I must admit my first reaction on reading the tracklisting for the new Twilight film – which looks set to raise the bar for soundtracks from now on, including as it does Death Cab For Cutie, Band Of Skulls, Thom York and Bon Iver – was thus: piss off tweeny pseudo-goth freaks and culturally headless chickens. Leave the good music alone; don’t drag it to your lowest common blockbusting denominator. If you must go and swoon over R-Pat’s stencilled torso and Twilight’s paper thin re-re-re-re-re-re-interpretations of the genre that will never die, stick to your Paramores (‘Twilight’), your Rob Halford & Panteras (‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’) and your Jonathan Sheffers (the conductor behind the pompous orchestral stuff throughout ‘Interview With The Vampire’).
Then I lightened up a bit and thought perhaps it’s not all that bad. In fact it’s probably a good thing if the 313 million people that flock to their local Odeon on ‘New Moon’’s opening weekend next month for another dose of fang-ridden teenage longing chance upon Grizzly Bear while they do it. And, as Zane pointed out the other night, it’s just another route for a cash-strapped artist to fling their wares into the public’s conciousness and get a few more through the door at their gigs.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, everyone has tried to get in on Twilight. The film’s makers asked artists for original material and practically everyone they asked dashed for the nearest studio. Several artists (names deleted for their dignity) have unsuccessfully submitted original music for consideration. And getting Thom Yorke on board is a particular coup.
What all this means – aside from all the hysteria surrounding the film – is that bog standard soundtracks could soon be a thing of the past. And that will make the film-going exeperience, however guiltily pleasurable our movie choices, a lot better.
Another soundtrack I got sent today was for new film The Firm. It features Soft Cell’s version of ‘Tainted Love’, Tears For Fears’ ‘Mad World’, Kool And The Gang’s ‘Celebration’ and – really shudder now – The Jam’s ‘Town Called Malice’. Hopefully thanks to Twilight that kind of utterly lazy, uninspired and downright predictable soundtrack compiling will soon be extinct. You can download the first track on the ‘New Moon’ soundtrack below.
What are your favourite film soundtracks? Here’s a few office favourites…
Luke Lewis: “’The Life Aquatic’, ‘Natural Born Killers’, and ‘PI’ which has a lot of claustrophobic, glitchy techno that really suits the film.”
Rob Howard: “These are kind of guilty pleasures but ‘Lost Boys’ and ‘Young Guns 2’.”
David Moynihan: “’24 Hour Party People’, ‘Performance’, ‘Boyz N The Hood’, ‘Where The Wild Things Are’, ‘Donnie Darko’, ‘Easy Rider’, and pretty much anything by John Hughes.”
Nat Cramp: “’Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid’ and ‘I Am The Elephant, You Are The Mouse’.”
Ben Patashnik: “’The Departed’. Because Dropkick Murphys rule, and anyone who says otherwise is a coruscating ball-muncher.”
Paul Stokes: “’The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou’ – Like all Wes Anderson’s films there are some inspired selections (Stooges, Devo, Joan Baez) but it’s the onsite recordings of Seu Jorge’s David Bowie covers in Portuguese that steal the show, even from the Duke himself. Rough and raw the likes of ‘Starman’ and ‘5 Years’ come across like folk songs handed down word of mouth from generation to generation.”
Sign up for the newsletter
Jamie Fullerton: “Air’s Virgin Suicides’, Badly Drawn Boy’s ‘About A Boy’.”
Hamish MacBain: “Vangelis’ ‘Blade Runner’, and Lalo Schifrin’s ‘Dirty Harry’. If you can find the track ‘Another Victim’, GET ON IT! ‘Grease’ is the best though, obviously.”
Alan Woodhouse: “Barry De Vorzon’s ‘The Warriors’.”
Comment with your top film soundtracks below