Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Clockers (1995 Film)
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, R&B, Soundtracks
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Something for everyone
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 04/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As long as I live, I'll never forget the bone-chilling opening sequences to the 1995 Spike Lee Joint from which came this soundtrack. The sequences were apparently made up of real-life crime scene photos and the stark portrayal of the gruesome, needless waste of young black male life was difficult to watch. The movie, which gives a snapshot of one young man's navigation through the perils of the drug trade, starred Harvey Keitel, John Turturro & Delroy Lindo, and introduced us to (now "ER" star) Mekhi Phifer.
The opening sequences were given an added haunting quality by Marc Dorsey's performance of "People In Search Of A Life", one of the best songs I've ever heard. The song, which features some very mournful strings and a soprano sax performance of sheer beauty, was written, produced & arranged by Raymond Jones. I felt sure Dorsey's career would go into the stratosphere after that and although he did collaborate with Lee again and eventually went on to release an album in 1999, it did not include this track and overall, (despite his cover of the Stevie Wonder song "All I Do"), was a bit of a let down. He didn't release any further albums so I'm guessing I'm not the only one who felt that way.
Anyhoo, this soundtrack not only offers that particular gem but a host of others, including: "Love Me Still", a beautiful ballad by Chaka Khan that became one of her biggest hits at a time when she was keeping a bit of a low profile; "Silent Hero", a guitar-driven ballad by Des'ree, (who was red-hot at the time); "Bird Of Freedom", a brilliant Trevor Horn-produced ballad by Seal; and the DJ Premier-produced "Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers" by Crooklyn Dodgers '95 - one of my favourite hip-hop tunes of all time. (Just listen out for what they call Barbara Walters. I don't think they like her very much!). I'm a nut for practically anything Premo and this one gets me jumping every time.
"Bad Boy No Go A Jail" by Mega Banton (a ragga tune, if you like that kind of thing); "Blast of the Iron" by Rebels of Authority, a lively hip-hop banger (literally) that reminds me of Naughty By Nature; and "Reality Check" by jazz/hip-hop amalgamation Buckshot LeFonque, are also all interesting, noteworthy tracks. "Changes", Dorsey's other tune on here is very different to the first one and much more in line with what was popular in r&b at the time. It's an okay tune but it's dated now (at least to these ears) and doesn't utilise his voice well enough, in my opinion.
I have quite a number of movie soundtracks but this has always been one of my favourites. I hadn't played it in ages until it came up in conversation with my good buddy Derek. I thought it definitely merited a review. My only (tiny) problem with the soundtrack was that it didn't provide more detail about the music on it. We don't know who performed the sax solo on "People In Search Of A Life", for instance (although I suspect it was Branford Marsalis). Minor quibble aside, there's something for everyone here and I can't recommend it highly enough.
Also worth checking out is Terence Blanchard's Original Orchestral Score From The Motion Picture Clockers. A must for any Blanchard fan."
Music from the inner cities that cries out.
Ben Riddle | Cuyahoga Falls, OH USA | 02/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I've said in one of my Listmania lists, "Clockers", as a movie, grabbed hold of my heart when I saw it the first time. The hold was so powerful that I had to see it a second time within the same weekend. With the movie still fresh in my mind the following Monday, I went to a local music store and ordered the soundtrack.This is the first soundtrack I've ever owned in my collection to have an explicit lyrics label on it. I think it's worth noting that the clean tracks on this CD come before most of the explicit ones. (to cushion the ride for sensitive listeners, perhaps?) Even after writing papers in college against censorship of the music industry, I still wince every now and then when I hear the F-word in these songs. This album is not for the faint of heart. No disrespect toward any artists is intended.The profanities in the gangsta rap tracks notwithstanding, I agree with the reviewer who says that the soundtrack covers a wide variety of genres. The biggest reason I bought this one, if you want to know, was so that I could own "Love Me Still" by Chaka Khan (with Bruce Hornsby on piano). Yet I will always remember this movie, and its songs, when I think of the things black people went through in the past, and in some ways, still have to go through today. I am white; whenever I hear "People In Search of a Life" by Marc Dorsey, I know what's coming next: a wave of sorrow that flows across all time periods, simply because black people have been treated like second-class citizens throughout history. It makes me wish I could do something to help."
The sharp edge of social dogma
Charles T. Morris | Los Angeles | 10/24/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first three tracks are excellent and inspire compassion. Listen to the rest before you go into the danger zone. They are sure to remind you of the racial divide and the anger that flows within the concrete jungle."