This is one of those reviews that could just be a track list. There are so many fantastic songs on the soundtrack to CBGB, the new movie about the legendary birthplace of New York punk. Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime,” the MC5’s “Kick Out the Jams,” Richard Hell & The Voidoids’ “Blank Generation,” The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”—it’s quite a list. The tracks are also nicely sequenced and mastered so they hang together as an album, though the originals were obviously recorded in various locations with different engineers, studios, gear, etc. This stellar collection hits almost all the right notes, with a couple of glaring exceptions: For some reason, the producers weren’t able to include any Patti Smith or any actual Ramones records. There’s one Joey Ramone solo song: “I Got Knocked Down,” a tune from Don’t Worry About Me (2002) that sadly relates to the singer’s final illness, long after the events portrayed in the film. So, in other words, this album is not perfect, but it is great.
Soundtrack producers: Brad Rosenberger and Cheryl Pawelski. Mastering: Reuben Cohen and Gavin Lurssen/Lurssen Mastering (L.A.).