||From the Vault...
"Leaving Las Vegas"
© Lumidre/MGM Records
Year of Release: 1995
Are Tou Desirable
Ben And Bill
Leaving Las Vegas
Sera's Dark Side
On The Street
Ben Pawns His Rolex/
Sera Talks To
My One And Only One
Sera Invites Ben To Stay
Come Rain Or Come Shine
Ben And Sera - Theme
It's A Lonesome
Blues For Ben
Sera Talks To The
She Really Loved Him
I Won't Be Going South
For A While
Soundtrack related sites:
"Leaving Las Vegas"
This in the category of "I never saw the movie, but I have the Soundtrack." The soundtrack of Leaving Las Vegas was #1 on the Billboard Jazz
Albums Chart for 18 weeks, in 1996. 25 tracks on the soundtrack, most of them spoken dialogue from the movie. Sting (from the Police) provides three
tracks in the style of Jazz/Smooth Jazz; one track from the Eagles' Don Henley. The original score was performed by Mike Figgis.
The songs by Sting give his fans a whole different light. His solo music, in my opinion were better than that of the band that made him famous: The
Police. "Angel Eyes," "My One And Only Love" and "It's A Lonesome Old Town" are definite highlights. "My One And Only Love" has a
similar sound as in the classic "Someone To Watch Over Me." A more blues style (especially to that of Hugh Laurie) is heard on "It's A Lonesome
Old Town." But the biggest suprise is the Eagles' Don Henley's "Come Rain Or Come Shine." It's another golden treasure, as his voice is very
different, likewise the style, compared to the band that made him famous.
For those who enjoy the contemporary Jazz, there's the many instrumentals of Mike Figgis. The traditional bar Jazz sound (most likely considered
New Orleans Jazz, has "Are You Desirable," "Leaving Las Vegas." Bossa Nova Jazz has the upbeat track, "Boss Vega." On that same notion,
the upbeat "Biker Bar" should get your toes tapping as well.
But then there's the dark side of the soundtrack, and would definitely fit the movie's storyline. "Sera's Dark Side" is dark sounding Jazz,
and definitely fits a movie's soundtrack. "Mara" is the same, yet toward the end of this song, it becomes more upbeat, as it merges into the next
track, "Burlesque," which includes dialogue from the movie.
Continuing the eark side, "Ben's Hell" is just that, as the title fits. Sad, sounding blues has the saxophone "telling it's sad story" on
"Blues For Ben." "Get Out" is also somewhat sad, and distant. "Reunited" is somewhat an opera-styled track, also dark sounding.
And then there's another dark track, "She Really Loved Him."
"Ben And Sera - Theme" is more Classical. Nicolas Cage takes a shot at trying to to sing, on "Ridiculous," yet with it's title, this is
how he sings, most likely singing while drunk in the film, which would make more sense, with it's title. The album closes on a Rock tune by the Palladinos,
"I Won't Be Going South For A While." Probably to compare, it sounds like the BoDeans.
Nicolas Cage won the Academy Award for Best Actor for this movie, with its dark theme storyline. Maybe the soundtrack would have been better with the
Sting, Henley tracks, plus the upbeat Jazz. Taking in consideration the movie's storyline, there are dark moments, and dark sounding music would be
appropriate. After all, the main character wants to end his life. And being semi-biographical, the author of the movie did commit suicide upon knowing
his novel would be made into a film.
I give this soundtrack two and a half stars. With the dark sounding tracks, it really would have been two stars alone. Yet, with the story's theme,
it is appropriate to include the darker side of a suicidal situation, with its appropirate music. Dark in texture, depressing in feeling, however. I've
never seen the movie, yet it did win alot of awards, include Best Actor (Academy Award, and Golden Globe). Other awards, and nominated were from the BAFTA
Award, and the Independent Spirit Award. Upon reading of the movie, both Nicolas Cage and Elisabeth Shue researched their characters extremely well, in order
to portray them, as accurately. That of Cage playing the role of Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic, and Shue playing the role of Sera, a prostitute. Researching
characters for a movie has always been an important factor, as many other actors/actresses have achieved the same research. Another example was Dustin
Hoffman's research in the movie Rain Man. The result, an Academy Award won for Best Actor in a Leading Role. It also won for Best Picture,
Leaving Las Vegas is a good soundtrack, overall. The Jazz/Smooth Jazz-themed songs are the standouts. This is what made the album popular at
the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums Chart. I have yet to see the movie, and it must have been good, winning the awards it did. A good movie has a good
soundtrack, and seeing the soundtrack was #1 for 18 weeks, it's worth checking out.
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