SoundTRAX: "A Star is Born (2018)"
SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.
It was just 5 years ago today that yet another version of A Star is Born was released, this time with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
Did the world need a fourth big screen adaptation of it? Probably not. And yes, I have seen all four: the 1937 version with Janet Gaynor and Frederic March (sweet, but a little melodramatic), the 1954 version with Judy Garland and James Mason (wayyy too long but Garland is spectacular), the 1976 one with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson (really just a vehicle to show off Babs to the detriment of Kristofferson, the latter of whom, if you'll forgive me, is 14 kinds of hot.)
The 2018 version has Bradley Cooper acting as director and producer as well as costar to Lady Gaga— both of whom I thought were terrific in the film.
Without the right music, though, the movie would have never worked and Cooper was smart enough to assemble the right team.
In addition to frequent Gaga collaborator DJ White Shadow, Cooper approached Lukas Nelson after seeing him perform with his band Promise of the Real. Not only did Nelson contribute several tunes— many written with Cooper and Gaga— he appears in the film as a member of Cooper's band.
There are also songs penned by Mark Ronson, Diane Warren, Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt, Lori McKenna, and The Highwomen's Natalie Hemby.
The compilation went on to sell over 3 million copies by the following year, in no small part due to the appeal of the film's dramatic ballad, "Shallow."
And no, I'm not playing that one for today's SoundTRAX selection. Sorry, Little Monsters.
I'm going with one that Cooper performs solo, because not only does it set the tone for the film, it was written by a guy who also knows how to write a deeply compelling tune: Jason Isbell.
Isbell told Harper's Bazaar:
"That’s what the song deals with more than anything else—whether you reach the point of redemption or not is wholly determined on your own willingness to work. If you’re going to change, it has to come from within."
For the 5th anniversary of A Star is Born, it's Bradley Cooper with Jason Isbell's "Maybe It's Time."