Though more notable for the musicians who contributed to the album than for the actual music contained therein, the Backbeat soundtrack is actually a fantastic record that holds its own even when judged by purely musical criteria. Backbeat (the movie, which is unfortunately a bit of a hack job) chronicles the Beatles' developmental period in Liverpool and Hamburg, so the idea behind the soundtrack was to assemble musicians who could accurately convey the raw, quasi-punk feel of the early leather jacket-clad Fab Four. Producer Don Was, though not usually associated with high-power garage rock, does an excellent job of assembling an amazing post-punk supergroup, the members of which perform cover tunes from the Beatles' actual repertoire with aplomb and surprising cohesion. The band includes powerhouse vocalist Greg Dulli, best known as the leader of the Afghan Whigs, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, Nirvana drummer/Foo Fighters guitarist/vocalist Dave Grohl, Thurston Moore (legendary six string strangler with Sonic Youth), noted alternative rock producer/guitarist Don Fleming (Gumball, Hole, Teenage Fanclub, Screaming Trees), and Soul Asylum vocalist Dave Pirner. Pirner, though he only participates on three songs, contributes some of the most energetic lead vocals of his career.
Dulli, too, sounds like he's having the time of his life. Overall, the band sounds pretty convincing, except for Grohl's drumming, which, though typically excellent, is obviously from the post-John Bonham hard rock era. Despite that small flaw, however, this album is highly recommended, as it gives a much better idea of the early Beatles over-the-top energy than the film itself.
|Money (That's What I Want) / Janie Bradford / Berry Gordy, Jr.||Greg Dulli||2:27|
|Long Tall Sally / Robert "Bumps" Blackwell / Enotris Johnson / Richard Penniman / Little Richard||Dave Pirner||1:44|
|Bad Boy / Larry Williams||Greg Dulli||2:00|
|Twist and Shout / Phil Medley / Bert Russell||Greg Dulli||2:40|
|Please Mr. Postman / Robert Bateman / Georgia Dobbins / William Garrett / Freddie Gorman / Brian Holland||Greg Dulli||2:18|
|C'mon Everybody / Jerry Capehart / Eddie Cochran||Dave Pirner||2:24|
|Rock 'N' Roll Music / Chuck Berry||Greg Dulli||2:21|
|Slow Down / Larry Williams||Greg Dulli||2:43|
|Roadrunner / Bo Diddley||Mike Mills||2:23|
|Carol / Chuck Berry||Greg Dulli||2:23|
|Good Golly Miss Molly / Richard Penniman / Little Richard||Greg Dulli||1:49|
|20 Flight Rock / Ned Fairchild||Dave Pirner||1:47|