"The music to Angel Heart was a key asset to the film -- departing from the book on which it was based, the film takes the viewer to New Orleans midway through, and this provides a valuable texture to the story. The music on this album is good, and it is probably worth a purchase - but I have to mark it down because of the glaring ommision of two of the best pieces of music from the film. First, the signature "Soul on Fire" by LaVern Baker, which is simply the most memorable song in the entire film. Haunting, longing, beautiful on its own -- the song takes on a new character in the context of the film. Fortunately, you can pick this song up on any LaVern Baker compilation. Sadly, the other great song left off here is a funky little Cajun/Voodoo number by Dr. John, listed as Zuzu Man in the movie credits, but I have been unable to get my hands on the song anywhere. He seems to have multiple versions of the song, and the version from the film is elusive.The absence of these two songs, along with a bit too much of the films dialogue, overshadow what is otherwise a memorable soundtrack. Probably only for the rabid fans of the film."
What's that tune you're singing?
ptitchitza | Leiden, Netherlands | 12/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One would probably not be able to fully appreciate the Angel Heart soundtrack without seeing the movie, but hearing it afore will probably serve as an additional incentive to see the film. Director Alan Parker is known for his imaginative and inventive use of music in his films. As far as I'm concerned, Angel Heart is one of the finest examples of the use of music in films. The main character of the film, private detective Harry Angel is hired to find '30s crooner Johnny Favorite, his own alter-ego - something he gradually discovers, to his own horror. Says Parker: "In the script I had made Johnny Favorite's 30's hit pivotal to our story and I wanted it to haunt the movie as it had haunted Harry. From a mountain of 78's I chose "Girl of my Dreams" which was nostalgically familiar but not too connected with any one artist. Trevor Horn [composer, arranger and conductor of the original music] cleverly wove the old theme into his new atmospheric score and had the brain-wave of using the brilliant young Courtney Pine for the sax solo's." Cleverly indeed! And chillingly effective. Harry Angel whistles to himself "Girl of my Dreams" and as he discovers more about Johnny Favorite, the song and the main theme become more and more elaborate and complete, and eventually in one of the scenes the shy piano rendition of the theme gets orchestral backing as the mystery reveals itself to us... impressive. However, at less than 38 minutes, I find it unforgivable that Rourke's whistling at the beginning of his search and the original 78 single, at the end of it, are not included. Horn's orchestrations and sounds were synthesized on synclavier and for a moment I'd wished he had used the real orchestra instead. Overall however, this is an outstanding soundtrack to an excellent movie."
Reader | NEW YORK CITY | 04/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although I usually find the inclusion of dialogue on a soundtrack to be intrusive, that's not the case here. Luckily it is not too overdone. The compositions by Trevor Jones and the sax of Courtney Pine bring back all the haunting beauty and terror of the film. There are no throwaway screeching scare tracks. At under 40 minutes, it is a beautiful rendering of a sinister mood that can be listened to again and again. More than a decade later, one might say the film doesn't keep it's "mystery" very well hidden but the music has held up. It's a superior example of a composer's ability to make a good film great and for that reason, I can watch it again and again. Note however, I could not watch the film without its score but I can spin the disc constantly. Alan Parker was a genius for choosing to go with atmosphere rather than musical hysterics. Never have the blues been so unnervingly hypnotic."
Ever feel like selling your Soul?.........
Reader | 03/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ONe listen to this album and you'll be trasported into the middle of South Rampart street, New Orleans.. Even though the sax sounds slightly dated, the rest of the atmospheric background sound more than makes up for it. The two blues numbers are great while the dialouge just adds that something extra. And lets face it. Who doesnt want to hear Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro converse in the middle of a Catholic church? One negative: OVERUSE OF THE HEARTBEAT!"
A very sinister and beautifull soundtrack from a great film.
firstname.lastname@example.org(lila) | england | 12/18/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this soundtrack is atmospheric and moving. It combines dialouge from the film and strange sounds as well as some beautifull pieces of jazz.If you enjoyed the film this is a great cd to listen to on cold rainy nights."