Now here…now here is a soundtrack! Every track is a keeper. With a mixture of oldies and newer songs, Swingers had a peerless balance. If you’re down to swing, dance, or just get dirty, this soundtrack has what you need. Bonus points for the uber-thin and young Vince Vaughn on the front cover too. Jon Favreau executive produced the soundtrack, and it’s clear the guy has good taste in music.
I love it when a soundtrack puts scenes from a movie right in your head. Dean Martin’s “You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You” kicks off both the CD and the movie, and all I can think is “Vegas baby, Vegas.” That slow jazz just sets the mood for the adventures ahead. The horns pop! It’s money, baby. Talk about setting the bar high for an opening track; thankfully there’s lots more to come.
“Paid for Loving” by Love Jones brings me right into the film’s setting again, but it’s Tony Bennett’s “With Plenty of Money and You” that has me seeing the bright lights of Vegas before me. Remember Mikey and T rolling up in their suits? You’d feel like a high roller too, with a song like this playing. Tony is followed by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (who appeared in the film). Now, I do kinda wish it was the live version of “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight (Baby)”. In the film, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy play it live, but this is a studio version. I think including the live version would have been an extra treat for fans, but I’m not complaining. If you don’t find yourself tapping your toes to it, call the coroner, because you may be dead.
Mixing new and old, Scotty and the guys from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are chased by Louis Jordan, from way way back in 1941. If you love muted trumpet solos, then dig right in. A song you should recognise is the oft-played “Groove Me” by King Floyd (1970). It’s a soul classic that found itself used on TV ads over the years. More jazz (a couple cool instrumentals), and more Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are to be found as the CD progresses. Daddy have three tracks on the CD, all of which were in the movie. “Go Daddy-O” has to be a favourite for sure, but “I Wan’na Be Like You” has a tropical salsa beat.
Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” isn’t jazz and doesn’t swing, but it has the same golden oldie feel. It’s not the only country song: George Jones himself honours the CD with his presence. The melancholy ballad “She Thinks I Still Care” is one of the…saddest, I guess…lyrics I’ve ever heard. It’s a great song from a great scene in the film.
“Pick up the Pieces” by the Average White Band is the kind of song everybody needs. “Need” isn’t too strong a word either. You know the song, you love the song. You have to. It’s required. Finally, “I’m Beginning to See the Light” by Bobby Darin completes the journey, and it’s back to the same kind of sound that Dean Martin started the album with. And what a journey it is! You just…feel BETTER after listening. When I bought this CD, I felt like this line of dialogue directly applied to me:
“You’re a big winner. I’m gonna ask you a simple question and I want you to listen to me: who’s the big winner here tonight at the casino? Huh? Mikey! That’s who! Mikey’s the big winner. Mikey wins.”