The Blues Brothers
Original Soundtrack Recording
Vocals: Ray Charles, Jake & Elwood
Vocals: James Brown with Rev. James Cleveland Choir
Vocals: Aretha Franklin
Vocals: Cab Calloway
That I’ve not only had this album in my adolescence and then in my musical library throughout my adulthood but have never celebrated it in words is downright shameful, given how much powerful and gritty joy it gives me. My favorites are definitely Franklin’s cover of her own “Think,” “The Old Landmark,” and “Shake a Tail Feather;” clearly, I have more affinity for the original performers than for the reinterpreters in this case, but that’s not to say I don’t gladly get into the other tracks. What still astonishes me, all these years after the film and album came out, is that the soundtrack holds up so intensely well on its multiple levels…that is, both the genuine/source and the ironic/parodic but then also the sheer musical/cultural aspects. A lot was attempted in this soundtrack, and its intended aim may or may not have been achieved but a mighty creation resulted nonetheless and is worthy of some respect.
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Comments © 2005 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.