Few movies in my formative years had as big of an impact as “The Crow.” Even to this day there’s something about it. From the monumental legacy of the death of Brandon Lee, to the drudge filled scenery and epic scope of “Love Never Dies,” this film is easily one of the best of the 90’s. Even more amazing than the movie though, is the soundtrack. To put it mildly I can’t think of a soundtrack that had more killer songs on it and all around great artists than “The Crow.” Today we had our first OST to the Albums of My Life series with “The Crow.” Enjoy
The great thing about this sequence of songs is that except for a few minor departures, it essentially follows the pacing of the film. And if you want to start with a bang, for this record there’s nothing better than brooding and methodical beat from The Cure’s “Burn.” It’s long been one of my all time favorite songs from the band, and the effect it has on the overall feel of the record and how it bleeds through only adds to the dark and sinister undertones prevalent not only in the film, but the record too. Not only is the song a classic, but one of the coolest things to ever see at a concert was The Cure play this at Voodoo Fest in 2013 for the very first time ever.
But, the Cure aren't the only big name on this soundtrack. Somehow they managed to get huge bands and stick them besides just as good smaller acts to make the force of the record that much better. “Big Empty,” by Stone Temple Pilots finds us at number three, and winds in with a sullen blues laden guitar, while Weiland’s voice feels slow and desperate until the heightened sense of chorus comes blowing in. Next up though, is perennial gloom master of the 90’s, one Trent Reznor. Nin’s version of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls” is probably better than the original, and in the film it serves to elevate an already cool scene where main character Eric Draven runs from roof to roof in the urban decay of Detroit.
To take a turn for a second though, soundtracks are difficult. Many of them are anchored by one or two big names and have multiple filler tracks, but at least for me that never happens with this one. Even the unknown artists of the time and the one’s who never took off bring great contributions to the record. I get the impression though that some artists really wanted to knock it out of the park and cement their awareness in the public eye. One of those bands is without a doubt Rage Against the Machine. After following the slow and deadly “Colour Me Once,” by the Violent Femmes, Rage angrily shows up with a song that doesn’t necessarily fit in with the narrative of the film, but the overall tone of the track more than makes up for the contrasting subject matter. They were fresh off the heels of their major selling debut album, but I honestly feel like they have one of the standout tracks here.
Following that we get nasty, immediate tracks from household names of their times Rollins Band(“Ghostrider”), Helmet with “Milktoast,” and the “Cowboys from Hell,” themselves Pantera with “the Badge.” All three of these tracks are really compelling songs, and while Pantera and Rollins both deliver, Helmet really knocks it home with their trademark crunch laid below Paige Hamilton’s crisp voice.
Towards the end of the record though is where some old school underground bands come belting out. For Love Not Lisa’s track “Slip Slide Melting” has everything needed to make this band huge, but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. It’s a real shame too, because the song is powerful in a way that many songs of that era simply aren’t, and it yet again drills the theme of “Love Never Dies,” into the listener’s head.
Finally the last, possibly most perfect track in the album hits us, and it's even powerful over 20 years after I heard it for the first time. Jane Sibbery'd slow, gorgeous layered "Can't rain all the Time" bathes the listener in melancholy happiness that seems our hero.Draven make the wrong right and is welcomed back to the world of the dead.to.be with his forever Shelley. It's a great song and used to brilliant effect in both the film and album.
It perfectly captures the end of the dark night with glowing optimism and warmth that stays with you long after you've heard it. Thanks for reading.
Landon Murray is a published writer and an avid lover of music, books and films. He's also a lover of the New Orleans Saints. He was born in 1982 and has a chainsaw tattoo on his arm.
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