include “Cult” from the now-defunct
Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy and “Human
Cannonball,” an oldie-but-goodie from the Butthole
More noticeably, Beck makes his first soundtrack
appearance with “Feather in My Cap,” an outtake from
“Odelay” that relies heavily on acoustic guitar and
Beck’s twisted lyrical abilities as the bearer of hip-hop
folk for die next generation.
Another unlikely appearance is that of Pavement
frontman Stephen Malkmus with England’s reheated
new-wave purveyors, Elastica.
Boss Hogg turn in the requisite ’70s rock cover song
with “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” a Kinks tune that
probably was better left a few decades back.
At the very least, this soundtrack is an interesting
collection of music from virtually every comer of mod
em rock’s wide-ranging spectrum.
At it’s best, the soundtrack to “Suburbia” is proof
of new and groundbreaking music in the post-Nirvana
haze of pale imitators and label-hyped money sponges.
And as an added bonus, it provides a little shot of
angst-stroking for all of us suburb-bred kids.
— Jeff Randall
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