All 16 Songs from the Public Enemies Soundtrack
It was the jazz era. Billie Holiday and Benny Goodman ruled the roost. So went the Roaring Twenties into the Early Thirties; and so goes the soundtrack to Public Enemies. There are 16 songs in the movie Public Enemies, about half of which are on the soundtrack album, which also prominently features the score by Eliot Goldenthal.
John Dillinger was public enemy number one. The government hated him, but the public had a strange fixation with the jackrabbit, who leapt into and out of both banks and jails. He broke into two dozen of the former and out of two of the latter. As told through the eyes of the debonair Johnny Depp, the movie version of Dillinger is sad, loyal, even tragic. You know how it ends but want him to make to Caracas with Billie any way. The only thing I could have done without in the movie is Christian Bale, whose performance seemed awkward. It’s not the Untouchables, but it ain’t such a bad flick either.
Both the movie and the music will transport you to another era. Diana Krall’s version of Bye Bye Blackbird will haunt me for a while. I don’t know whether the lyrics were metaphor or anecdote, but it worked. Otis Taylor’s Ten Million Slaves – the song from the Public Enemies preview (and the chase scene in the woods during the beginning of the movie) – was also perfectly suited.
The soundtrack features the incomparable Billie Holiday, as well as Benny Goodman, Otis Taylor, Gene Autry and Blind Willie Johnson. Here’s the complete list of 16 songs from Public Enemies in the order they appeared in the movie, with notes on the scenes that most of them appeared in.
- After escape, packing at farm – Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah by Indian Bottom Association Old Regular Baptists
- Chase in the woods – Ten Million Slaves by Otis Taylor
- Dinner song – Chicago Shake by The Bruce Fowler Big Band
- Second dinner song – Ballroom Bounce by The Bruce Fowler Big Band
- Dance with Billie – Bye Bye Blackbird by Diana Krall
- Walking into the hotel & coat check – King Porter Stomp by Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
- (Unknown scene) – After The Shooting by Johan Soderqvist and Gustavo Santaolalla
- Kiss, love scene – Love Me Or Leave Me by Billie Holiday
- Bank robbery – Instrumental version of Ten Million Slaves by Otis Taylor
- Tucson hotel, after racetrack – The Man I Love (Life from Carnegie Hall) by Billie Holiday
- In car after broke out of jail – Nasty Letter by Otis Taylor
- Radio song in Billie’s apartment – Am I Blue? by Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra
- Talk about going to Caracas – Bye Bye Blackbird by Diana Krall
- (Unknown scene) – Close Your Eyes by Al Bowlly with Lew Stone and His Orchestra
- At the bar, fixing deportation – Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground by Blind Willie Johnson
- (Unknown scene) – Hanna Shoots Neil by Elliot Goldenthal
- (Unknown scene) – Beam by John Powell
- Closing credits – The Last Round Up by Gene Autry
- Original music for Public Enemies – Eliot Goldenthal
Update: Thank you to Liz for finding the video of Diana Krall’s version of Blackbird:
And a few more videos: