The idea for Rogue's Gallery
originated when Gore Verbinski and Johnny Depp were working on their second film together, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
. 'I slowly became fascinated by the idea of a contemporary reinterpretation of the sea chantey,' explains Verbinski. 'I imagined the artists that I listen to and respect doing their take on this age-old music: the song of the sea.'
The collection is filled with contemporary reinterpretations of songs from a genre of music that has all but disappeared. Bono, Sting, Nick Cave, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Thompson, Gavin Friday, Van Dyke Parks, Andrea Corr and Rufus Wainwright are only a few of the distinguished artists who turn in uncompromising and honest performances that illuminate the power of traditional sea songs.
Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski hatched the idea for Rogue's Gallery
while filming "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"--that idea being to cast genteel rock superstars like Bono, Lou Reed, Bryan Ferry, Andre Corr, and Sting to reinterpret gritty seafaring standards for an exhaustive 43-track double-disc set produced by Hal Wilner. Throw in a bunch of credible folk stars (Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Thompson), their offspring (Rufus, Teddy) and a string of other curious characters (Jarvis Cocker, Antony) and what results is one of the strangest compilations in recent memory, if not exactly the most historically authentic or, well, digestible. Nick Cave embraces the role just a little too hard on "Fire Down Below," while Ferry can't help but sound like he's singing for the cast of "The Love Boat," but cut through the chaff and there is some real bootie here: Bono's "Dying Sailor to His Shipmates," Jolie Holland's "The Grey Funnel Line" and "Boney" by a mysterious tramp called Jack Sh**, which must be some kind of anagram for Johnny Depp. --Aidin Vaziri