Not Fade Away Soundtrack Offers Up a Fistful of Blues, Stones

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Not Fade Away, Director David Chase's period piece about a burgeoning rock band in the '60s, is still playing on limited screens in New York and Los Angeles, but this week preview copies of the soundtrack hit mailboxes. It is a sprawling double-disc, double-LP collection featuring vintage Rolling Stones, Elmore James, and James Brown cuts.

The L. A. Times seems to be saying good things about the film. Rolling Stone's Peter Travers likes it too.

The movie centers around The Twylight Zones, a fictional group from the Jersey suburbs who set out to make it big in the mid-'60s rock scene. The Zones' music is performed by a supergroup helmed by Steven Van Zandt and featuring Max Weinberg and Gary Tallent. You may recognize those names from another little band from New Jersey. In all, they contributed six Zones cuts, mostly covers.

The tone of the Zones' music is decidedly very "Little Steven's Underground Garage"-friendly, natch.

Chase was the creator and executive producer behind The Sopranos, and the Not Fade Away soundtrack shows off his keen musical mind. His Sopranos soundtracks were ahead of their time, showcasing chestnuts from Nick Lowe, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Kasey Chambers, among many others.

The centerpiece of the soundtrack seems to be The Zones' cover of the Stones' "Ride On Baby," which would fit in on most any modern garage-rock comp. Their cover of Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley" is rather respectful and by-the-numbers, though, but their "Train Kept A-Rollin'" is probably the best thing here.

It's good to hear the Rascals' "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart" recovered from dusty vinyl and given a good remastering. The Leadbelly, Elmore James, and Robert Johnson originals smoke, and choice cuts from The Left Banke and The Small Faces are top-notch.

The Sex Pistols' take on "Roadrunner" by The Modern Lovers could be used in a flash-forward in the film, I assume. The surgical-supply commercial jingle is fun too.

No definite word yet on when or if the film will be rolled out this direction, but for now you can pick up the soundtrack in stores.

Here is a Rdio playlist of the Zones tracks from the Not Fade Away collection.

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