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Make Your Own Mixtape: 17 Songs From Wes Anderson’s Films That Are Not On The Official Soundtracks

Make Your Own Mixtape: 17 Songs From Wes Anderson's Films That Are Not On The Official Soundtracks

Today sees the latest film from director Wes Anderson, “Moonrise Kingdom,” hit theaters, and consistent with the music-obsessed filmmaker’s work, it’s as much a treat for the ears as it is for the eyes. ‘Moonrise’ boasts another soundtrack of unexpected cuts assembled with the great music supervisor Randall Poster, including Francoise Hardy, Hank Williams, and for the first time, a significant amount of classical music including Benjamin Britten and Leonard Bernstein. And if that’s not enough, there’s also additional pieces by Alexandre Desplat and drum percussion by old musical cohort Mark Mothersbaugh.

But as is the case with most films, not everything’s on the official soundtrack release, which is in stores now: the movie features three additional Hank Williams songs, and pieces by Mozart and Schubert that aren’t included on the disc. Given that Anderson’s films are so replete with music, the soundtracks have quite often left out key songs for licensing or other reasons, though nontheless providing an economic and enjoyable listening experience that doesn’t go on forever. To celebrate the release of “Moonrise Kingdom,” we’ve compiled a little playlist of the songs absent from Anderson’s soundtracks through the years. You can find the tracklisting below, along with notes on the music of each of his films to date. And on the later pages, you’ll find a Spotify playlist and YouTube videos of all the songs, but we’ll provide some samples throughout. 

The Missing Music Of Wes Anderson
1. “2000 Man” – The Rolling Stones (from “Bottle Rocket”)
2. “7 And 7 Is” – Love (from “Bottle Rocket”)
3. “Alone Again Or” – Love (from “Bottle Rocket”)
4. “Préndeme La Vela” – Abelardo Vásquez (from “Bottle Rocket”)
5. “Take Ten” – Paul Desmond (from “Rushmore”)
6. “Jersey Thursday” – Donovan (from “Rushmore”)
7. “I Am Waiting” – The Rolling Stones (from “Rushmore”)
8. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” – Vince Guaraldi Trio (from “Rushmore”)
9. “Manoir de Men Reves” – Django Reinhardt (from “Rushmore”)
10. “Everyone” – Van Morrison (from “The Royal Tenenbaums”)
11. “Gymnopedie No. 1” – Erik Satie (from “The Royal Tenenbaums”)
12. “She Smiled Sweetly” – The Rolling Stones (from “The Royal Tenenbaums”)
13.. “Ruby Tuesday” – The Rolling Stones (from “The Royal Tenenbaums”)
14. “Billy” – Bob Dylan (from “The Royal Tenenbaums”)
15. “Rock The Casbah” – The Clash (from “The Royal Tenenbaums”)
16. “Staralfur” – Sigur Ros (from “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou”)
17. “I Get Around” – The Beach Boys (from “Fantastic Mr. Fox”)

Bottle Rocket” (1996)
When Anthony and Dignan (Luke and Owen Wilson) rob Anthony’s home, the scene is set to “7 And 7 Is” by psychedelic favorites Love. The band are featured again later when “Alone Or Again” is played as Anthony runs to Inez (Lumi Cavazos) after winning his friend’s approval. Meanwhile, “2000 Man” by The Rolling Stones is played as Dignan is chased by the police. Aside from “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,” and now “Moonrise Kingdom,” the Stones have featured in every Anderson film, but only started appearing on the soundtracks with “The Darjeeling Limited.” Finally, Anthony falling for Inez is scored lightly by Paraguayan afro-cantador Alberto Vazquez, with his song “Prendeme La Vela,” arguably the film’s stand-out track if you’re not a classic rocker or just prefer deep cuts.

The original short film version of “Bottle Rocket” had a very different soundtrack (a digital release came belatedly in 2008), but featured a few artists that Anderson would return to over the years. Vince Guaraldi has a couple of tracks, “Happiness Is” and “Skating,” while Zoot Sims, who returned in “Rushmore,” had “Jane-O.” Also used are “Old Devil Moon” by Sonny Rollins, “The Route” by Chet Baker, and “Stevie” by Duke Ellington.

