The Ultimate Wes Anderson Soundtrack Playlist: Extra Superlatives

Last week I told you about the soundtrack for director Wes Anderson's upcoming feature Moonrise Kingdom, which showcases the work of composers Leonard Bernstein and Alexandre Desplat, Benjamin Britten and strange bedfellow Hank Williams Sr.

Anderson's films are the most anticipated movies of most every year, because they are like catnip for hipsters of all ages and amateur cinéastes alike, and feature completely engrossing soundtracks.

Ever since his first film, the hilariously damaged crime caper Bottle Rocket, Anderson has been choosing great nuggets from acts like The Kinks, The Clash, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and others to sprinkle on top of his work. His soundtracks have also been the catalyst for resurgences of acts like Nico, Bobby Fuller Four and Love.

The help of Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh cannot be understated, either. His quirky instrumental beds are synonymous with Anderson films, most notably Rushmore.

Bottle Rocket: Yes, Anderson somehow made the Proclaimers cool, attaching their "Over and Done With" to this caper starring Wilson brothers Owen and Luke, plus the terrific James Caan. Added bonuses were a Stones cut from Their Satanic Majesties Request, and Love.

Rushmore: The most popular in this crew, besides the Tenenbaums album, this one introduced young listeners to Cat Stevens, one of the Who's greatest works, and even some French balladeering. Effortlessly cool, this is Anderson's love letter to garage-rock, and to the angst echoed in the dark and brooding heart of Max Fischer.

The Royal Tenenbaums: This is one of the more accessible of Anderson's pictures, at least in terms of star wattage and popularity. It's still peculiar as fuck. Anderson found a great Bob Dylan song from his maligned Self Portrait, injected new life into Paul Simon's "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" and made great cold-sweat use of Elliott Smith's haunting "Needle in the Hay."

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou: David Bowie songs sung in Portuguese by Seu Jorge, a Stooges fist-pumper and an oddball Devo album cut made this one worthy of being immersed in. Pardon the ocean puns. Scott Walker owes his late-career popularity to Life Aquatic, too.

The Darjeeling Limited: The way Anderson melded the Kinks with Bollywood Merchant Ivory soundtracks made this disc a sleeper favorite, for me at least. It also made me hungry for Shaan E Murgh and naan, but that's another story...

Fantastic Mr. Fox: Burl Ives didn't just record Christmas music? Jarvis Cocker can write about more than pretty people? Alexandre Desplat takes on the Mothersbaugh role here and records most of the score with great results. Only Anderson could make "Street Fighting Man" even cooler by using it in a stop-motion animal saga.

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