It was almost exactly thirteen months ago today, that Matt Damon first started teasing about Cameron Crowe's "We Bought A Zoo" during press rounds for "True Grit" (seems like forever ago, doesn't it?). At the time Damon mentioned that along with the script, Crowe had put together a mixed CD of tunes (how quaint!) for the actor that included "a lot of Eddie Vedder, a lot of Neil Young." Well, THR caught up with both Damon and Crowe with "We Bought A Zoo" set to screen early this weekend in select locations around the country, and they filled in the blanks on those early days before the shoot began and what exactly was on that playlist.
In addition to also giving him a copy of the low-key 1983 charmer "Local Hero," Crowe told Damon he didn't want to do the "the Disney version" of this based-on-a-true-story tale about a widowed father, who moves his family into a house that is also actually a zoo. Damon decided to listen to the CD while running through Central Park, and it was a revelation. "There were all these songs I know but live versions that he got from sound boards," Damon says. "A song like, 'I'm Open' by Eddie Vedder — he gave me a particularly moving version that I've never heard. I kind of finished that run and went, 'That's a really good feeling.' "
And certainly, this isn't a soundtrack you'd find assosciated with any mouse house production. Spanning seventeen tracks, this is on the sadder side of the spectrum (and also a far cry from the more hopeful tunes of Jonsi who is scoring the movie), but it's an interesting window not only into Crowe's record collection, but also the mindset we'll find Damon's character in. The disc is heavy on covers, featuring Pete Townshend's cover of The English Beat tune "Save It For Later"; Jackson Browne singing Warren Zevon's "Mohammed's Radio" and Wilco and Billy Bragg tuning up Woody Guthrie's "Airline To Heaven." And there are also obscurities too, like "Child Of The Moon," The Rolling Stones' b-side to "Jumping Jack Flash" and a (demo?) version of Cat Stevens' "Don't Be Shy" which you might remember (with piano) from "Harold & Maude" (the soundtrack which Crowe re-released on his own Vinyl Films).
Anyway, it's worth a peek and we've included a handful of the songs below for you to check out. Three new photos from the film below all that. "We Bought A Zoo" opens on December 23rd.
Cameron Crowe's "We Bought A Zoo" Playlist For Matt Damon
1. Save It for Later – Pete Townshend
2. I'm Open (Live) – Eddie Vedder
3. War of Man (Live) – Neil Young
4. Soul Boy – The Blue Nile
5. Mohammed's Radio – Jackson Browne
6. Sanganichi – Shugo Tokumaru
7. Airline to Heaven – Wilco
8. Buckets of Rain – Bob Dylan
9. The Heart of the Matter (Live) – Don Henley
10. I Will Be There When You Die – My Morning Jacket
11. Ain't No Sunshine – Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
12. Child of the Moon – Rolling Stones
13. If I Am a Stranger – Ryan Adams
14. Concrete Sky – Beth Orton
15. Helpless (Live) – Neil Young
16. Don't Be Shy (no piano) – Cat Stevens
17. Nerstrand Woods – Mark Olson And The Creekdippers