"Short Cuts" - Various Artists

Soundtrack Album

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Full Track Listing:

  • Open on Helicopters – Sound Effect (0:50)
  • Conversation on a Barstool – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet (5:46)
  • To Hell with Love – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet (6:25)
  • Punishing Kiss – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet (3:16)
  • Cello Concerto in B Minor – Lori Singer and the Trout Quartet (5:16)
  • Blue – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet (4:47)
  • Evil California – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet with Iggy Pop (3:48)
  • “Berceuse” from “The Firebird Suite” – Lori Singer (2:50)
  • A Thousand Years – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet (4:26)
  • Cello Concerto No. 2 Opus 30 – Lori SInger and the Trout Quartet (5:04)
  • Imitation of a Kiss – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet (4:37)
  • Full Moon – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet with Michael Stipe (3:59)
  • I Don’t Know You – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet with Lori Singer (6:08)
  • Nothing Can Stop Me Now – Low Note Quintet (4:33)
  • Earthquake – Sound Effect (0:27)
  • Prisioner of Life & I’m Gonna Go Fishin’ – Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet (6:50)
  • How Does She Do It So Quickly? – Thomas Tree and Cory Coppage (0:50)

Background Information

“Short Cuts” was a 1993 film by director Robert Altman. The film was inspired by nine short stories by Raymond Carver. The film was released on October 3, 1993 in the US, and the soundtrack to the film was released earlier in the same week. The song that features U2 is “Conversation On a Barstool” that is recorded here by Annie Ross and the Low Note Quintet. Bono and The Edge initially wrote the song for Marianne Faithfull. Faithfull had performed the song live in concert throughout the 90s but had never recorded it for release when this soundtrack was put together. When approached for a song to be sung by a female character in the film, Bono and The Edge contributed the never before released “Conversation On a Barstool”.

The movie “Short Cuts” was scored by Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer. It was their involvement in the film score that lead to Bono and The Edge contributing the song for Ross to sing in the movie. Gavin and Maurice also contribute a song of their own to the soundtrack, “A Thousand Years”.

From the liner notes by Hal Willner regarding “Conversation on a Barstool”: “This song was originally written for Marianne Faithfull by Bono and the Edge. For various reasons, a recording never came of it though Marianne has occasionally sung it live. We thought it would be a perfect song for Annie to perform as one of the main music performances in “Short Cuts”. Being huge Altman fans, U2 and Marianne enthusiastically gave their blessing. “Conversation” runs through a few sequences in the film, beginning as a performance in the Low Note Club during which Earl (Tom Waits) almost gets into a fight. The song continues switching effectively from background music to live performance.”

Marianne Faithfull would eventually record and release her own version of “Conversation on a Barstool” on 1998s “A Perfect Stranger: The Island Anthology”. In the meantime, another friend of the band, Hazel O’Connor would also record a version of the song and released it on her 1995 album “Private War”. Bono and the Edge would also contribute to other soundtracks by Altman including “Pret-A-Porter” and “Cookie’s Fortune”.

Liner Notes

Conversation on a Barstool: Written by Bono and the Edge. Produced by Hal Willner. Recorded and mixed by Eric Liljestrand. Annie Ross: Vocal. Bruce Fowler: Trombone. Terry Adams: Piano. Gene Estes: Vibes. Greg Cohen: Bass. Bobby Previte: Drums. Rehearsal pianists for Annie Ross: Bill Ginn and Rich Ruttenberg. Recorded live at the Low Note by Le Mobile Remote Recording Studios, LA.

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