Mayor of the Sunset Strip Soundtrack
First Appeared at The Music Box, April 2004, Volume 11, #4
Written by John Metzger
When taken out of context, film soundtracks frequently fail, if only because studios tend to surround a handful of terrific tunes with a plethora of mediocre ones that plod along in the absence of their intended visual accompaniment. Rare, then, is the movie-oriented compilation that stands well on its own accord, one that not only tells the story nearly as well as the film with which it is associated but also exists simply as a solid collection of songs. That’s what makes the Mayor of the Sunset Strip Soundtrack so unique. The movie follows the course of rock history through the eyes of Rodney Bingenheimer, whose KROQ radio program introduced The Ramones, The Smiths, and The Sex Pistols to a wider audience and whose club English Disco hosted concerts by T-Rex, Iggy Pop, and David Bowie. The album’s diverse songs — which run the gamut from Bowie’s All the Madmen to X’s Los Angeles to Hole’s Malibu — are tied together quite nicely via short interview segments as well as the tuning sounds of a radio dial, and as a result, one gets a cursory glimpse of the music world as seen through Bingenheimer’s eyes. Not that the Mayor of the Sunset Strip Soundtrack doesn’t have its share of filler, most notably in Ronald Vaughan’s amusing, but corny Jennifer Love Hewitt, which fits The Moody Blues’ Legend of a Mind with new lyrics. However, the collection mostly allows artists to pay tribute to someone whose support played a vital role in the development of their careers, adding another layer of intrigue to an otherwise enjoyable set of songs. ½
Mayor of the Sunset Strip Soundtrack is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box