Believe it or not, there was a time when Cameron Crowe put out great movies, with even better soundtracks. For proof, look no further than the 1992 soundtrack to his movie “Singles” about a group of 20-somethings in Seattle. The record included tracks by some of the best bands from that region, at a time when grunge was still being discovered by much of the country (and long before folks in the news media gave the movement the kiss of death by using it to sell magazines). The original soundtrack included cuts from Seattle bands like Alice In Chains, Peral Jam, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, Mudhoney, Screaming Tress, The Lovemongers (a side projects for the Wilson sisters from Heart) and even go way back to include Jimi Hendrix. The soundtrack also boasted two great songs from Midwesterners Paul Westerberg and Smashing Pumpkins (back before the world realized what a jackass Billy Corgan was).
As part of the 25th anniversary of this Gen X staple, Legacy is re-releasing this album on vinyl as well as a deluxe edition on two CDs. The second disc includes 18 more tracks, among them, “Touch Me I’m Dick” from Citizen Dick (Matt Dillion’s band from the movie that also includes members of Pearl Jam); six additional Chris Cornell songs; some live tracks from Soundgarden and Alice In Chains; a Mudhoney demo; and four additional songs from Westerberg.
While all of the additions are great, the Holy Grail here is the additional Cornell and Westerberg tracks. Among the Cornell gems is a beautiful, previously unreleased song, “Ferry Boat #3.” The “Singles” soundtrack marked the first glimpse of Westerberg’s solo spin off from The Replacements. Along with contributing the song “Dyslexic Heart” and “Waiting For Somebody” (both here on the original soundtrack and as acoustic versions on the second disc) he provided the score for the film. The second CD also includes a never-before released song, the instrumental “Lost in Emily’s Garden.”
Nostalgia has been a godsend for record companies that latch onto any reason to re-release an album with extras nowadays, but the “Singles” soundtrack is one of those times when it’s done brilliantly (and that’s coming from a perpetually cynical Gen Xer).