The Sopranos is not only the finest show on the tube; the modern saga of New Jersey mafiosi boasts some of the coolest music ever transmitted via the boob tube. This inaugural Sopranos soundtrack album collects 14 first-rate tracks heard on the program, and the result is unusually cohesive for a compilation album. The leadoff cut by England's idiosyncratic roots-funk-electronica band A3, "Woke Up This Morning (Chosen One Mix)" -- otherwise known as the intoxicating theme song of The Sopranos -- sets the tone for the rest of the album. It's an undulating, ominous combo of synthetic blues and gospel, underlaid with a menacing bass line and topped by the Reverend D. Wayne Love's equally menacing vocals. What follows is satisfyingly varied but still of a piece -- and in the spirit of the show as well -- the emphasis being tough, stark, blues-edged material. Septuagenarian Delta bluesman R. L. Burnside turns in a spooky, harmonica-laced, highly atmospheric "It's Bad You Know," propelled by the seductively off-kilter sound of tropical gourd percussion. Bruce Springsteen's grimly compelling "State Trooper," from his album Nebraska, sounds great here, as does Wyclef Jean's "Blood Is Thicker Than Water," entwined as it is with ironic snippets of Sly Stone's "Family Affair." Springsteen guitarist Little Steven (Steve Van Zandt, who has a role in The Sopranos as a loyal Mob lieutenant) and his Disciples of Soul check in with "Inside of Me." Also on hand are Los Lobos, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, the Eurythmics (with a sad, gorgeous "I've Tried Everything"), some muscular oldies (Cream's "I Feel Free" and "Mystic Eyes" by Them featuring Van Morrison), and, of course, Francis Albert Sinatra, whose masterpiece of nostalgia, "It Was a Very Good Year," ushers in season two of The Sopranos. All that's missing is the sinuous, hipster-cool "Buena" from the late, lamented Morphine -- the next soundtrack album, maybe?
Performance CreditsFrank Sinatra Track Performer
Cream Track Performer
Bob Dylan Track Performer
Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul Track Performer
Bruce Springsteen Track Performer
Them Track Performer
Attractions Track Performer
R.L. Burnside Track Performer
Bo Diddley Track Performer
Lobos Track Performer
Van Morrison Track Performer
Alabama 3 Track Performer
G&B Track Performer
Disciples of Soul Track Performer
Technical CreditsElvis Costello Producer
Barry Beckett Producer
Neil Brockbank Producer
Sonny Burke Producer
Geoff Emerick Producer
Nick Lowe Producer
Tom Rothrock Producer,Engineer
Jerry Wexler Producer
Andy Grassi Engineer
Wyclef Jean Producer
Jerry Duplesis Producer
David Chase Executive Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great music that goes with a great show.
Indeed a terrific compilation of music to complement one of the best shows television has to offer. I anxiously await a second edition which I hope is in the works!
The Sopranos is by far one of the best shows on TV, and the music is always an important asset. As a result, this collection is a ''must have'' in my book. I would want these songs without being a fan of the show, but the edgy, tense tunes match the attitude and tone of the show perfectly.
The opening song to the Sopranos sets a tone for the entire show. A beat that is undeniably mobster cool. With this tune in mind I purchased the ablum expecting a gansta' mix of Frank Sinatra glory, James Brown flava and modern flair. What I got was an awesome first song and a lot of B-side material. You may love it, but I wish I had listened to it all the way through before I bought it.
This album is best enjoyed full volume in a convertible with the top down, a nice summery day and a crusie down the beach and your favorite significant other by your side. From the opening track Woke Up this Morning to the final fade on the last track, your blood will be pumping and you'll be more than ready for the new season of the Sopranos.
Some of the best tracks during the ending credits have been omitted. This CD makes for enjoyable listening, but if you are trying to capture the gutsy feeling of the show, then it falls far short of expections. Perhaps they will do a second edition and include other songs from the first season. Their variation on Faure's Pavane was excellent. It deserves a place on a follow-up release.