Set in the more quiet and dusty areas of Los Angeles, “The Big Lebowski” follows the mishaps of the mistakenly identified Mr. Jeffery Lebowski, accompanied by Vietnam veteran Walter Sobchak and the fast-talking but oblivious Donnie. The setting seems like it’s still grabbing at the ever-distancing spurs of the old west; an idea presented to the audience in part by the landscapes, cowboy hats and tumbleweed and in another by the country-tinged rock of the soundtrack.
The tracks selected for the official CD are eclectic, but generally capture the feel of the film. Whilst the technopop of “Wie Glauben” doesn’t sit very well amongst the rest of the release, the majority of the tracks play off each other effectively and there is enough variety to hold the listener’s ear for the full runtime.
The greatest disappointment is in the almost unforgivable omission of both Credence Clearwater Revival tracks which appear in the source. Perhaps licenses could not be obtained or something of the like, but these songs capture the essence of the film so perfectly that the soundtrack feels a bit empty without them. The absence of The Eagles is also a bit of a shame, but since the title character hates them, I guess it’s acceptable.
“The Big Lebowski Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is the adequate, but flawed child of an excellent film. Fans of the movie will be amused by the inclusion of the Gipsy King’s flamenco-style “Hotel California” and opera tracks, but listeners unfamiliar with it may be left confused and unimpressed due to the compilation’s scope. But hey, “The Dude abides”.
- Man in Me – Bob Dylan
- Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles – Captain Beefheart
- My Mood Swings – Elvis Costello
- Ataypura (High Andes) – Yma Sumac
- Traffic Boom – Piero Piccioni
- I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good) – Nina Simone
- Stamping Ground
- Just Dropped in (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) – Kenny Rogers & the First Edition
- Walking Song – Meredith Monk
- Gluck das Mir Verblieb – Anton Dermota & The Austrian State Radio Orchestra Lujon – Henry Mancini
- Hotel California – Gipsy Kings
- Wie Glauben – Carter Burwell
- Dead Flowers – Townes Van Zandt