Filmmaker Cameron Crowe's well-known love of setting music to his movies has resulted in a number of unforgettable modern marriages of film and song, from Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" in "Say Anything," to Elton John's "Tiny Dancer" bus singalong at the emotional peak of "Almost Famous." In addition, the Academy Award and Grammy-winning director has always taken special care to create a cohesive soundtrack album that stands on it's own, as evidenced by the platinum or gold-status of "Jerry Maguire," "Say Anything," "Singles," and "Almost Famous." Now, after months of speculation on the musical line-up of his new film, the romantic-drama "Elizabethtown," the official soundtrack release has been set for release on RCA Records on September 13.
Inspired by a road trip through his father's home-state of Kentucky, a place filled with Crowe family roots, he says, "The celebratory mood and story of 'Elizabethtown' arrived quickly, almost fully formed. I hadn't been back there and seen those electric blue-green vistas since my dad's funeral years earlier. Suddenly, I had to get lost in that great state, driving the highways, feeling all those feelings, and out of that grew this modern folk tale about love and loss and failure and inspiration... and of course, music. Before long, 'Elizabethtown' felt like more of a musical than even 'Almost Famous,' a movie about music. The music turned out to be as important as any of the characters - it's the inner voice of 'Elizabethtown,' a friendly guide and a secret muse."
For the soundtrack to "Elizabethtown," Crowe put together a musical landscape he nicknames the Great American Radio Station, recalling the inspired freedom and authentic eclecticism of modern radio's halcyon days of the 60's and 70's, when music was often celebrated in all its varying forms and eras, often back-to-back. That mix provided the soundtrack to many a soul-searching road trip. The road trip, a near-mythical American institution, is the motif for the soundtrack CD and a direct reference to the powerful final act of the film, "Elizabethtown," which stars Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst and will be released by Paramount Pictures on October 14th.
For the line-up of artists represented on "Elizabethtown," Crowe turned both to radio legends, obscure gems and developing artists who share the spirit of the movie's musical soul. Tracks from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Elton John, share the spotlight with modern classics from Ryan Adams, Patty Griffin, Lindsey Buckingham and My Morning Jacket. Also represented are newer acts like Wheat and I-Nine, who Crowe first heard from a live demo recorded last year at Eddie's Attic, a disc shared by friend and fellow fan CIMS owner Don Van Cleave.
Atlanta-based J Records artist I-Nine now make their recording debut here with the album's first single, one of the movie's original compositions, "Same In Any Language," written by Crowe and the film's scoring artist Nancy Wilson. Wilson's score is also featured prominently throughout the film. Tom Petty and Lindsey Buckingham contribute previously unreleased songs with "Square One," and "Shut Us Down" respectively. Helen Stellar, an unsigned band and another recent Crowe discovery, make their debut here with "i.o. (This Time Around)." Crowning the new offerings is a beautiful atmospheric composition, "Where To Begin" by My Morning Jacket, written especially for the film by Jim James. James and the Kentucky-based My Morning Jacket were also important early influences on Crowe and the project, and worked with the director on Kentucky locations and details. "There is nothing quite like the deep American soul of My Morning Jacket," he says, "and I'm proud their music runs through the movie."
The rich mix of music represented in "Elizabethtown" goes beyond this first collection, of course, and awaits further release subsequent to the film's debut. The movie's music also includes songs by Pinback, Kathleen Edwards, Washington Phillips, and a stunning new song, "Words," by Ryan Adams, also written for the movie. "If you're a director and a music fan," says Crowe, "every movie you make is an opportunity to create your own cinematic radio station. This one was a blast to program."
"Elizabethtown" Track Listing:
1. 60B (Etown Theme) - Nancy Wilson
2. It'll All Work Out - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
3. My Father's Gun - Elton John
4. io (This Time Around) - Helen Stellar
5. Come Pick Me Up - Ryan Adams
6. Where to Begin - My Morning Jacket
7. Long Ride Home - Patty Griffin
8. Sugar Blue - Jeff Finlin
9. Don't I Hold You - Wheat
10. Shut Us Down - Lindsey Buckingham
11. Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) - The Hombres
12. Hard Times - eastmountainsouth
13. Jesus Was a Crossmaker - The Hollies
14. Square One - Tom Petty
15. Same in Any Language - I Nine