" Don't you just love soul music on a Thomas Newman Fried Green Tomato? "
Written by Thomas Glorieux
- Review of
the regular release
Fried Green Tomatoes, having an all star cast (Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary-Louise Parker and Mary Stuart Masterson) tells the story of a Depression-era friendship between two women, Ruth and Idgie, and a 1980s friendship between Evelyn, a middle-aged housewife, and Ninny, an elderly woman who knew Ruth and Idgie. The centerpiece and parallel story concerns the murder of Ruth's abusive husband and the accusations that follow. Directed by Jon Avnet, it was a box office success around the world.
Now Jon Avnet may or may not knew it at the time, but he found a soul mate in 1987 when he hired composer Thomas Newman for Less than Zero. Fried Green Tomatoes became the third collaboration between the director and the composer, and it resulted in this charming little score. Now this charming little score has a really good main theme, throwing a brilliant combination of piano, soul singing and brass together to create what is most definitely the highlight of this score. "Ghost Train - Main Title" is Thomas Newman pushing the boundaries a bit beyond the dramatic edge.
Now this main theme never returns that way again, but the versions in "Night Baseball" (oboe), "Night Baseball - Mandolin Reprise" (mandolin) and "The Whistle Stop Cafe" sure listen good nonetheless. The rest delivers soft dramatic music, occasionally accompanied by the solo vocal of Marion Williams ("Night Baseball" or "Big George"). It is always lovely to listen to, but after such a stirring delight of those horns in the opening track, one wished Newman would have expanded upon that sound. He does it once in "Xmas In Hooverville".
The 3 songs accompany the music of Thomas Newman fluently, creating soul music that listens very easily on a sunny Sunday afternoon. However apart from that opening cue, there isn't much that stands out. But then again, I wasn't expecting music that would. So it actually gave me more than I bargained for. Fried Green Tomatoes is just lovely to listen to, and thank god it opens the experience with a potent and memorable track.
1. Ghost Train - Main Title (3.09) Excellent track
2. Whistle Stop, Ala. (1.16)
3. A Charge to Keep I Have: Marion Williams (2.34)
4. Xmas In Hooverville (1.50)
5. The Treehouse (1.11)
6. Night Baseball (0.57)
7. Whither Thou Goest I Will Go (1.53)
8. Buddy Threadgoode (1.19)
9. Didn't It Rain: Marion Williams (2.53)
10. The Bee Chamber (1.59)
11. Wallpaper (1.30)
12. The Smell of Coffee (1.12)
13. Visiting Ruth (1.44)
14. Miss Otis Died (1.27)
15. The Town Follies: Ralph Grierson (0.45)
16. Klansmen (2.04)
17. Smokey Lonesome (1.22)
18. Big George (1.50)
19. Night Baseball - Mandolin Reprise (1.01)
20. The Whistle Stop Cafe (2.28)
Total Length: 34.24