Saturday, May 29, 2010

Easy Rider Soundtrack

With today's passing of Hollywood legend Dennis Hopper, I decided on readjusting my weekly album feature. In honor of Hopper, who shares the lead with Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson, I am featuring the 1969 soundtrack release from the cult classic “Easy Rider.”

Like with most soundtrack albums, there are some great tunes and there are some dogs. Because it’s my blog, I am going to feature some of my favorites from the LP.

Steppenwolf – Born to be Wild

What motorcycle film would be complete without Steppenwolf’s anthem to the “heavy metal thunder” of a Harley.

Smith – The Weight

This remake doesn’t hold a candle to Levon Helm and The Band’s anthem that appeared in the film. Due to licensing problems, the original by The Band could not appear on the soundtrack. Dunhill Records commissioned one of their artists, a group called Smith, to provide the cover on the soundtrack.

The Byrds – Wasn’t Born to Follow

Several months ago, I featured “The Notorious Byrd Brothers,” the original album on which this Gerry Goffin/Carol King composition appeared. “Wasn’t Born to Follow” also features a generous helping of tape flanging.

Roger McGuinn – It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

Roger McGuinn’s affinity to Bob Dylan’s music is no secret. The Byrds recorded a number of Dylan tunes, and three of their seven singles to chart in the top 40 were penned by Mr. Zimmerman (“Mr. Tambourine Man,” “All I Really Want to Do,” and “My Back Pages”). McGuinn does justice to this Dylan composition that first appeared on his “Bringing it All Back Home” album.

Rest in Peace Dennis Hopper; 1936-2010.

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