|Various Artists - "Jackass" Soundtrack|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Tuesday, 15 October 2002|
"If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough/When you're gettin' knocked down, you gotta get back up," sings Roger Alan Wade on the tune "If you're Gonna Be Dumb" from the soundtrack to the MTV Films/Paramount Pictures film "Jackass The Movie." If you aren't exactly sure what "Jackass" is about, these two sentences sum up the entire concept.
Everyone who's seen the MTV hit show, which was banned from the air after several people were injured performing their own "Jackass"-type stunts, knows the opening jangly guitar riff, followed by the rockabilly beat that accompanies a video montage of crazy stunts that make up the show's opening. Little do most people know this song is called "Corona" and is performed by a group called Minutemen. On the show they edit the intro and the ending of the song together, but on the soundtrack, they let all two minutes and twenty-five seconds play out.
Aside from a few selections like Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" and Slayer's speed metal classic "Angel of Death," punk makes up the bulk of the cuts on the "Jackass" soundtrack. Joey Ramone and the rest of the Ramones bust out the surf jam "California Sun" and Glen Danzig, who later formed the band Danzig, leads his former band The Misfits on the song "Hybrid Moments." These are the original recordings so, as you can guess, we're not talking about audiophile quality sound. It's gritty and raw-sounding music that fits perfectly with the shaky hand-held video camera footage that makes up "Jackass."
Being the ultra-cool guy that he is, Johnny Knoxville, the ringleader of the "Jackass" crew, is one of the executive producers of the soundtrack. He made sure to hook some of his friends up on the album. CKY, a band that features Jess Margera, brother of pro skater and "Jackass" star Bam Margera, get the Number Three slot on the album with their metal rocker "Flesh Into Gear." The Smut Peddlers, another group who are friends with the "Jackass" boys, perform the song "Let's Get F**ked Up." This song's title is surely the mantra of Steve-O, one of the stars of "Jackass," who performs many of his zany stunts like "Urban Pole Vaulting" while clearly under the influence of some type of controlled substance.
Some people may see the 23 million dollars that "Jackass" grossed in its first weekend as the fall of Western Civilization as we know it, but then again, people once thought Elvis Presley shaking his pelvis on TV was going to destroy the world. The truth is, people have been doing wacky, crazy stuff since the dawn of time (cliff diving, jousting, bullfighting, etc.), but now that some creative people have found a way to package it, market it and make tons of money off of it, people are up in arms calling it the worst movie ever. In reality, the soundtrack to "Jackass" is more a commercial for the movie than a must-have punk compilation album. It includes a bonus DVD with more wacky "Jackass" material, so hardcore fans of the show will have to have it.
The CD has a multi-media presentation of the Andrew W.K. single from the movie called "We Want Fun." This song begins with a riff very similar to Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself." Andrew W.K's sound consists of hard rock, chanting vocals with piano and synthesized horns bouncing along in the background. When he sings, "We wanna have fun and we wanna get wasted," you understand exactly why this song was chosen as the first single for the album.
As the CD comes to a close and the final chord of "If you're Gonna Be Dumb" rings out on the acoustic guitar, the pulsing beat that summons Chris Pontious a.k.a "Party Boy" to drop trou, exposing a shiny silver thong as he dances around the streets of New York, Japan, or whatever other random local the "Jackass" guys are visiting will emanate from your speakers. You may be inspired to bust a move a la Party Boy when you hear this song, but please, I beg of you, heed the "Jackass" warning message and do not attempt any of the stunts you see on the show, even if the CD begs you to dance around in your silver skivvies. Leave it to the professionals.
I give the soundtrack high marks because the producers Johnny Knoxville, Spike Jones, Jeff Tremaine and Rick Rubin, just to name a few, have captured the essence of "Jackass The Movie," as well as the now-defunct show on these 14 tracks. Just don't be surprised if MTV brings the show back on the air after seeing the box office receipts.