Monday, March 25, 2013


I remember this movie when it was called The Commitments.  Okay, I haven't seen it, it isn't out yet, but it's one of those film staples:  a group of underdogs learns about life while performing classic hits.  In this case, from what I've half-read, it's an Australian smash hit comedy, about young Aboriginal women who end up performing in Vietnam for U.S. G.I.'s during the war.  Cue the soundtrack album, filled with vintage Motown, Stax and similar soul.

I can just imagine the production meeting where they're going over material to do include.  "Nope, can't do Mustang Sally, it was in The Commitments."  "How about I Heard It Through The Grapevine?"  "No, it's been used in tons of other movies."  "How about Gladys Knight's version of Grapevine?"  "PERFECT!!!"  It's the same formula for much of the soundtrack, have the talented artists perform new versions of the old faves, in faithful but punched-up productions.  Jessica Mauboy handles the bulk of these, including Land Of A Thousand Dances by Wilson Pickett (featured so prominently in The ..umm... Commitments), The Four Tops' I Can't Help Myself, and The Staple Singers' I'll Take You There. 

The difference with this soundtrack is that it's longer (17 cuts), has some newly-written tracks, and even original covers.  There are two from Sam and Dave, the standard hits Soul Man and Hold On! I'm Comin', and Movieland's official anthem of the Vietnam war , Creedence's Run Through The Jungle.  Given the previous success of this kind of film, and of Australian pop music-based movies (Muriel's Wedding, Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert), this could be one of this larger cult favourites, which could mean lots of soundtrack sales.  Of course, I'm recommending you just buy Motown and Stax compilations.

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