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Smackdown: Jeff Bridges vs. Tim Robbins

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Actors Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins have faced off once before – in the 1999 thriller “Arlington Road.” Now, the two Hollywood stars are squaring off in a different way – this time, with steely, forlorn gazes and guitars strung around their necks. The middle-aged Hollywood hunks are both currently promoting country-tinged albums, and on this Soundcheck Smackdown, we’ll weigh the two against each other. Guests include Sean Manning, editor of the essay collection "Rock and Roll Cage Match: Music's Greatest Rivalries, Decided," and Steve Almond, author of "Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life" and the upcoming book "God Bless America."


Steve Almond and Sean Manning

Comments [53]

Linda Griggs from Lower East Side

I can't believe nobody mentioned
Sebastian Cabot Actor: Bob Dylan Poet
They had it in my church library. I took it out and my English teacher and I laughed our tails off listening to it.
Buffy and Jody's butler can really get his intone on.

I see it's still on Amazon:
[Import, Original Recording Remastered]

Aug. 18 2011 07:48 PM
rita from NY

I object to the flippant treatment of Hugh Laurie's blues album, "Let Them Talk". The album is worth the time to savior. Hugh Laurie followed his passion to new Orleans and recorded with some of their best musicians, including Dr.John. If this were elevator music as alluded, I wouldn't mind being stuck for its duration.

Aug. 17 2011 03:07 PM
Ayelet from Brooklyn

Also, Chris Isaak. But I think he was a musician before he started acting.

Aug. 17 2011 09:43 AM
Ayelet from Brooklyn

In 2000, while a music editor at, I reviewed (of all things) the "Ally McBeal" Christmas album.

Here's what I wrote then: "Robert Downey Jr. lends an astoundingly good vocal to a gorgeous rendition of Joni Mitchell's 'River'."

11 years later, it was the first thing that came to mind when I heard your call for comments. Downey has a beautiful voice.

Aug. 17 2011 09:42 AM
ray from brooklyn

Clint Eastwood sings cowboy favorites! also Merle Haggard featuring Clint Eastwood "Bar room Buddies" great stuff

Aug. 16 2011 03:14 PM

Just listed to Crispin (Hellion) Glover 's these boots are made for walk.. all I can say is wooooow .. ha!

Aug. 16 2011 02:47 PM

Ruben Blades

Aug. 16 2011 02:47 PM
Jill from Upper West

Remember when David Soul's hit Don't Give Up On Us Baby? I had the 45, maybe even still do. Love it then, would laugh at it now but could probably still sing all the words...

Aug. 16 2011 02:39 PM
Jesse from Brooklyn

Also, NO to Zoe Deschanel, her voice sounds like a frog trying to flirt with an idiot in a Bright Eyes haircut and a plaid baseball cap.

Aug. 16 2011 02:37 PM

If Don Johnson stops you in your tracks, the songs of Crispin (Hellion) Glover - found on the album "The Big Problem Does Not Equal the Solution, The Solution Equals Let It Be" - will take your breath away. Promise.

Aug. 16 2011 02:36 PM
Aniko from Victoria BC

Bruce Willis! The Return of Bruno!!

Aug. 16 2011 02:36 PM
florence from Brooklyn

Don't forget Rick Springfield.

Aug. 16 2011 02:35 PM

How about Jack Wagner -crystal blue persuasion

Aug. 16 2011 02:35 PM
alanb from NYC

Telly Savalas' "If":

He out-sprechgesangs even the might Shatner — pure gorgeousness!!!!!

Aug. 16 2011 02:35 PM
Liz from Manhattan

How about Eddie Murphy and "Party All the Time". Hilariously AWFUL!

Aug. 16 2011 02:35 PM
Jesse from Brooklyn

What about Puff Daddy? Who has made tons of completely horrendous music and can't act to save his life? (Giving passes to "Ready To Die" and "Made" - in the one, he helped make the beats and had a few BORING verses, in the other, he basically acted like the arrogant "gangsta'" he considers himself to be.)

Aug. 16 2011 02:34 PM

for me Brent Spiner

Aug. 16 2011 02:34 PM

Don't forget the travesty that is Steven Segal's music career. ;-)

Aug. 16 2011 02:33 PM
Debbie from nyc

ScarJo's albums are both TERRIBLE, though I do like her as an actor. Eddie Murphy is great when he sings on the "Dream Girls" cast recording.

Aug. 16 2011 02:33 PM
Kris from Brooklyn

scarlett johansson's album is really great... big fan

Aug. 16 2011 02:33 PM
Vinny from Manalapan

What, no "Party All The Time" by Eddie Murphy?

Aug. 16 2011 02:32 PM
Maya from Manhattan

What about Rex Harrison?

Aug. 16 2011 02:32 PM

so what is the deal,if you are first known as an actor,you can't make music ?! how silly is that ?

Aug. 16 2011 02:31 PM
Linda from Bloomfield NJ

Robert Mitchum: The album is "Calypso is like so". It's incredible! Awful - yet awesome...! Too funny.

Aug. 16 2011 02:31 PM
John from Williamsburg from Brooklyn

As an actor? Bridges. In this case Robbins hands down. The autotune is like aural diabetes, yech...

Why is it that so many musicians seem to be pretty good actors, but the converse is so rare?

