Release date: 12 March 2013
Length: 55.31 mins
Producer: Butch Vitch
Composers, writers & performers: Robert Levon Been, Tim Commerford, Chris Goss, Jessy Greene, Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Peter Hayes, Josh Homme, Rami Jaffee, Alain Johannes, Jim Keltner, Paul McCartney, Chris Shiflett, Nate Mendel, Stevie Nicks, Rick Nielsen, Krist Novoselic, Scott Reeder, Trent Reznor, Pat Smear, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor, Lee Ving, Brad Wilk
Track list: Heaven and All | Time Slowing Down | You Can’t Fix This | The Man That Never Was | Your Wife Is Calling | From Can to Can’t | Centipede | A Trick With No Sleeve | Cut Me Some Slack | If I Were Me | Mantra
Verdict: I definitely enjoyed the film Sound City more than its soundtrack alone but it’s hard not to like the idea of these brilliant true musicians who just came together and spontaneously jam out a few original songs without prior writing. The only problem’s that some songs kinda sound a bit alike, as though they’re all written by Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. But if you know the artists well enough, if you’ve seen the film, if you hate conventional mainstream sound, if you respect real musicians and real music, then you’d likely appreciate Real to Reel. It’s a genuine rock album produced with the old skool, “non-cheating” way. It’s not perfect but as conveyed in the documentary, that’s the point – it shouldn’t be.
Favourite track: “Cut Me Some Slack” – The Guardian’s Dave Simpson says on his review that this song must be the rawest thing Paul McCartney’s recorded in over 40 years. I dunno about that but it’s definitely the rawest hard-rocking track I’ve ever heard since high school, maybe. Catchy, in your face riff with simply written lyrics (or rather not written at all). It’s so Nirvana, with the touch of Sir Beatle-genius’ younger self. Kurt Cobain would’ve been proud.
2nd favourite track: “You Can’t Fix This” – The most truthful, haunting, sing-along-able and relatable song in the album.
Rating: 4 / 5