Also included on the soundtrack are classic and modern soul songs by Baby Huey, Gary Clark, Jr., Charles Bradley feat. Menahan Street Band, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Sam and Dave, and Muddy Waters. These tracks were hand selected, chosen because of their narrative relationship and the depth they add in understanding the motives and motivations of each character.
Stand Up Guys looks at the relationship between old friends, who just happen to be life-long criminals. “I was really just taken by the idea of the loyalty, the trust, the friendship, the brotherhood, of these two guys. These are underlying themes of a lot of my songs,” said Jon Bon Jovi.
“The inspiration for writing the songs comes from the page,” he continued. “I had to put myself into the characters’ voice and utilize dialogue from the script to help tell these stories.
Val (Al Pacino) is released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to give up one of his close criminal associates. His best friend Doc (Christopher Walken) is there to pick him up, and the two soon re-team with another old pal, Hirsch (Alan Arkin). Their bond is as strong as ever, and the three reflect on freedom lost and gained, loyalties ebbed and flowed, and days of glory gone by. But one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret- he's been put in an impossible quandary by a former mob boss, and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out. As the sun rises on the guys' legendary reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their past once and for all.
“Whenever you’re writing a song like ‘Not Running Anymore’,” Jon Bon Jovi explained, “You have to identify and express the emotions the characters are experiencing.” In this case Al Pacino’s character, “Valentine has for twenty-eight years, not said a word. He is the quintessential stand up guy, didn’t betray his friends. They went on and lived a life without him, but he was always not far away from their hearts. In turn, Chris Walken’s character job is to end the life of his best friend and he too, has to come to terms with a lot of compromise and loss and Al goes into a confessional booth and he wants to be absolved of his sins or at least, he’s seeking absolution.”
“Having the opportunity to write for film again has been a great experience,” Jon Bon Jovi added. “The minute I read the script I was excited to get started and it’s been an honor to work with actors of this caliber.”
Lionsgate, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, and Lakeshore Entertainment present Stand Up Guys, in theaters February 1, 2013. The Stand Up Guys – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from Lakeshore Records will be available digitally on December 4th and in stores on January 8, 2013.
About the Songs -- Stand Up Guys Soundtrack
01. Hard Times - Baby Huey & The Baby Sitters
Sampled by a multitude of artists, even covered by John Legend and The Roots in 2010, the psychedelic soul sound of the Curtis Mayfield–penned “Hard Times” is a sad reminder of what could have been -- Baby Huey passed away during the recording of his one and only album The Baby Huey Story: The Living Legend.
02. Old Habits Die Hard - Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi: “The inspiration for “Old Habits Die Hard” comes directly from the dialog, page 1 scene 1… There’s a line in the dialog that would not be typically a song lyric: ‘you look like shit, so do you my brother.’ That immediately sets the tone for who these guys are, will be, and throughout the process of this movie you see what will happen to them.”
03. Bright Lights - Gary Clark Jr.
Rolling Stone magazine named Gary Clark Jr. it’s ‘Best Young Gun’ in 2011 and named his Bright Lights EP, featuring this cover of the Jimmy Reed song, to its top 50 albums of 2011.
04. Not Running Anymore - Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi: “I had to get into the confessional booth. Here’s a guy Valentine [played by Al Pacino] that’s hoping that there is absolution somewhere before that final breath is taken and when he realizes there isn’t going to be he says ‘ok no Hail Mary’s will save me, you learn to live with the memories.’ I had to put myself in that confessional be that Catholic school boy one more time and try to find that voice.”
05. Get Down With It- Wayne Cochran
Sporting a white pompadour and heavily influenced by James Brown, the outlandish Wayne Cochran brought soul music where few were able to – all white clubs in the Midwest and South, usually home to crooners like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. In spite of never having a chart hit, Cochran achieved national recognition through TV appearances.
06. How Long - Charles Bradley featuring Menahan Street Band
Brooklyn’s Daptone Records fashions itself after legendary soul labels Stax and Motown. Their musicians are like a family and regularly perform with each other in various incarnations. A not-quite-so-overnight-
07. Fooled Around and Fell In Love - Elvin Bishop
We see another side of Doc as he takes Valentine to Miss D’s. In the film the song embraces a simpler time of their youth of these characters. A bit of trivia – it features Mickey Thomas on lead vocals and Donny Baldwin on drums, both of whom would soon leave Bishop to join Jefferson Starship.
08. Stand Up Guys – Lyle Workman
Lyle Workman is a seasoned guitarist who has played with Sting, Beck, Michael Buble, Bryan Adams, Alanis Morissette, Shakira and Sheryl Crow. As a composer he wrote the music for Superbad, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Lyle Workman: “This is the first score piece of music and features the melodic theme we hear throughout the film.”
09. Give It Back - Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Daptone recording artist Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are part of the Daptones movement -- eschewing modern techniques in favor of analog recording methods to capture a 1960s/70s soul sound. The Dap-Kings backed up Amy Winehouse on her breakthrough album Back to Black and subsequent tour.
10. (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man - Muddy Waters
Performed by the Legendary Muddy Waters, this song was originally penned by Willie Dixon, and recorded by Waters in 1954 and would forever be known as the Hoochie Coochie Man. The song was named one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
11. When Something Is Wrong With My Baby - Sam and Dave
From when ‘music was music’ Val meets Doc for a drink after being released from a 28 year stint in jail and bribes the DJ to play this classic track. This track was the only ballad of Sam and Dave’s to be released as a single.
12. I Was Painting You – Lyle Workman
Lyle Workman: “We wanted the songs and score to stand side by side in unity, to feel cohesive and all live in the world the characters occupy…With music, over thinking can be the death of inspired expression.”
13. Love From Above - Leroy Reynolds
Taken from the album SOULTOWN: The Lost Sound of Shelbyville this song by Leroy Reynolds is a rare R&B gem that has found a wonderful home in the film as Hirsh makes his visit to Miss D's with Val and Doc.
14. Sock It To ‘Em JB (Pt. 1) - Rex Garvin And The Mighty Cravers
A lyrical nod to James Bond in the style of James Brown the song was later covered by The Specials. Rex Garvin formed Rex Garvin And the Mighty Cravers after achieving some success with Marie Knight on the duet “I Can’t Sit Down” (as Marie and Rex).
15. Chew Gum Or Kick Ass – Lyle Workman
Lyle Workman on the music of Stand Up Guys: “[Director] Fisher [Stevens] wanted the music to feel like it was central to the main characters; music they would listen to, music that would score their lives, so to speak. Blues, R&B, soul and early rock and roll fit that template. We talked about it being gritty and soulful, but also playful and lending a subtext of history.”