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The Playlist Soundtrack Series Revisited: Wes Anderson

The Playlist Soundtrack Series Revisited: Wes Anderson

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.

Volume Two

01 – Bhupati And Amal – Satyajit Ray
02 – Late In The Evening – Paul Simon
03 – The India Song – Big Star
04 – Don’t You Know – Maxine Darren *
05 – Que Pena (Ele Já Não Gosta Mais De Mim) – Gal Costa
06 – I Live For You – George Harrison *
07 – Goopy And Bagha’s Magic – Satyajit Ray
08 – Love Goes To A Building On Fire – Talking Heads
09 – Got A Feeling – Mamas And The Papas
10 – Mother Whale Eyeless (edit) – Brian Eno
11 – Angelsea – Cat Stevens
12 – Love You Till Tuesday – David Bowie
13 – Chappaqua (excerpt 1) – Ravi Shankar *
14 – Loneliest Person – The Pretty Things
15 – Be Still – The Beach Boys
16 – Farewell To Ernest – Ustad Ali Akbar Khan *
17 – Someone I Know – Margo Guryan
18 – River Theme – Bob Dylan
19 – Tattoo – The Who
20 – Lindsey’s Song #1 (I Know I’m Not Wrong) – Fleetwood Mac
21 – Andalucia – Yo La Tengo *
22 – Bikram Theme – Satyajit Ray
23 – Snowball – Devo
24 – Let Me Count The Ways – Yoko Ono *
25 – Tonight We Fly – The Divine Comedy

Note: I love the Divine Comedy song, but I always wished this was an instrumental version instead. It sounds like something Mark Mothersbaugh might have written.

Volume Three: The Outtakes

01 – Discovery (edit) – Ravi Shankar
02 – All The Tired Horses – Bob Dylan
03 – Too Much On My Mind – The Kinks
04 – Holiday – Bee Gees
05 – The Island – The Millennium
06 – Kathy’s Waltz (edit) – The Dave Brubeck Quartet
07 – Ponta de Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma) – Jorge Ben
08 – Chappaqua (excerpt 2) – Ravi Shankar *
09 – Skyline Pigeon (Harpsichord Version) – Elton John
10 – Oh Deed I Do – Donovan
11 – Captain (The Mermaid) – John Phillips
12 – Sister Marie – Chad & Jeremy *
13 – Turtles Have Short Legs – Can
14 – The Rhythm – XTC
15 – Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – Alton & Hortense Ellis
16 – Paris 1919 – John Cale
17 – Cotton Fields – Unit 4 + 2
18 – Poquito cantando – Zoot Sims *
19 – On A Slow Boat To China – Sonny Rollins
20 – Wishyouawish – The Hollies
21 – Who by Fire – Leonard Cohen
22 – Whippings And Apologies (edit) – Sparks
23 – Mr. Songbird [Stereo Version] – The Kinks

Note: I don’t care for this one much insofar as that it was always pretty much an odd and sods collection. I like all the songs individually, but don’t really think it makes for much of a coherent mix so if you feel the same, well, that’s why.

INSERT BOB DYLAN ALL THE TIRED HORSES

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Comments

Georgina

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

I'd love a Woody Allen version of this.

evilnik

This was the reason i started liking theplaylist :)

lilhuxtable

Playlist keepin it real since day one.

Thanks for this!

Tim

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

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

Sean H.

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.

James

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?

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