Though it’s a score for a film I haven’t seen in more than half a year, I still remember it clearly and listen to it often. It is infectious, moving, deep and striking. It adds a wonderful poignancy and dreamy atmosphere to a film already dreamy and atmospheric enough. I am talking of course about Neil Young’s score for Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 film Dead Man.
The score is a moody, melodic, disjointed series of movements consisting of mostly improvised electric guitar riffs and chords, performed by Young for the film and so deeply effective and pivotal to the movie’s power that on one DVD cover Young is given top billing for his score.
The album consists of six guitar solos, separated by various interludes of voices and cars driving, curious references to the film. The guitar solos, the score’s main sequences, are powerful, epic blasts of emotion. Listening to them at full volume, I felt a collossal wave of energy sweep over me. It’s really a fantastic album that complements the film beautifully. The next time I watch the movie I’ll be sure to listen for it, though it is hard to miss.
To put it lightly, the music is unearthly, overwhelming bliss. I’ve included one track below, the famous 15-minute Guitar Solo No. 5. The only request I have is that you turn up your speakers as you listen to it, and close your eyes too. It really is the equivalent of musical heaven.