Rushmore” (1998)
Anderson’s original plan was that the film would be scored entirely by The Kinks, saying in the soundtrack liner notes: “I thought this made sense because the Kinks played loud, angry teenage rock and they wore blazers and ties; and our movie is about a teenager who is loud and angry and is almost never seen without a blazer and tie.” In the end, they ended up using a selection mostly from other British Invasion bands, inspired by “School Movie Music” mixtapes that Anderson and co-writer Owen Wilson made and played on set. Not everything made it into the soundtrack release, however: Paul Desmond‘s “Take Ten,” Donovan‘s “Jersey Thursday, The Rolling Stones‘ “I Am Waiting” and The Vince Guaraldi Trio‘s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” are all absent, as is Django Reinhardt‘s “Manoir de Mes Reves.” And if we’re being pedantic, the film uses the live version of The Who‘s “He’s A Quick One While He’s Away” from The Rolling StonesRock and Roll Circus TV show & soundtrack, while the soundtrack cut comes from the band’s Live At Leeds. A quibble, but a crucial difference. Why? “Rock and Roll Circus” was shot in 1968, but only released as a film in 1996 and the DVD didn’t arrive until 2004. The reason for the delay? Well, The Who had been touring non-stop, so by the time they played the Rock And Roll Circus concert (which featured acts like Marianne Faithfull, John Lennon, The Stones and Jethro Tull), they were a lightning-hot fire of live action. They essentially usurped the Stones at their own show and the Stones knew it, burying the release for years because of it. Watch one of the most furious, raucous live performances ever below (and then listen to the album version and Live At Leeds to compare how more awesome this version is; it’s no wonder Anderson and Poster picked this version).

The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001)
The initial soundtrack release, in 2001, actually had a lot missing, including Paul Simon‘s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” John Lennon‘s “Look at Me” (the Anthology version) and The Mutato Muzika Orchestra‘s version of The Beatles‘ “Hey Jude.” These were restored in a 2002 re-issue, but that still missed a number of other tracks included in the film: the back-to-back Rolling Stones tracks, “She Smiled Sweetly” and “Ruby Tuesday,” Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédie no. 1,” Van Morrison‘s “Everyone,” The Clash‘s “Rock The Casbah” (The Clash being a recurring motif for Owen Wilson’s character Eli) and Bob Dylan‘s “Billy” taken from the “Pat Garett & Billy The Kid” soundtrack that Dylan scored in 1973 (a track that Anderson originally wanted for the end of “Bottle Rocket”).

There were also various other tracks present in earlier cuts that never made it into the film. We saw a very early screening of ‘Tenenbaums’ in L.A. in 2001, where the film opened with The Beatles’ version of “Hey Jude,” and the ending scored to the band’s “I’m Looking Through You” (the Anthology 3 version; very different from the Rubber Soul cut). The rights couldn’t be attained, and Anderson asked Elliot Smith to record a “Hey Jude” cover, but the musician was deep in the midst of drugs and depression. Anderson told EW in 2004 “He was in a bad state and just wasn’t able to” (though eyewitness accounts say an Elliott Smith version was heard at certain screenings, but then was scrapped). Instead, Mark Mothersbaugh re-recorded a new version with his Mutato Muzika Orchestra (Mothersbaugh’s full score has still never been released, although there was a CD sent out to Oscar voters at the end of 2001 that’s pretty easy to find online). The director also tried the Beach Boys‘ “Sloop John B” for the conclusion before the Van Morrison track that’s in the final cut was selected.

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” (2004)
The Life Aquatic” had the most complete soundtrack-to-film ratio of any of the director’s films to date — thanks to Seu Jorge‘s extra David Bowie covers being released on the 2005 record The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions Featuring Seu Jorge. However, Sigur Ros‘s “Staralfur,” which scores the emotional climax, has never been included on any release.

The trailer for the film was scored in part by New Order‘s “Ceremony,” but the track doesn’t feature in the film. As for the music of Sven Libaek, the director was introduced to the composer by actor Noah Taylor (Libaek had written the music for a 1974 oceanographic film called “Inner Space” narrated by William Shatner). Anderson and music supervisor Randall Poster picked up the rights to Libaek’s entire body of work, and used them as some of Taylor’s character’s compositions in the film-within-the-film (Mark Mothersbaugh contributed the rest).  

The Darjeeling Limited” (2007)
The first Wes Anderson film to go without a score, instead mostly utilizing songs found in the films of the great Indian filmmaking auteur Satyajit Ray (with many of the cuts composed by the multi-talented Ray himself). Almost every bit of music from the film was included on the soundtrack for “The Darjeeling Limited.” Key missing tracks include Debussy‘s wonderfully melancholy “Clair de Lune (Suite Bergamasque),”  Beethoven‘s “Symphony No. 7 in A, Op. 92″ (used in the flashback on-the-way-to-the-funeral scene), and a few Ravi Shankar tracks. It’s not 100% clear what they are, but it apppears to be the title music recycled from Ray’s “Aparajito” and “Apur Sansar.” It also marks the first time that Mark Mothersbaugh didn’t work on one of Anderson’s films (the composer returns to the fold with a contribution to “Moonrise Kingdom”), and the first time that The Rolling Stones actually ended up on the soundtrack.

Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009)
Again the music of “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is well represented, in part because Alexandre Desplat‘s score got a separate release on a second disc after the initial soundtrack. But there is one notable absence: the third Beach Boys song to feature in the film, “I Get Around,” isn’t on the OST.

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