I'm Not There [Original Soundtrack]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
For his impressionistic 2007 Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, director Todd Haynes hired an army of six actors to portray the singer/songwriter, each thespian representing a different phase or public persona of Dylan's career. The accompanying double-disc soundtrack -- not all of its 34 songs are used in the film -- employs a similar conceit, as Haynes and his music supervisors, Randall Poster and Jim Dunbar, rounded up rockers and folksingers of all stripes to reinterpret and re-create portions of Dylan's immense catalog. Taken as a whole, neither the singers nor the selections are too conventional, as the album alternates between standards and obscurities, old ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
For his impressionistic 2007 Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, director Todd Haynes hired an army of six actors to portray the singer/songwriter, each thespian representing a different phase or public persona of Dylan's career. The accompanying double-disc soundtrack -- not all of its 34 songs are used in the film -- employs a similar conceit, as Haynes and his music supervisors, Randall Poster and Jim Dunbar, rounded up rockers and folksingers of all stripes to reinterpret and re-create portions of Dylan's immense catalog. Taken as a whole, neither the singers nor the selections are too conventional, as the album alternates between standards and obscurities, old cohorts and new blood, faithful renditions and original interpretations, never tipping too far in either direction or staying in one place too long. Despite that shifting mood, I'm Not There gels as an album, partially because a good portion of the soundtrack is recorded with one of two different house bands: the dusty, cinematic Arizona outfit Calexico and the Million Dollar Bashers, a supergroup assembled for this gig featuring guitarist Lee Ranaldo and drummer Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, Tom Verlaine, Dylan's regular bassist Tony Garnier, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, guitarist Smokey Hormel, and organist John Medeski. Haynes also used a similar house band on his previous rock & roll film, the glam rock fantasia Velvet Goldmine and, as a soundtrack, I'm Not There is equally as good, if not quite as risky or flashy as that 1998 gem. That's partly due to the inspiration, of course: on Velvet Goldmine he got to play with the history of a lot of groups, all known for their extravagant flamboyance, but here he only has one artist, but if any musician has a history as rich as a battalion of bands, it's Bob Dylan. Haynes, Poster, Dunbar and crew concentrate heavily on the '60s -- the film, after all, is grounded in the '60s, pulling in elements of Dylan's life in the '70s and beyond, including his born-again Christianity and Rolling Thunder outlaw stance, but never quite straying from that foundation -- and the soundtrack touches upon all of Bob's '60s incarnations, including the folk troubadour, thin wild mercury music, the ragged Americana of The Basement Tapes, and the reflective country-folk of John Wesley Harding. Familiar sounds may be here, but not necessarily familiar songs -- Haynes, Poster and Dunbar deliberately sidestep standards like "Blowin' in the Wind," "Masters of War," "Subterranean Homesick Blues," and "Like a Rolling Stone," choosing instead to build this soundtrack around songs that weren't widely released during the '60s, later to surface on The Basement Tapes, Biograph, The Bootleg Series, during the film of No Direction Home, or, in the case of the heavily bootlegged title song, released here for the first time. Some could carp that this doesn't quite make for an accurate picture of Bob -- it ever so slightly continually circles back to the stark, spooky melancholy of Dylan and the Band's "I'm Not There," which ends the album -- but it's not inaccurate, either. Rather, it's an interpretation of Dylan's music, emphasizing certain elements and blurring others to paint a portrait where the traditional bleeds into the contemporary and vice versa. Any Dylanologist could spend hours deconstructing the soundtrack to I'm Not There -- what is selected and why, why certain songs are reinterpreted while others are left alone -- but that's a side benefit to an album that should be enjoyed first as simply an absorbing, entertaining listen. Poster and Dunbar have paired performers with the songs almost perfectly, alternating between subtle surprises and sure picks. No other band could duplicate the haunted quality of Dylan's "I'm Not There," but Sonic Youth is the ideal match, as they give the song a hazy beauty and a warmth lacking in the original. Sonic Youth's masterful reading is less of a surprise than how Roger McGuinn and Willie Nelson effortlessly blend in with Calexico on "One More Cup of Coffee" and "Señor Tales of Yankee Power," respectively, giving