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Sense of idealism remains

Zabriskie Point: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Zabriskie Point: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
By various artists

Rhino / Turner: 1997 (originally released 1970)

This review first appeared in the September 26, 1997 edition of the North County Times.

It's interesting when the liner notes designed to plug the album of a soundtrack describe the film as one of the worst made about the 1960s, maybe even the worst made during the 1960s.

So don't rent the movie, which was actually released in 1970, but at least check out the soundtrack, because the music on "Zabriskie Point" shows a lot of what went right during the counterculture movement. YOu have the psychedelic of the Pink Floyd and Jerry Garcia, there's the experimental of John Fahey, the idealistic protest music of Kaleidoscope, the old-fashioned folk/roots music of Roscoe Holcomb.

Thirty years later, there's still a freshness about this music and a sense of possibility that we've since lost. Despite the troubles of the time, there was an overriding spirit of optimism and a shared belief that times would get better. It's a heck of a lot more uplifting and fun than the self-absorbed whining on the airwaves today.

In reissuing the soundtrack (long an out-of-print collector's prize for Pink Floyd and Grateful Dead fans), Turner/Rhino added a bunch of outtakes and bumped up the release to two discs. But to keep the integrity of the project intact, disc 1 is the original soundtrack release, while disc 2 has all the extras.