Monday, February 16, 2015


This is the soundtrack for the Grammy-winning, Academy Award-nominated documentary about the final tour of Glen Campbell, after his diagnosis of Alzheimer's.  The film has been roundly praised for its look at Campbell's struggles, medical and personal, a look at a difficult illness and a pretty respected performer.  Of course, music features heavily in the story-telling, so it's a surprise and a let-down to see how little has made the transition from film to soundtrack.

There are just ten cuts here, and of that, two of them are featured twice, in "single version" edits.  These are the major songs in the film, although usual practice with these discs is to include more material, and there must of been lots around from filming the live shows.  Or how about licensing a few old hits?  It would have been nice for this to feel more like an album.  What we do get is a pretty good song in I'm Not Going To Miss You, the last studio recording Campbell co-wrote and recorded.  One of two versions is done with some of his old colleagues in The Wrecking Crew, the famous L.A. studio musicians responsible for half the hits in the 60's.  Campbell was a member in the early days, his prowess on guitar so high he worked on hits for Phil Spector and The Beach Boys.  So its a touching moment to have this reunion, and it's a strong number, tackling love and last days in the lyrics.

Daughter Ashley Campbell is featured in the film, chief among his family support, and also a performer.  She sings two of the numbers here, Remembering, which directly talks about her memories of her father, his importance in her life.  She's a decent singer for sure, but sorry, I'm here for the star.  Same goes for The Band Perry, who cover Campbell's theme song, Gentle On My Mind.  It's a fine version, the singer sounds a tiny bit like Dolly Parton, but I want more Campbell.  There are two cuts recorded live at the Ryman Auditorium, including Wichita Lineman, where he simply nails it, at least on an emotional level, and you can tell he still feels great excitement performing the Jimmy Webb classic.  I haven't seen the film yet, I can tell already I'm going to like it, but I wish the soundtrack put me in the mood for it instead of being a lost opportunity.

No comments:

Post a Comment