these songs arrangements that expand on the originals, just like how Ramblin' Jack Elliott's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" takes the Highway 61 Revisited standard and stripes it down to its essence. John Doe gives "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine" a subdued, soulful passion that contrasts with both Sufjan Stevens' twee-ed-up "Ring Them Bells" and Mark Lanegan's gothic "The Man in the Long Black Coat," yet all speak vividly to the spiritual undercurrents in these songs. Despite their gentle version of "Just Like a Woman" with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Calexico's cuts come the closest to reinventing the song, particularly on an excellent "Dark Eyes" with Iron & Wine and a good, weary "Goin' to Acapulco" sung by Jim James of My Morning Jacket. Mason Jennings is responsible for good, straight-ahead versions of the earliest folk songs "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," "The Times They Are a Changin'", acquitting himself well, while Once stars Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova do a joyous "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere." All this soft, dreamy folky material helps the harder cuts here -- including Cat Power's bluesy "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" -- leap out all the more. Usually, this is the province of the Million Dollar Bashers, who when fronted by Stephen Malkmus on "Ballad of a Thin Man" and "Maggie's Farm" manage to re-create the snide, hipster spirit of 1965 Dylan. They pull off the same trick with Karen O on a rollicking and faithful "Highway 61 Revisited," while Tom Verlaine steps out to the front for a dark, epic "Cold Irons Bound," but this house band isn't the only band that rocks hard, either: the Hold Steady blow through "Can You Please Crawl out Your Window?" and the Black Keys have an heavy, ominous "Wicked Messenger" not all that dissimilar to the Faces' version, but decidedly less fun. But no band truly gets to speak to the two extremes of Dylan's work at least as pictured here as Yo La Tengo, who have a delicate, beautiful "Fourth Time Around" and positively nail the wild, careening sound of 1965 on "I Wanna be Your Lover." They, alone among any of the artists here, get the opportunity to do these two sides of Dylan, but as I'm Not There definitively proves, there were not just two or even ten sides to Dylan: he contains multitudes. That much is evident on his own recordings, which still have power, but sometimes it takes a fresh perspective to hear what's already there, and the soundtrack to I'm Not There provides that perspective in way few other albums do.
Billboard - Jeff Vrabel
Dylan turns in the first official release of the oft-bootlegged title track with the Band, recently discovered in Neil Young's archives.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/30/2007
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886971203820
  • Catalog Number: 712038
  • Sales rank: 51,868

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 All Along the Watchtower - Million Dollar Bashers (4:29)
  2. 2 I'm Not There (4:52)
  3. 3 Goin' to Acapulco - Jim James (5:00)
  4. 4 Tombstone Blues (5:27)
  5. 5 Ballad of a Thin Man - Stephen Malkmus & The Million Dollar Bashers (6:49)
  6. 6 Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (6:53)
  7. 7 Pressing On - John Doe (5:56)
  8. 8 Fouth Time Around (5:09)
  9. 9 Dark Eyes - Iron & Wine (4:30)
  10. 10 Highway 61 Revisited - Karon O & the Million Dollar Bashers (3:58)
  11. 11 One More Cup of Coffee - Calexico (4:32)
  12. 12 The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (5:14)
  13. 13 Billy, Pt. 1 - Los Lobos (4:02)
  14. 14 Simple Twist of Fate (3:43)
  15. 15 Man in the Long Black Coat (3:35)
  16. 16 Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) - Calexico (5:17)
Disc 2
  1. 1 As I Went out One Morning (2:53)
  2. 2 Can't Leave Her Behind - Stephen Malkmus & The Million Dollar Bashers (1:56)
  3. 3 Ring Them Bells - Sufjan Stevens (6:20)
  4. 4 Just Like a Woman - Charlotte Gainsbourg (4:15)
  5. 5 Mama, You've Been on My Mind/A Fraction of Last Thoughts on Woody Guthr - Jack Johnson (4:23)
  6. 6 I Wanna Be Your Lover (3:58)
  7. 7 You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova (3:05)
  8. 8 Can You Please Crawl out Your Window? (3:50)
  9. 9 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - Ramblin' Jack Elliott (6:56)
  10. 10 The Wicked Messenger - The Black Keys (3:58)
  11. 11 Cold Irons Bound - Tom Verlaine & the Millions Dollar Bashers (7:33)
  12. 12 The Times They Are a Changin' (3:38)
  13. 13 Maggie's Farm - Stephen Malkmus & The Million Dollar Bashers (5:26)
  14. 14 When the Ship Comes In - Marcus Franklin (3:31)
  15. 15 Moonshiner (4:55)
  16. 16 I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine - John Doe (3:14)
  17. 17 Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Antony and the Johnsons (4:14)
