The Rum Diary Soundtrack5.11.11 # Soundtrack # 18 Comments
The Rum Diary soundtrack. The riddle of The Rum Diary is a most perplexing of cinematic puzzles: given that you want to make a movie based on the Puerto Rico-set book by the late, great Hunter S. Thompson, then who would be good to get to star in said movie? Why, Johnny Depp seems a winning choice, what with him having already essayed a Thompson alter-ego to much acclaim in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and he also being one of the biggest film stars in the world to boot.
In terms of supporting cast, be sure hook in an up-and-coming favourite of impressionable teenage boys everywhere, say Drive Angry’s Amber Heard, to up the sex appeal, and as the shady tycoon who Depp’s character falls foul of, then who better than Aaron Eckhart? So effective opposite Bale in The Dark Knight and now, having established himself as a top screen actor, being moulded into a leading action man in his own right (Battle: Los Angeles), the exact same trajectory charted by Depp before him.
As for the director – well, given that Thompson’s book is every bit as bawdy and booze-soaked as its title and its author’s reputation would suggest, then the visionary choice is to hire the man responsible for the finest and funniest drunk movie ever, namely Bruce Robinson, writer-director of the immortal Withnail & I. And lo! So it all came to pass.
A creative cocktail with all the makings of a critical and commercial hit, one might think. Why then has The Rum Diary seemingly been hung out to dry for so long? It was rumoured for an appearance at Cannes last year, only for it to have made an outrageously late entrance – hitting movie theatres some 18 months further down the line. It is a mystery that would take an altogether more sober journalist than Depp’s Rum Diary character of Paul Kemp to get to the bottom of. The only thing Paul routinely gets to the bottom of is sold in liquor stores.
The sound of The Rum Diary is however not the sound of the barroom, an elegantly wasted glamour taking precedence over disgraceful drunkenness on the soundtrack album. The tone is set by an opener from showbiz’s premier smiling gin-monkey himself, Dean Martin, before composer Christopher Young settles into his stride, delivering a snappy raft of light-stepping, hip-swaying tracks with colourful titles like Rockin’ on my Rooster (With My Dead Monkey’s Mother) and Desperate Drunks and Postcard Loons.
Depp himself chips in with a fistful of numbers, with the results turning out to be nowhere near as horrific as might be expected, before proceedings are wrapped up with Patti Smith, lending her weathered tones to a vocalised version of the Depp-penned Mermaid Song.
The Rum Diary Soundtrack – Track List
1. Volare (Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu) – Dean Martin
2. Rum Diary – Christopher Young
3. Suckfish and Snake – Christopher Young
4. Mother of Balls – Christopher Young
5. Chenault – Christopher Young
6. Flagged Me Smiling – Christopher Young
7. Pink Jelly Remains – Christopher Young
8. Rockin’ on Rooster (With My Dead Monkey’s Mother) – Christopher Young
9. Sweat Bee – Christopher Young
10. Cock-Of-The-Rock – Christopher Young
11. Black Note Blues – Christopher Young
12. My Car the Cockroach – Christopher Young
13. Neon Popsicles – Christopher Young
14. Hefti-Tefti – Christopher Young
15. He Must Be a Sadist – Christopher Young
16. Puerto Rican Piss-Off – Christopher Young
17. Whacking a Salesman – Christopher Young
18. The Biggest Crook in New Jersey – Christopher Young
19. Desperate Drunks and Postcard Loons – Christopher Young
20. The Mermaid Song (Instrumental) – Johnny Depp
21. What About El Monstruo? – JD Band
22. Roll Out the Roosters – JD Band
23. Kemp in the Village – Johnny Depp and JJ Holiday
24. The Mermaid Song – Patti Smith
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