ABKCO Music & Records is releasing the digital soundtrack for Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Demolition, a film directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild) and starring Academy Award nominees Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts. Music From the Motion Picture Demolition incorporates classics by Heart, Free and Eric Burdon & The Animals with contemporary acts such as My Morning Jacket, M. Ward and Sufjan Stevens.
Demolition follows Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal), a successful investment banker who loses his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father in law, Phil (Chris Cooper), to pull it together Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep, Karen Mareno (Watts) and amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son, Chris (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew. Peter Debruge of Variety commented, “The result is the best Gyllenhaal performance since Brokeback Mountain.”
The music used in Demolition ranges from the familiar to the eclectic. Heart’s 1976 debut U.S. single “Crazy on You,” notable for its unusual combination of acoustic and electric guitar parts, was also the Seattle rock band’s breakthrough hit. Paul Rodgers-fronted English band Free is most known for the massive 1970 rocker “All Right Now” from their Fire and Water album. Skirting the obvious, however, Demolition instead utilizes “Mr. Big,” a live version (Sunderland, 1970) of a deep album cut from the aforementioned album. Further avoiding a track selection that is too “on the nose” is the inclusion of “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” a Bob Dylan original that proved massive upon its 1965 release. The ballad spawned popular cover versions by the Byrds and Them, but it’s San Jose garage outfit Chocolate Watchband’s intense rendition that features prominently in Demolition. “When I Was Young,” a 1967 intercontinental hit for Eric Burdon & The Animals, fits the film’s themes of disillusionment with the present, and longing for the re-connection with youth.
Balancing out these tracks on Demolition (Music From The Motion Picture) is a slew of songs by heavy hitters in the current indie world. “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream (Pt. 2),” a 2008 single by Louisville, KY group My Morning Jacket, singer-songwriter Sufjan Steven’s “To Be Alone With You,” from his 2004 album Seven Swans, and critically acclaimed songwriter M. Ward’s “Watch The Show” from A Wasteland Companion (2008) represent the more established contingent. Lesser known, but equally integral to Demolition are “Bruises” by Canadian indie band Dusted, Chicago-based psychedelic drone quartet Cave’s “Sweaty Fingers,” and French model/actress/singer Lou Doillon’s “Where To Start,” a single released last year. Closing out the package is Half Moon Run, a newer band from Vallée’s native Montreal, with an extended version of “Warmest Regards,” which appeared in a more abridged form on their new album Sun Leads Me On.
1) Touch Me I’m Going To Scream (Pt. 2) – My Morning Jacket
2) To Be Alone With You – Sufjan Stevens
3) Crazy On You – Heart
4) When I Was Young – Eric Burdon & The Animals
5) Bruises – Dusted
6) It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – The Chocolate Watchband
7) La Bohème – Charles Aznavour
8) Where To Start – Lou Doillon
9) Mr. Big (Live at Sunderland/1970) – Free
10) Sweaty Fingers – Cave
11) Watch The Show – M. Ward
12) Nocturne In E Flat Major, Op.9, No.2 (Abridged) (Bonus Track) – Henry Tozer
13) La Bohème (Bonus Track) – David Campbell
14) Property Lines – Dusted
15) Warmest Regards (Extended Version) – Half Moon Run