Aug. 16 2011 02:30 PM
Andrew is off to college

I gotta love what Jared Leto has done with his band 30 Seconds to Mars. Their newest album, This Is War, has a range of musicality and showcases lyrics that though debatable at least mean he is up to date with current events

Aug. 16 2011 02:30 PM
FR from Brooklyn

Juliette Lewis has done some good work. I'm over her now but the first two albums were great and her shows confirmed she's a great entertainer.

Aug. 16 2011 02:30 PM
toni dalton from nyc

i love Diane Keaton

Aug. 16 2011 02:30 PM
Sandra White from New York

LL Cool J, Will Smith old school hip hop artists became very good successful actors.

Aug. 16 2011 02:30 PM
J. Kevin Stevens from Manhattan

What - no Crispin Hellion Glover?

Aug. 16 2011 02:29 PM
J. Kevin Stevens from Manhattan

What - no Crispin Hellion Glover?

Aug. 16 2011 02:28 PM
Liz from New Jersey

Probably the most successful actor/songwriter right now is Jared Leto in 30 Seconds to Mars which is really big on social media right now. Won't pass judgment on the music as I haven't heard it but he's experienced great success.

Aug. 16 2011 02:28 PM
Dan from Sunset Park

How about Peter Sellers?

Aug. 16 2011 02:27 PM
David from Brooklyn

I really enjoyed Milla Jovovich's record "The Divine Comedy" quite a bit. I'm not sure if she ever released another.

Aug. 16 2011 02:27 PM
Jessica from queens

CRISPIN HELLION GLOVER!!! most complete shift and thoroughly delightful. i thought someone would have mentioned this already...

Aug. 16 2011 02:27 PM
Rich K from UCNJ

Zooey DeChannel's two She & Him albums w/ M. Ward work for me.
As for the flip side, there's Tom Waits' turns as Renfield in Bram Stocker's Dracula, or Down By Law.

Aug. 16 2011 02:27 PM
Aaron from the heights

Shatner vs. Nimoy
that is indeed the greatest actor/musician smackdown of all time -
they actively competed with each other to seemingly create the most amazingly insane music ever put to tape

Aug. 16 2011 02:25 PM
elizabeth from Brooklyn

"Lost in Space" by Jeff Bridges on the John and Mary soundtrack from 1969.
Kinda overlooked in my opinion- but its produced by QUINCEY JONES. And has this sweet innocence that gets me everytime. LISTEN TO IT!

Aug. 16 2011 02:23 PM
Catherine Hooper from New York, NY

I'm almost offended that no one has mentioned the important work of William Shatner.

Aug. 16 2011 02:23 PM
Liz from New Jersey

I have to confess to having been a big fan of Russell Crowe's TOFOG band around 10 years ago. I was young, he was hunky & played Austin bars. I knew at the time it was subpar music but I had so much fun at the concerts I did not care.

I guess I judge actor/songwriters by a different standard. Their charisma can make up for a lot of mediocre tunes, at least in live performance. But they can't hide a lack of talent in the recording studio.

Aug. 16 2011 02:23 PM
Rick from NYC

Don Johnson - Heartbeat. a crime against humanity that has still gone unpunished!

Aug. 16 2011 02:23 PM
MMMCE from Queens

Actor Album Classic:
Don Johnson in his Miami Vice Prime!

Aug. 16 2011 02:22 PM
David from Queens

"Heartbeat" by Don Johnson, enough said.

Aug. 16 2011 02:22 PM

"Tunnel of Love" is Bruce's divorce album? It was the first album he released after marrying Phillips.

Aug. 16 2011 02:21 PM

Charlie Chaplin. The best

Aug. 16 2011 02:21 PM
Dr. Grosz from Brooklyn

I will never understand why Americans are more than willing to accept a musician who transitions to acting (Kristofferson, Bowie, etc) and loath to embrace an actor who decides to make music. Any actor who's spent their life devoted to the craft of performance has more than likely had training as a singer - it's a more sensible transition than becoming a glassblower or a theoretical physicist.

Aug. 16 2011 02:15 PM
Dallas from Brooklyn

Too much autotune on Badblake.. Also, he's sounds emotionally flat and nasally. Tim Robbins sounds like he's dying.

Aug. 16 2011 02:15 PM
Dallas from Brooklyn

Too much autotune on Badblake.. Also, he's sounds emotionally flat and nasally. Tim Robbins sounds like he's dying.

Aug. 16 2011 02:15 PM
Jeb from Greenpoint

Jason Schwartzman is perhaps the best working actor/musician. He scored Funny People nicely and has done nice work as Coconut Records.

Aug. 16 2011 02:14 PM
Nick from UWS

These vanity albums made by famous actors are no better, nor no worse, than tons of stuff being released by so called "legitimate" recording artists. They're just part of the American product stream. The finest albums ever made by an actor are the ones by William Shatner, which skirt genius.

Aug. 16 2011 02:12 PM
Liz from New Jersey

Oh, that Tim Robbins song is awful. I hope you play another one that is better. I love him as an actor.

Jeff Bridges, on the other hand, sounds great.

Aug. 16 2011 02:10 PM
Cancerboy3 from Nyc

Charlotte Gainsborough Yes
Scarlett Johansen No

Aug. 16 2011 02:09 PM
Robots Need to Party from NYC

This works better the other way 'round. Think Kristofferson.

Aug. 16 2011 02:02 PM

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