Original Soundtrack

Band of the Hand

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AllMusic Review by

Though the film was a forgettable dud, Band of the Hand is of some value. The biggest attraction, of course, is the presence of the otherwise unavailable Bob Dylan title song. Produced by Tom Petty and performed with Petty's backing band, the Heartbreakers, the song has a bluesy feel reminiscent of Dylan's classic mid-'60s work, although it's not exactly lyrically memorable. It's not a lost classic, but it's superior to most of what Dylan released on his official album that year, Knocked Out Loaded (admittedly, somewhat faint praise). It does, however, stick out like a sore thumb among the remaining cuts on the record. Since the film was produced by Michael Mann of Miami Vice and Manhunter fame, the soundtrack tends toward the slick, atmospheric synthesizer rock Mann used on both those projects. In fact, the record goes so far as to reuse Shriekback and the Reds, who appeared on the Manhunter soundtrack (with identical sounding songs). As with that soundtrack, most of the angst-ridden material has dated badly, though it is representative of the era. The album's other standout track is by Police guitarist Andy Summers, which actually does sound as creepy and foreboding as the remaining cuts attempt to, and, as an added bonus, hasn't aged badly at all. Like the Dylan song, though, this is only available here. Band of the Hand has some interesting rarities, and Dylan and Summers completists will need to seek it out, but casual fans can pass it by.

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