I enjoy compilation soundtracks, because if you don't like the song you're listening to, you may like the next. But that's not a problem with this collection anyway, as each vintage recording from the 50s perfectly underscores every scene in the film and the 50s period itself. I can easily recapture each scene in my mind as I'm listening to Gerry Mulligan, Kay Starr, Johnny Mercer, Chet Baker, Lee Willey, Joni James, Jackie Gleason, and Betty Hutton - all household names at the time and musical kingpins in this award-winning, romantic crime thriller. It was Jackie Gleason who was perhaps the first to introduce "mood" music - music for lovers - and it caught on big-time during most of the 50s. Picture long flowing hair on the women, cool martinis, a black and white legal system, racial tension between the haves and have-nots - and this soundtrack captures it almost perfectly. As a bonus, there are two tracks of the original motion picture score by Jerry Goldsmith, including the emotionally evocative closing credits with the understated trumpet lead. I've listened to this CD repeatedly over the years and it's a keeper in my permanent library."
One of the Great Soundtrack Albums !
P. M. Bradshaw | Columbus, OH, USA | 02/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you could buy only one CD this year, I have NO IDEA what it should be. Maybe you should get a second job, you deadbeat. But if you buy two CDs (without having to work in a salt mine, or sell Uncle Bob, piece by piece, for experiments), it should be two soundtracks: L.A. Confidential and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Dark, ethereal, and moody, these albums have presence, and hold together on their own as great albums, able to stand apart and peer out from beneath the long, great shadows cast by their respective impressive film counterparts.
** As with all soundtracks, make sure you see the songs listed on the back and not simply "original score." Don't go home with orchestral, background music when you want classic songs and vocals.
L.A. Confidential has the period songs by the period's artists, including Johnny Mercer's FANTASTIC "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive." Jerry Goldsmith gets two pieces of his powerful score on the CD, the title track and the even better "Badge of Honor."
The period songs are great, the sweet voice of Kay Starr and Lee Wiley are terrific, and even the instrumentals are good here. Johnny Mercer, as mentioned before, is great here, but the stand-out on this album is Dean Martin's "Christmas Blues." In all his swagger-voiced, king-of-cool splendor, Dino brings us one of the greatest (and least heard) Christmas songs of all time.
Worth the price of admission itself.
My suggestion: get both CDs, dim the lights, pour yourself a beverage or four, and listen to these two albums back to back.
"This soundtrack really captures the atmosphere of "L.A. Confidential". Each song perfectly fits the mood of the scene in which you hear it, and the instrumental music by Jerry Goldsmith (of which there is one track on this album) is also very fifties "film noir". Currently, the movie is available on video--if you haven't seen it, run, don't walk to your favorite rental spot and rent it!! This movie (and the soundtrack) should be on the next top 100 list the AFI (or anyone else) chooses to create!"
As good as the movie
P. M. Bradshaw | 07/05/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I rarely remember the soundtracks to movies, but upon seeing "LA Confidential" the music was an element that just stuck with me. Hanson did a masterful job using music, whether it was accompanying a montage, or being played in the background. Each song was carefully (lovingly?) chosen to evoke a mood. I highly recommend this soundtrack on the strength of "Wheel of Fortune", a beautiful song that stands on its own merits, but will forever stay with fans of "LA Confidential"."
"Off the Record, On the QT, and Very Hush Hush"
Kathy Fennessy | 06/04/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't the instrumental score, but the mostly-vocal soundtrack for this Oscar award-winning film (Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actress). It does, however, feature two tracks from master composer Jerry Goldsmith. He's probably best known for the Oscar-nominated score for another fine set-in-LA neo-noir, "Chinatown." His work here is quite similar--but with a bit more bite, as befits the cinematic version of a hardhitting James Ellroy text ("L.A. Confidential" is part of his famed "L.A. Quartet"). The vocal tracks cover the pre-rock era of the early-1950s (the film is set in 1953): Dean Martin (upon whom Kevin Spacey based his Jack Vincennes character) clocks in with "The Christmas Blues", Chet Baker croons "Look for the Silver Lining," and more. Compiled by director Curtis Hanson ("Bad Influence," "Wonder Boys") and featuring detailed liner notes about each track."