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Released: August 13, 1991

Rating: 4.103 (average of 7 ratings)

Genre: R&B/blues rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Mustang Sally
  2. Take Me to the River
  3. Chain of Fools
  4. The Dark End of the Street
  5. Destination: Anywhere
  6. I Can’t Stand the Rain
  7. Try a Little Tenderness
  8. Treat Her Right
  9. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
  10. Mr. Pitiful
  11. I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
  12. In the Midnight Hour
  13. Bye Bye Baby
  14. Slip Away

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 2.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.9
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 2.9


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 8
peak on U.K. album chart 4

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Try a Little Tenderness (10/26/91) #67 US
  • Mustang Sally (11/30/91) #63 UK

Notes: A deluxe edition paired The Commitments soundtrack with The Commitments Volume 2 and five songs from Commitments’ Andrew Strong.



The Commitments (soundtrack)
The Commitments
The movie version of Irish writer “Roddy Doyle’s crackerjack novel The CommitmentsSTE was “lovingly directed with admirable restraint by the sometimes bombastic Alan Parker.” JM The movie was a “quirky…tribute to the enduring and universal power of American R&B” JM that “the titular workingman band cranked out in pubs across Ireland.” STE

The movie “some cynical criticism for its reliance on Baby Boomer-era classics such as Mustang Sally, Take Me to the River, and In the Midnight Hour.” JM However, “as a book and film, The Commitments was all about love of music, so it didn’t matter if the soundtrack offered workmanlike versions of oldies the band and audience knew by heart: as long as it was done with some, well, soul, the film would work, and the soundtrack would too.” STE “By casting a motley crew of real musicians…Parker didn’t have to do much coaxing to reveal the obvious respect and affection his players have for this music. The material may not be fresh, but the love with which it's played is timeless.” JM

In that sense, the Commitments were a cousin to the Blues Brothers, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s tribute to the very same music but where Jake and Elwood managed to hire Stax’s house band (such are the perks of stardom), the group Parker assembled were working Irish musicians. This would seem to lend The Commitments some degree of authenticity and it does to a certain extent, as these guys can crank out familiar favorites without missing a step, but the description of working musicians suggests that there is some grit here, which there’s not. After all, this is music for a movie, so it is cleanly produced: the horns have a punch, the guitars are crisp, the drums tight and neat, all the better to showcase the bar band growl of Andrew Strong – his Otis worship comes out like Rod Stewart crossed with Mick Hucknall – and Maria Doyle’s salute to Aretha Franklin. All of this sounds fine, if a bit generic: these are great songs performed ably and if they’re not distinctive, they at least suit the spirit of the film’s open-hearted hero worship.” STE

Review Source(s):

Last updated January 13, 2010.