  18. 18 I'm Not There (5:12)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bob Dylan Primary Artist
Hubert Sumlin Background Vocals
Willie Nelson Guitar, Vocals
Richie Havens Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Loudon Wainwright III Guitar
Mark Lanegan Vocals
Lee Ranaldo Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Rhythm Guitar, Tambourine, Siren
John Sebastian Harmonica
Tom Verlaine Guitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar
Nels Cline Guitar, Electric Guitar
Mickey Raphael Harmonica, Echo Harp
Terry Adams Piano
Carla Azar Percussion, Drums
Steve Berlin Keyboards
Chris Bruce Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals
Paul Bryan Bass
Joey Burns Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Accordion, Cello, Glockenspiel, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals, Upright Bass, Bowed Banjo, Guitar (Nylon String)
Greg Cohen Bass
Brian Deck Piano, Bongos, Marimbas
George Drakoulias Percussion
Stanley Dural Organ
Doug Easley Guitar
Bob Forrest Vocals
Tony Garnier Bass
Kim Gordon Guitar
Portia Griffin Background Vocals
David Hidalgo Guitar, Accordion, Keyboards, Vocals
Mabon "Teenie" Hodges Guitar
Kelly Hogan Background Vocals
Georgia Hubley Drums, Vocals
Vincent Jones Keyboards
Ira Kaplan Guitar, Vocals
Greg Leisz Dobro, Guitar, Mandolin
Conrad Lozano Bass
David Mansfield Fiddle
Jean McClain Background Vocals
Roger McGuinn Vocals, Guitar (12 String Electric)
John Medeski Piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer
Thurston Moore Bass, Vocals
Peter Phillips Guitar
David Piltch Upright Bass
David Ralicke Horn
Cesar Rosas Background Vocals, Bajo Sexto
Doug Shaw Guitar
Steve Shelley Drums
Jeff Tweedy Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Eddie Vedder Vocals
Jay Bellerose Percussion, Drums
Smokey Hormel Guitar
Jebin Bruni Hammond Organ
John Convertino Percussion, Drums, Bass Drums
Eric Heywood Pedal Steel Guitar
Dave Smith Bass
Stephen Malkmus Vocals
Louie Pérez Jarana
Rick Steff Piano, Hammond Organ
Doyle Bramhall II Electric Guitar
Glenn Kotche Drums
James McNew Bass
Walter Parks Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Paul Niehaus Pedal Steel Guitar
Charlotte Gainsbourg Vocals
Chan Marshall Vocals
Craig Finn Guitar, Vocals
Fernando Valencia Violin
Tim Albright Trombone
Kevin Barker Acoustic Guitar
Cougar Estrada Percussion, Drums
Franz Nicolay Keyboards
Glen Hansard Guitar, Harmonica
Rob Bochnik Bass
Sufjan Stevens Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Voices, fender rhodes
Jim James Vocals
Tad Kubler Guitar
Casey Foubert Bass, Guitar, Background Vocals, Lap Steel Guitar
Sam Beam Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Patrick Carney Drums
James McAlister Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals, Electronic Drums
Dan Auerbach Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Jacob Valenzuela Trumpet
Martin Wenk Trumpet
Volker Zander Upright Bass
Tim Luntzel Bass
Bryce Dessner Electric Guitar
Mira Billotte Vocals
Galen Polivka Bass
Salvador Duran Vocals
Salvador Gallegos III Vihuela
Kyle B. Resnick Trumpet
C.J. Camerieri Trumpet
Ben Lanz Trombone
Markéta Irglová Banjo, Vocals
Marla Hansen Viola, Background Vocals
Bob Cesare Help
Josh Schwartz Guitar
Marco Rosano Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Hideaki Aomori Saxophone
Technical Credits
Bob Dylan Composer
Lee Ranaldo Producer
John Agnello Producer, Engineer
David Bianco Engineer
Joey Burns Producer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Brian Deck Producer, Engineer
Karl Derfler Engineer
George Drakoulias Producer
Jim Dunbar Producer
Kevin Killen Engineer
Stewart Lerman Engineer
David Mansfield Producer
Roger Moutenot Producer, Engineer
Jeff Rosen Executive Producer
Jeff Tweedy Producer
Randall Poster Producer
Robert Carranza Producer, Engineer
Craig Schumacher Engineer
Stephane "Alf" Briat Engineer
Ryan Freeland Engineer
Boo Macleod Engineer
Fernando Valencia String Arrangements
Glen Hansard Producer
Traditional Composer
Rob Bochnik Engineer
Sufjan Stevens Producer, Engineer
Jack Johnson Composer
Mason Jennings Producer
Todd Haynes Producer
Casey Foubert Producer, Engineer
Sam Beam Producer
James McAlister Producer, Engineer
Chad Weis Engineer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Of course this is a "must" for your collection if you are a must-have-all-Dylan-related-things kind of person. I bought it and am glad I have it. **However**there are several tracks that seem less than inspired. Some of the artists take the song and just "do" it without making it their own. They do it like they are toasting the artist, which is fine, but not GREAT. There are a few on the album who do make the music their own and those tracks ARE worth having even if you skip over the less-than-inspired ones to listen to those certainly touched by Dylan and their own muse. I can't wait until the film is available in my area!

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