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L.A. Confidential [Soundtrack]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Noir detective fiction doesn't get much noirer than the novels of James Ellroy, who takes all the conventions of the genre -- a troubled, brooding protagonist who drinks too much but tries to do what's right while being pursued by rich, beautiful, but deeply flawed women and working at the margins of a society that wears a happy face to hide its brutal and corrupt heart -- and distills those elements down until they resemble the crud at the bottom of a coffee pot left too long on the burner. When you turn an Ellroy novel into a movie, the right music is absolutely essential: They take place in the 1950s, of course, so there must be jazz from the period but also an ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
Noir detective fiction doesn't get much noirer than the novels of James Ellroy, who takes all the conventions of the genre -- a troubled, brooding protagonist who drinks too much but tries to do what's right while being pursued by rich, beautiful, but deeply flawed women and working at the margins of a society that wears a happy face to hide its brutal and corrupt heart -- and distills those elements down until they resemble the crud at the bottom of a coffee pot left too long on the burner. When you turn an Ellroy novel into a movie, the right music is absolutely essential: They take place in the 1950s, of course, so there must be jazz from the period but also an assortment of pop songs. Some of the pop songs should demonstrate the frantic cheerfulness that listeners, in hindsight, consider to be typical of the 1950s, while others should hint more directly at the violence that lurks beneath the facade. The soundtrack to L.A. Confidential includes all the necessary elements, from Johnny Mercer's snappy "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive" and Dean Martin's heavily orchestrated "Powder Your Face With Sunshine" to a dour instrumental rendition of "Makin' Whoopee" by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker and a rather surreal orchestral arrangement of "But Not for Me" conducted by Jackie Gleason. A pair of Jerry Goldsmith miniatures bracket the program, but are not terribly effective -- an opening miniature entitled "Badge of Honor" sounds like a caricature of film noir music, and the closing "L.A. Confidential" is anonymous pablum obviously designed to accompany the rolling of credits. Recommended overall.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/1997
  • Label: Restless Records
  • UPC: 018777294621
  • Catalog Number: 72946

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Badge of Honor (0:22)
  2. 2 AC-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive - Johnny Mercer (1:56)
  3. 3 The Christmas Blues - Dean Martin (2:53)
  4. 4 Look for the Silver Lining - Chet Baker (2:39)
  5. 5 Makin' Whoopee - Gerry Mulligan Quartet (3:28)
  6. 6 Hit the Road to Dreamland - Betty Hutton (1:58)
  7. 7 Oh! Look at Me Now - Lee Wiley (3:08)
  8. 8 The Lady Is a Tramp - Gerry Mulligan Quartet (3:12)
  9. 9 Wheel of Fortune - Kay Starr (3:24)
  10. 10 But Not for Me - Jackie Gleason (2:50)
  11. 11 How Important Can It Be? - Joni James (2:33)
  12. 12 Looking at You - Lee Wiley (2:17)
  13. 13 Powder Your Face With Sunshine (Smile! Smile! Smile!) - Dean Martin (2:32)
  14. 14 L.A. Confidential (2:31)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jerry Goldsmith Primary Artist, Track Performer
Dean Martin Track Performer
Kay Starr Track Performer
Chet Baker Track Performer
Jackie Gleason Track Performer
Lee Wiley Track Performer
Joni James Track Performer
Johnny Mercer Track Performer
Betty Hutton Track Performer
Gerry Mulligan Quartet Track Performer
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Jerome Kern Composer
Buddy DeSylva Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
George David Weiss Composer
Carmen Lombardo Composer
Jeff Zimmitti Art Direction
Stanley Rochinski Composer
Curtis Hanson Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the Great Soundtrack Albums !

    If you could buy only one CD this year, I have NO IDEA what it should be. Maybe you should get a second job, you deadbeat. But if you buy two CDs (without having to work in a salt mine, or sell Uncle Bob, piece by piece, for experiments), it should be two soundtracks: L.A. Confidential and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Dark, ethereal, and moody, these albums have presence, and hold together on their own as great albums, able to stand apart and peer out from beneath the long, great shadows cast by their respective impressive film counterparts. ** As with all soundtracks, make sure you see the songs listed on the back and not simply "original score." Don't go home with orchestral, background music when you want classic songs and vocals. L.A. Confidential has the period songs by the period's artists, including Johnny Mercer's FANTASTIC "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive." Jerry Goldsmith gets two pieces of his powerful score on the CD, the title track and the even better "Badge of Honor." The period songs are great, the sweet voice of Kay Starr and Lee Wiley are terrific, and even the instrumentals are good here. Johnny Mercer, as mentioned before, is great here, but the stand-out on this album is Dean Martin's "Christmas Blues." In all his swagger-voiced, king-of-cool splendor, Dino brings us one of the greatest (and least heard) Christmas songs of all time. Worth the price of admission itself. My suggestion: get both CDs, dim the lights, pour yourself a beverage or four, and listen to these two albums back to back. Repeat as necessary.

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