Morgan Neville, director of the newly released documentary on Anthony Bourdain, set out to create an intimate portrait of a man he clearly admired. Although Neville is now facing understandable backlash for both his choice to use an AI generated version of Bourdain’s voice and his decision to not interview Asia Argento, his original intention to pay respects to the near-universally beloved Bourdain remains clear. Further proof of his respectful intention: Neville put together a 100-track playlist featuring a selection of Bourdain’s favorite tunes.
Bourdain’s love of music and movie soundtracks were a big part of his role as a television host. He very intentionally picked the songs to accompany episodes of No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Music is a recurring theme in the documentary too: Bourdain’s friend David Chang reveals one of favorite songs harkened back to the days when Bourdain used heroin, and Neville also uses clips from a conversation the travel host had with Iggy Pop.
Esquire reports that Neville, “took note of the songs Bourdain has mentioned [and] asked for some help from the chef’s friends,” to compile the epic playlist. Songs by The Beach Boys, Patti Smith, and David Bowie are all featured — as well as from some of his musical friends, including Iggy Pop and Queens of the Stone Age.
“When I started making the documentary Roadrunner, pretty much the first thing I did was to put together a playlist of all the music that Tony mentioned,” Neville told Rolling Stone.
The 18-hour-plus playlist is available on Spotify. It will probably make for perfect listening after a viewing of Roadrunner, which is out in theaters now. Just be forewarned that both listening and watching Neville’s tributes to Bourdain are likely to leave you a nostalgic, emotional wreck. At least through this playlist and documentary, he can live on in our memories.
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