Born to Be Blue is the name of a new biopic about Chet Baker. Ethan Hawke is cast as the jazz legend, and his portrayal goes beyond the camera. As Rolling Stone notes, Hawke also contributed to to the film’s soundtrack, reimagining a pair of songs from Baker’s catalog, specifically “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” and “My Funny Valentine”.
Originally written by Frank Loesser for the 1950 musical Guys and Dolls, Baker recorded his version of “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” during a session in July 1956. However, the track would remain unreleased until 2001 when it was included on a reissue of his debut vocal album, Chet Baker Sings.
Pianist-composer David Braid, who worked with Hawke on the soundtrack, told Rolling Stone, “The original ‘I’ve Never Been In Love Before’ from the musical Guys and Dolls is a light and sweet reflection on newfound love, but in Born to Be Blue, the lyrics transform meaning entirely to become dark and ironic. Ethan’s spellbinding performance of this song at the climax of the film effectively communicates the essence of Chet’s performance style as well as gives this 66-year-old song a new life with contemporary audiences.”
Listen to Hawke’s version below. The full soundtrack will be released on March 18th, with the film following one week later on March 25th.
Watch the trailer for Born to Be Blue: