Dramatic Underscoring is our regular column by Marcella Hemmeter reviewing soundtrack albums from movies current and forgotten. This edition covers 1994's The Crow.
An open letter to the Vinyl Overlords, wherever they may be:
Oh great Masters of Wax, thank you for all you’ve done for our reissue needs this last year. And 2016 looks to be bountiful indeed. But please, I must ask… why the hell hasn’t The Crow soundtrack been officially pressed to vinyl yet? You gave us the terrific score by Graeme Revell, it even showed up in our wonderful VMP member store recently but I NEED that soundtrack.
I will take a moment to remind you and my fellow vinyl worshipers of what makes this album worthy of reissuing. The Crow (1994), about a man brought back from the dead to avenge his and his fiancée’s murders, became an enormous part of alternative/goth culture, taking it to the mainstream and generating a kick-ass soundtrack to boot. People dressed like Brandon Lee’s character Eric (other kids, not me, I swear), the radio played multiple songs off the soundtrack every day and a person wasn’t to be trusted if he/she didn’t like the movie. Hmmm, maybe that was just me.
Gracious Gatefold Guardians, ignore those who say they haven’t yet heard this soundtrack or seen the movie. Or worse… *shivers*… they judge it by its hilariously inferior sequels and its common presence on t-shirts, etc., at those mall stores we all know. You and I know what really matters is whether the soundtrack still holds up. And YES, YES, YES, it does! *ahem* Excuse me. I got a bit excited there.
Let me elaborate further, Supreme Stewards of Spin. I’ll start with the album opener, “Burn” by the Cure. A sort of theme for the movie, this song was a big hit on alternative radio. It’s credited to the band but it’s been said the song was done mostly by singer Robert Smith which explained why it wasn’t performed live for years until 2013. Search the interwebs, Cure fans. You first hear it when Eric understands what he has to do and puts on the make-up to become the Crow and take his revenge. It’s visceral and also one of the best album openers ever. Need more convincing? There are also songs from Stone Temple Pilots (“Big Empty” was first released on this album before it came out on Purple), Nine Inch Nails (with an amazing Joy Division cover), Violent Femmes, Rage Against the Machine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and on and on. One might listen to this album and wonder, with all this anger and aggression, how will it end? In some cathartic rocking blow-out? Nope. It closes on a hopeful note with Jane Siberry’s “It Can’t Rain All The Time,” recalling Eric’s words when consoling a young girl, telling us all that even in the darkest times there is also light.
Let’s face it, Leaders of Longplay Legions (had to fit one more in), The Crow soundtrack is tops. It captures the sound of an era where alternative was king… or queen… whatever, dude, it RULES! It’s full of strong tracks that were used well in the movie, not just stuffed on the album for the purpose of sales (although it had those aplenty). I hope there’s a plan out there for a vinyl pressing soon. I would hand over beaucoup bucks for this album. Make it happen, Powers That Be.