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The Royal Tenenbaums
Various Artists
The Royal Tenenbaums
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

The magical triad behind Rushmore's spunky, starry-eyed soundtrack--music supervisor Randall Poster, composer Mark Mothersbaugh, and director Wes Anderson--leaps forward a decade from that beloved soundtrack's '60s gems, i...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: The Royal Tenenbaums
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Hollywood Records
Original Release Date: 12/14/2001
Re-Release Date: 12/18/2001
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
Style: Comedy & Spoken Word
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
Other Editions: The Royal Tenenbaums (Collector's Edition)
UPCs: 720616234728, 809274454720

The magical triad behind Rushmore's spunky, starry-eyed soundtrack--music supervisor Randall Poster, composer Mark Mothersbaugh, and director Wes Anderson--leaps forward a decade from that beloved soundtrack's '60s gems, in the process adopting a more pensive feel for The Royal Tenenbaums' musical backdrop. It may lack the euphoric sing-along feel of, say, Creation's "Makin' Time," but the rock and folk tracks here perfectly match the film's crumbling characters and their dilapidated relationships. The Ramones' "Judy Is a Punk" is a burst of nostalgic rebellion but surely causes a sad twinge in light of Joey Ramone's untimely death in 2001; gloom-folker Nick Drake's "Fly" and Elliott Smith's excellently depressing "Needle in the Hay"--which is used to chilling effect during a wrist-slashing scene--further deepen the dark thread running through Tenenbaums. But those who prefer the sunny disposition of Rushmore will be thrilled by the calming concoctions of Mothersbaugh, who heralds the coming of a new scene with graceful woodwind/string parts ("Scrapping and Yelling") and playful sitar pieces ("Pagoda's Theme"). Throw in the Clash's squalling "Police & Thieves" and the Velvet Underground's petal-soft "Stephanie Says" and you've got another winning soundtrack from the film biz's most in-tune music lovers. Tenenbaum or not, you can go home again. --Kristy Martin

