Local Wire

Various Artists

With the exception of Phil Spector, Jack Nitzsche was the greatest arranger, musician and producer of the early rock era. Unlike Spector, Nitzsche didn't allow himself to get stuck in a musical rut. He kept producing vital work, including soundtrack scores for films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, until his death in 2000. He even won an Oscar in 1983 for "Up Where We Belong," from An Officer and a Gentleman, co-written with his soon-to-be-wife Buffy Sainte-Marie. This British compilation (Nitzsche was born in England) crams 26 gems from Nitzsche's career onto one CD. Tracks range from the symphonic sweep of "The Lonely Surfer," Nitzsche's first hit under his own name, to "Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl" by New Wave soul crooner Mink DeVille. The set includes work by talents as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Marianne Faithfull and Bobby Darin and shows off a restless musical spirit whose good taste brought out the best in every artist he worked with.
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J. Poet