Habitual Mood

The Crow (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

I was fifteen when The Crow came out in 1994, and you better believe my friends and I were mad for it. So when the editor of this blog (me) asked me to revisit The Crow's iconic soundtrack, I told him (me) that I (me) would be delighted.

The Cure - "Burn" You can't have a melancholy goth comic adaptation without a Cure track, and Robert Smith obliged by whipping up this moody gem.

Machines of Loving Grace - "Golgotha Tenement Blues" - An enjoyable, if not especially distinctive, piece of ominous, chugging industrial.

Stone Temple Pilots - "Big Empty" The film draws from its source's goth/industrial aesthetic, but this was 1994 so you had to find room for alternative rock. "Big Empty" is middle-of-the-road even by STP standards. Not bad, just kind of there.

Nine Inch Nails - "Dead Souls" My introduction to the joys of Joy Division. As with The Cure, NIN were an essential get for this soundtrack. It's a good cover, faithful to the original but with a 90s production job.

Rage Against the Machine - "Darkness" Re-recording of a song called "Darkness of Greed" from RATM's 1991 demo tape. Great use of soft/loud dynamics, tight playing (as you'd expect), great rapping. Not only one of the best songs on The Crow soundtrack, but one of RATM's best.

Violent Femmes - "Color Me Once" - American Gothic rather than goth-gothic, this is another highlight. The kind of mournful, catchy, tense music that exemplifies Violent Femmes at their best.

Rollins Band - "Ghost Rider" - Cover of the Suicide song. It's fine.

Helmet - "Milktoast" - Unlike almost everything else on The Crow soundtrack, this isn't an exclusive track, as it also it appears on Helmet's '94 album Betty under the title "Milquetoast". Not such an issue these days, but otherwise unavailable material was a big attraction of soundtracks and compilations in the 90s. Anyway, Helmet were a great band in the 90s, and I like this song a lot.

Pantera - "The Badge" - The Taxi Driver sample that kicks off this Poison Idea cover is all well and good, but ever better would have been a sample from the scene in The Crow where a cop, surprised by a passing car chase, spills coffee on his lap while his partner shouts "What the crap!" Anyway, Pantera. Phil Anselmo is an ass, the band's use of the Confederate flag was misguided at best, and in the mid-90s they were the favourite band of every lunkhead in every high school on earth. They were also an absolute powerhouse of a band, as amply demonstrated here.

For Love Not Lisa - "Slip Slide Melting" - Difficult to imagine a more 90s-sounding band name than For Love Not Lisa, especially if we assume, which I'm happy to do, that the Lisa in question is Lisa Loeb. The song is bland alt-rock. Skippable.

My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult - "After the Flesh" - I hadn't heard anything quite like this at the time. It's dance music, but mean? Good fist-pumping stuff.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Snakedriver" - The true last track on the album. Just a good J&MC song, and that's not nothing.

Medicine - "Time Baby III" - Feels wrong to say this about a song with Elizabeth Fraser on vocals, but "Time Baby III" sucks.

Jane Siberry - "It Can't Rain All the Time" With apologies to Jane Siberry, her fans, and her loved ones, this is one of the worst songs ever recorded.

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