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CD Reviews

Great, but could've been better.
bprovenzale | San Francisco, CA USA | 02/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a very fine, if somewhat obscure, collection of rock and folk music from different decades. Without the context of the movie, you could say the CD is so eclectic that either it has something for everybody, or nothing for anyone. I'd pick the former. "Stephanie Says," "Needle in the Hay," and "Judy is a Punk" are flat-out excellent songs. It's also nice to hear "Christmas Time is Here" since I grew up watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special every holiday season. One of the especially pleasing treats is Mark Mothersbaugh's music, which is even better on "The Royal Tenenbaums" than his other music was on "Rushmore." Whereas on the "Rushmore" soundtrack Mothersbaugh's music seemed incidental, on this soundtrack it is closer to a fully realized movie score, while still retaining his trademark sound. It's brilliant.So why only four stars? First, I could've done without the Nico songs. The lyrics and music are in keeping with everything in the film, but her monotonic voice isn't very pleasing in any context. However, the real reason this CD gets 4 stars instead of 5 is that it omits too many essential songs. The instrumental cover of The Beatles' "Hey Jude" is the most glaring of these. Several articles and reviews about the movie have discussed the importance of "Hey Jude" to the film, whose message is arguably "take a sad song and make it better." One piece even discussed how the entire opening scene was written to run precisely with "Hey Jude." It should have been on the CD. If that meant a delay in the release or that it would cost an extra dollar each to take care of royalties issues, so be it. It wasn't even the Beatles' version, it was a cover. They are strict with their songs, but they allowed a whole bunch of people to cover their songs for the "I Am Sam" soundtrack.The other exclusions:
Some reviewers have already mentioned that the Rolling Stones don't allow their songs on soundtracks. That's understandable from the Stones' point of view, but it's really too bad. The omitted songs were from the important scene with Richie and Margot in the tent."Me and Julio..." by Paul Simon is another conspicuous omission. This song was used in the film's marketing campaign, and it was a perfect fit for the montage scene where Royal teaches his grandsons to get into trouble. It's one of the songs I associate most with the movie.Here, to the best of my knowledge, is what they left out:Elliott Smith(?) - "Hey Jude"
John Lennon - "Look At Me"
Bob Dylan - "Main Title Theme (from 'Billy')"
Erik Satie - "Gymnopedia #1"
The Clash - "Rock the Casbah"
Paul Simon - "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard"
The Rolling Stones - "She Smiled Sweetly" and "Ruby Tuesday"
Antonio Vivaldi - "Music for Lute and Mandolin (allegro)"
Van Morrison - "Everyone"(The "Hey Jude" cover is by Elliott Smith, Mark Mothersbaugh, or someone else entirely, depending on which Internet source you believe. I haven't checked the film's credits to see who actually performed it. In any case, there doesn't seem to be a published recording available as of this writing.)Bottom line: If a soundtrack is supposed to represent the music of the movie, then "The Royal Tenenbaums" falls short but is still worthwhile in it's own right--especially if you just enjoy an eclectic mix of music. Buy the excluded music from the individual artists if you can't live without the songs."
As Good an Album as the Movie
saintchris7 | dirty jersey | 12/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this album three days ago, and in that time i have listened to it, in it's entirety, six times. I am a rabid music fan, and I require a different music selection almost every time I leave the house to drive somewhere, so for me, six times is saying alot.The previous reviewer of this album brings up a good point: that there are very good, and important songs in the movie that are not on the soundtrack. I was worried about this when i bought the album, because the ommitted tracks (2 by the rolling stones, 1 by paul simon) were ones I loved in the film. However I have found that the soundtrack as an album is one of the most satisfying musical experiences i've ever had, even without these tracks.For those of you that have the Rushmore soundtrack, you have already tasted Mark Mothersbaugh's work, and all I have to say is that his work for Tenenbaums is as strong as his Rushmore work. For Tenebaums he has brought in a number of new instruments, and the larger sound works very well.As for the other tracks on the album, i would have to say i would buy this disc for the Nico tracks alone. Previously I knew of her from The Velvet Underground and Nico, but her folk/pop work here is really beautiful and moving. Among the other tracks are amazing folk pieces from Elliot Smith, Nick Drake(a personal fave), Emitt Rhodes, and The Velvet Underground, as well as higher octane pieces by The Clash and The Ramones that are really great.One of the most interesting songs in both the movie and soundtrack is Christmas Time is Here, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and of the Peanuts Christmas special fame. The song is so iconic of the Peanuts Christmas that you would think it wouldn't work in the film, but it does, as well as fitting in beautifully on the soundtrack. Finally the two non-Mark Mothersbaugh instrumentals. The first is String Quartet in F Major by the Ysaye Quartet, it is such a beautiful classical piece, and fits in so well with the Mothersbaugh instrumentals that I almost mistook it for one. And finally, a Bob Dylan instrumental called Wigwam, not known to me. The song is a loud brassy piece that I wouldn't have expected from Dylan, but again, as with all the songs on this album, I love it.The album as a whole is a beautiful moving experience, and i feel that it was designed to be as such. For those of you who buy it, make sure to relax and take in all of it. Enjoy!"
It's So Cold In Alaska
John | Cleveland, OH | 11/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Buying soundtracks is a rather new concept for me. I bought the Godfather's brilliant score years ago, and that was pretty much it for me. My opinion of movie soundtracks in general used to be that buying them is stupid. They are written for the movie, not to be listened to as a seperate work of art. Yeah I know, pretty stupid. Needless to say my opinion has been changed recently. In the liner notes, Wes Anderson describes Mark Mothersbough's soundtrack as "charmed, magical, and sort of innocent." I think that is damn near perfect. Take a listen to Mothersbough's Canon and you will agree. For the most part though, the Motherbough tracks on here are only short interludes. This CD is taken up by the various other artists from Bob Dylan to the Ramones. Ironically, this soundtrack includes not only post-Velvet Undergrounds Nico, but also a post-Nico Velvet Undergrounds tune. All three of those tracks are terrific. Elliot Smith's Needle in the Hay is the song that stood out to me in the movie. I had no clue who it was by, and it was one of the main reasons for me purchasing this soundtrack. To echo another reviewer's sentiments, I too could listen to this song all day long. The Ramones cut, Judy is a Punk, is not bad, but not the best Ramones song out there to be sure. It is not a low point (there is no low point in this soundtrack) but it certainly comes blasting out at you after Scrapping and Yelling. The Vince Guaraldi Trio's Christmas Time is Here fits in perfectly with Mothersbough's score. It is perfection set to music. Bob Dylan is of course represented here, with a song I'm sure few people have ever heard, and certainly not your typical Dylan. Interestingly, I didn't even like Paul Simon before this. To tell the truth I still don't, but Me and Julio was used to such great effect in the movie that I find the song more than listenable now. Overall this score plays much like the worlds best mix tape. Highlights are many. Nico's two tracks are great (although the uninitiated might have to get used to her voice). The Ysaye Quartet's String Quartet in F Major, Mothersbough Canon, Police and Thieves, Needle in the Hay, and Christmas Time is Here. However, the lesser songs will not once make you reach for the skip button. It bears mentioning that there are two versions of this soundtrack, the normal version and the Collector's Edition. I suggest that you make the effort to find the Collector's Edition. Many songs are left off the normal version, such as the version of Hey Jude as well as Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard. For full effect these songs must be included. This is a soundtrack that has not only found it's way into my CD player time and time again, but when it does get in there it goes on repeat. This is perfect music to listen to while doing menial chores, reading, surfing the net, sitting back and relaxing in front of a fire place, or driving your car. It is also perfect for the Christmas season, as it seems to capture the magical quality of this time of year perfectly. Buy it as a gift and your relatives will thank you!"