As the image indicates, this review is about the Music from and Inspired by The Jackal soundtrack of the 1997 action thriller, starring Bruce Willis and Richard Gere. This “discrimination” doesn’t mean that the other album, containing Carter Burwell’s score should be disregarded. In fact, some of the tracks from there would fit inconspicuously on this album, Burwell being one of the most versatile film composers of the last two decades. His slick combination of electronica and a traditional score creates the real sonic trademark of the movie. That and, of course, the opening track, Massive Attack’s Superpredators, which sets the tone for the violence that is to follow and creates a memorable title sequence in the process.
And speaking of violence, an action movie, back in the day, would usually have more of a rock collection type of soundtrack, that’s why The Jackal, musically, is quite the milestone. By 1997, electronica and dance music had evolved in a more aggressive ‘beast’, bravely competing with rock as a mean of venting N. energy. The cream of the crop of the artists who achieved this are featured on The Jackal. A lot of these bands actually toured together. There’s no point in denying that UK was the headquarters for this new face of dance music and this is also illustrated through the selection found on this OST.
We’ll start with the most obvious, so we can ‘get them out of the way’ — The Prodigy. They make their appearance on this album with the classic (even then) hit, Poison, but without the ”phone call” intro. They are also joined by their touring partner back in the Jilted day, Moby (with Shining), one of the few non-British names on the whole thing. The list continues with Apollo Four Forty and their blood pumping mover & shaker, Raw Power (such a good choice of title). Keeping it still in the big beat bands area, we have Agent Provocateur with Red Tape (another title destined for action flicks OST’s). The DJ’s aren’t missing either. Of course, you have Fatboy Slim ‘going out of his head’, as well d’n'b icon, Goldie, both with a track (Sunray 2) and a remix of Bush’s Swallowed. Lunatic Calm’s overused Leave You Far Behind also makes its first ever appearance on a soundtrack.
There is also a softer side to this album, it’s not big, but it’s there. You have Primal Scream’s ‘feel good Sunday morning’ Star, Ani DiFranco’s moody Joyful Girl, some chill d’n'b by LTJ Bukem and then, there is Shineaway. Fully aware of the consequences, I must say that this is the true treasure of the album. A collaboration between The Psychedelic Furs’ singer, Richard Butler, and virtuoso producer BT, Shineway is basically a ballad, but with enough cool sounds around the edges to be the ballad to the power songs listed above. If the other songs are the stuff that draws you to this album, Shineway is the thing that’ll keep you there. There are some other songs on it, but I have to leave at least a bit of mystery unrevealed. You check it out !