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The Playlist Soundtrack Series Revisited: Wes Anderson

by The Playlist
May 25, 2012 2:58 PM
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Wes Anderson Soundtrack Series

In 2006, before I started The Playlist film blog, out of boredom I began what I called the The Playlist Soundtrack Series. A sort of "If I Were _______ (insert filmmaker's name here)" type thing. The concept was naive and simple: choose a handful of music-savvy filmmakers whose work I admired and create imaginary soundtracks for movies they hadn't made, based on their taste and music they might conceivably use one day. It began as nothing more than a fun exercise for me, as I had time on my hands back then.

Eventually, I had amassed a half a dozen of these soundtracks in various states of completion, and to host them somewhere I started The Playlist blog in 2007. It then became a place to discuss music in film, soundtracks, etc., and when that topic was outgrown slightly (after a while you tend to hit all the classic film and soundtrack bases) it eventually morphed into what you see today: this ungainly mix of movie news, reviews, opinions and whatnot about cinema.

Suffice it to say when conceiving of this Soundtrack Series, Wes Anderson was one of the first filmmakers that came to mind, and constructing his playlist was rather fun. I take small pride in some correct, before-they-happened guesses like Francois Hardy and the use of composer Alexandre Desplat. I started these particular Wes Anderson playlists sometime in 2006, around the time "The Darjeeling Limited" was getting rolling. All that was known then was that it was set in India and was some sort of voyage for a group of brothers, so I thought it fun to try and guess what kind of Indian music might be used in the film ("Farewell To Ernest" by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was the only overlap guess that turned out correctly). This is a long way of saying, the Soundtrack Series, while now essentially defunct, is something I look back on with great fondness and many of the early audiences seemed to enjoy it, so we thought we should repost them again with Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" coming to theaters this weekend in limited release (and you should check out this additional piece about the music of Wes Anderson's films not featured on his official soundtracks). Below are links to Spotify playlists with the clips that do exist on Spotify (a few are missing), and/or you can listen to each one below on YouTube in the order they were intended to be listened to. Enjoy, and if you've been reading for what is now six years, well, I salute you for your patronage.

Click on at the bottom for volumes 2 & 3

* = not on the Spotify playlist, sadly. Perhaps one day...

Volume One
01 - Vandanna (excerpt 1) - Ravi Shankar *
02 - Trains And Boats And Planes - Burt Bacharach
03 - Le Temps Des Souvenirs - Françoise Hardy
04 - The Doge's Decree - Concerto In C Major - Vivaldi (conducted by Alexandre Desplat) *
05 - Kathakali Katthak - Ravi Shankar *
06 - Black Sheep Boy - Scott Walker
07 - Quand On Est Ensemble - France Gall *
08 - Lonely Girl - Sagittarius
09 - Feluda Theme - Satyajit Ray (erroneously titled "Felu Theme" originally)
10 - Goin' Down - Harry Nilsson
11 - I've Got Something On My Mind - Left Banke *
12 - Monica - The Kinks
13 - A Bicyclette - Yves Montand
14 - This Little Bird - Marianne Faithfull
15 - I Want You - Bob Dylan
16 - Sister Marie [edit] - Sagittarius
17 - Back Street Girl - The Rolling Stones
18 - Rings For The Kings - Satyajit Ray
19 - I'll Live Yesterdays - Lee Hazelwood *
20 - Little Sister - Nico
21 - How Wrong Can One Man Be - Colin Blunstone
22 - I Go to Sleep - The Kinks
23 - Tuesday's Dead - Cat Stevens
24 - So Long, Marianne - Leonard Cohen
25 - Freedom - Oliver Onions

Personal very pedantic note if you care: Disc 1 is just too damn long for me now. My personal version is now only 22 tracks long. It places "Skyline Pigeon" from Disc 3 at #12, omits the Nico, Leonard Cohen and Oliver Onions songs and after Cat Stevens uses the preferred ending, "Boredom" by Procol Harum (don't bother with the live versions on YouTube, they are terrible compared to the album version). A wonderful track that I discovered after the fact.

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  • Georgina | March 6, 2014 7:36 AMReply

    Hi! I have just bumped into this great series, is there any other available anywhere? I can't make the blogspot link to work :(

  • John | May 28, 2012 12:15 PMReply

    I'd love a Woody Allen version of this.

  • evilnik | May 26, 2012 12:42 PMReply

    This was the reason i started liking theplaylist :)

  • lilhuxtable | May 25, 2012 11:09 PMReply

    Playlist keepin it real since day one.

    Thanks for this!

  • Tim | May 25, 2012 10:28 PMReply

    I'm so happy you did this! This beginning concept is what got me into the playlist site in the first place. You've evolved quite well.

  • Davey | May 25, 2012 4:07 PMReply

    These playlists were what made me subscribe to the website years ago. I still have them on my iPod. I miss them.

  • Sean H. | May 25, 2012 3:28 PMReply

    Be honest...I gave you that Procol Harum track, right? Congrats on 6 years! I think I still have "If I Were Sofia Coppola" on a drive somewhere.

  • The Playlist | May 25, 2012 3:30 PM

    Oh snap. I think you did. SH comin out of the woodwork...

  • James | May 25, 2012 3:13 PMReply

    Now if we could just get your running thoughts on Anderson's director's commentary on the rest of his films and not just Bottle Rocket. That is what you did back in the day right?

  • The Playlist | May 25, 2012 3:21 PM

    Hmmm, not sure what you mean, you mean this piece?

    Sorry the images are all broken. Photobucket is a scam and I kinda refuse to keep paying them my money after years of doing so (no one goes to that site, but my bandwidth is over its limit? BS).

    BTW, random: realize this whole series is a totally pretentious idea, but ppl seem to dig it so, sure.

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