- Cover artwork by Rui Ricardo
A similar energy must have pervaded the soundtrack they cut a year later, once again at Phillips under Roland's guidance. Scoring Mike McCarthy's Teenage Tupelo was an apotheosis for the band: If their previous blend of surf, crime jazz, and roadhouse R&B borrowed heavily from soundtracks of the past, here at last was a chance for those sounds' cinematic potential to be realized. And the thrift-store mash up of pulp influences that informed McCarthy's film perfectly matched the band's aesthetics.
Bassist and producer Scott Bomar spoke with the Memphis Flyer’s Andria Lisle about the score in 2005:
"I think Teenage Tupelo is the most accurate representation of Impala and what we were capable of doing," Bomar says. "It really paved the way for what I did on Hustle & Flow. Mike knew these guys down in Mississippi who used to play with [Memphis rockabilly/country singer] Eddie Bond, so we had this pedal steel player and this piano player who we'd never played with before, and we had to create these two [tracks] that were supposed to be coming from a jukebox. So we had to re-create [the sounds of] a '60s Tupelo, Mississippi, trucker jukebox. I like a lot of different types of music, and that's what's fun about working with movies. People want and need so many different types of music — a country song on a jukebox or maybe a polka."
Indeed, as the 1995 soundtrack now enjoys a vinyl rerelease on Chaputa Records out of Portugal, it's eclecticism is striking. Beyond the band's usual mix of influences, there are touches of country in "Johnnie's Drive-In" and "Tom's Automotive," spaghetti Westerns in "Tomb of the Tupelo Twin," and even a jarring free-jazz moment in "Pinstripe (Capt. Crypt's Theme)." And the band's crime jazz elements are given more space than ever, in numbers like "D'Lana Walks at Night," "Rumble Suite," and "Blue Light of Capricorn."
- Dan Ball
- Impala recording with Roland Janes (third from left)
Teenage Tupelo is available at the Electraphonic Recording website and local record stores.