ALMOST FAMOUS – ” The Box Set ” 20th Anniversary Editions

Posted: May 28, 2021 in MUSIC
May be an image of 10 people, people standing and text that says 'ALMOST FAMOUS-TOUR 73 oxP.6P'

Cameron Crowe, in association with Universal Music, has done the (near-) impossible.  On July 9th, the writer-director will revisit the soundtrack to his 2000 instant classic “Almost Famous” in greatly expanded, near-complete form, including five – yes, five! – Led Zeppelin songs plus tracks by other typically difficult-to-license artists including Simon and Garfunkel, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, and Stevie Wonder.  That’s not to mention new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Todd Rundgren, The Beach Boys, Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, The Raspberries, and of course, Elton John who has reteamed with the original cast of the film to cut a new Almost Famous version of “Tiny Dancer.”  The 20th Anniversary Editions will arrive in the following formats:

Additionally, the original film will arrive four days later on July 13th in Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD formats.  Crowe was quoted late yesterday in Rolling Stone magazine (where else?): “We are extremely proud to revisit Almost Famous with a very special bounty of goodness.  For the first time, we’ve created a deluxe soundtrack that features nearly every song heard in the film, along with Nancy Wilson’s wonderfully evocative score.  We’re also thrilled to present both [theatrical and extended] versions of the film, along with a collection of rare new bonus features, on these beautiful new 4K and Blu-ray releases as part of [the] Paramount Presents [series].  Long live physical media!”  Amen to that.

The expansion of the Almost Famous soundtrack set has been ongoing since 2011. Anyone who’s seen the film remembers how beautifully Crowe integrated classic rock and pop sounds into the affecting, semi-autobiographical coming of age story of budding rock journalist William Miller (Patrick Fugit).  Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” takes him on a journey that doesn’t even require him to leave his bedroom; Todd Rundgren’s “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference” underscores a scene in which William meets influential, real-life critic Lester Bangs (memorably brought to life by Philip Seymour Hoffman).  Even the end credits kept the audience spellbound, thanks to The Beach Boys’ haunting “Feel Flows.”  The most iconic (and yes, that word is tremendously overused but remains appropriate here) moment in the film is a tour bus sing-along set to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer.”  That was one of many goosebump-inducing moments in the movie.

The 5CD and 6LP editions of the expanded soundtrack feature 47 songs from the movie as sung by artists from Alvin and the Chipmunks to Yes, including tracks by fictional in-movie band Stillwater, plus film dialogue, score cues, Stillwater demos, and more. (Stillwater’s six songs are also available as a standalone vinyl EP.)  A 2CD, 35-song cutdown version will also be released as well as two vinyl versions of the original, 17-song soundtrack as first issued in 2000.

The biggest edition is the 5CD/7LP/1-7″ single Super Deluxe set.  This box has the full contents of the 5CD and 6 LP versions comprising the core 47 songs (including the special mix of The Who’s “Sparks” and “Amazing Journey” and a previously unreleased live version of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer”) and the aforementioned film dialogue, seven Stillwater demos performed by Nancy Wilson and Peter Frampton, three backstage jams from the Stillwater members, and 21 score cues from Wilson (14 of which weren’t included in the final cut of the film and haven’t been heard anywhere).  The seventh LP is the Stillwater EP.  Limited to 1,500 units, this “everything but the kitchen sink” edition is housed in a poly-wrapped lift-top box.  Swag includes a 7-inch single of Stillwater’s “Fever Dog” plus a 40-page book designed after William Miller’s school notebook, faux Stillwater ticket stubs, the complete William Miller cover story for Rolling Stone, Stillwater tour posters, prop replica backstage passes and business cards, and photo prints of three cast members. 

By any standard, this looks to be the ultimate celebration of a film that itself is a clear-eyed celebration of the rock era and the power of music.  Look for these releases on July 9th from UMe.  They can all be pre-ordered now from uDiscoverMusic, and we will add Amazon links for the general-retail items once they’re active.  You’ll find the track listing for the Super Deluxe box set below. 

Various Artists, Almost Famous – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Super Deluxe Edition (UMe, 2021) (uDiscoverMusic.com)

  • 5CD (47 songs plus film dialogue, Stillwater demos, jams, and score cues);
  • 2CD (35 songs);
  • 6LP Red, Yellow, and Orange Vinyl (180-gram, 47 songs plus film dialogue, limited to 6,000 units);
  • 6LP Black Vinyl (180-gram, 47 songs plus film dialogue);
  • Original 2LP Soundtrack (1973-style jacket, 180-gram, 17 songs);
  • Original 2LP Soundtrack (Original film artwork jacket, 180-gram, 17 songs);
  • Stillwater vinyl EP (180-gram, 6 songs); and
  • 5CD/7LP/1-7″ single Super Deluxe Box Set (103 tracks including 47 songs, film dialogue, Stillwater demos, jams, and score cues; limited to 1,500 units).
Almost Famous Super Deluxe
Comments
  1. Oh my Days! It’s so pretty. I want one

  2. lizsamdog says:

    i know i want it too i love the feel of the film . and when stillwater take the stage it’s electrifying

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