hmv.com presents… The Best Soundtracks Of All Time: The Commitments
With some great in-store offers on films and on film soundtracks as part our 'Decades' series, every day we'll be picking the best soundtrack, one for every year, starting with 1950 right through to the present day. Today we're up to 1991 and we're looking at the soundtrack from The Commitments...
The Commitments, the feel-good Irish musical comedy-drama.
So what’s the film about?
Based on Roddy Doyle’s novel of the same name, the film centres on working class Dublin lad Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins), who aspires to be the world’s most successful music manager – the only problem being that he doesn’t currently have a band.
Disappointed with the music scene in Dublin, he pulls together a ragtag bunch of young musicians and puts together soul band, playing songs made famous by the likes of Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Al Green. Dublin might seem like a long way away from Motown, but the band comes together like magic on stage – until a clash of egos and personalities begin tear everything apart…
Is this a score or a soundtrack?
It’s a soundtrack of the songs the band covers.
So who’s on it? Anyone I might know?
All the songs are versions by The Commitments themselves, adding a Gaelic twist to the soul classics.
So which songs are on it? Did any of them become hits?
The album is literally overflowing old soul hits from the likes of Stax and Motown – so many in fact that a second Commitments album was released a year later. There’s plenty of classics to shake your rump to on here, including Al Green’s ‘Take Me To The River’, Wilson Pickett’s ‘In The Midnight Hour’ and ‘Mr Pitiful’, originally by Otis Redding.
What’s the best moment?
Every track on here is a cracker, but it’s probably got to be their take on ‘Mustang Sally’. Originally by Mack Rice, it’s been covered by a host of different artists, but it seems like The Commitments’ version is the one that gets the most spins at weddings and on pub jukeboxes these days.
Has it stood the test of time?
Ok, these cover versions are never going to replace the original recordings. But with the stage adaptation debuting in the West End last year, the idea of just getting down to a load of soul classics is still a popular one.