Soundtrack Of My Life: Michael Shannon

Midnight Special star and Batman v Superman villain General Zod, Michael Shannon reveals his love for Phil Collins, Talking Heads and how he saw Bob Dylan by chance.

The first album I bought
Phil Collins – ‘No Jacket Required’
“It was ‘No Jacket Required’. On cassette! Growing up in the ’80s, I had a stretch where I was really into Genesis. Then I bought Stevie Wonder’s ‘Part Time Lover’. Some pretty awesome musical firsts right there!”


The song I listen to before I go on set
Elvis Presley – ‘Promised Land’
“In my next film, Elvis & Nixon, I play the King and I really got into the collection of his work on Stax Records from the sessions he did at the studios there. The film doesn’t cover his whole life story. Instead it focuses on the time he went to Washington DC in 1970 to visit President Nixon at the White House to offer his services and get a badge because he wanted to be an undercover agent.”

The first song I remember hearing
The Beatles – ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
“My musical experience, like a lot of kids, started with piano lessons and then I joined the orchestra at school where I played the string bass. I played in jazz band and things like that. But the first music I remember hearing at home was The Beatles from my stepdad’s record collection.”

The first gig I went to
Bob Dylan
“I was living in Kentucky and went to the State Fair with my family and we were enjoying the silly rides, eating crappy food and whatever… Then my mum said, ‘Hey, there’s a concert tonight and it’s only five bucks. We should go and see it because the guy who’s playing is pretty amazing.’ That guy was Bob Dylan.”


The song I do at karaoke
Talking Heads – ‘Wild Wild Life’
“My taste in music is eclectic – I like The Replacements and Steely Dan but my go-to song
for karaoke is ‘Wild Wild Life’ by Talking Heads.”

The song that reminds me of home
Johnny Cash – ‘My Old Kentucky Home’
“We moved around a lot when I was a kid. But the no-brainer answer to that question is ‘My Old Kentucky Home’. It was originally written in the 1850s as an anti-slavery ballad but it’s been covered by the likes
of Louis Armstrong and Johnny Cash.”

The album that changed my life
Talking Heads – ‘Naked’
“When I was 13 or so, I stumbled onto the Talking Heads who were my favourite band during my teenage years. ‘Naked’ is one of their best. David Byrne’s orchestration and arrangement is really breathtaking.”

The song that makes me want to dance
Phil Collins & Philip Bailey – ‘Easy Lover’
“Even to this day, whenever I hear it I get very excited. This duet Phil did with Philip Bailey is awesome. That song is really something because those guys can sing, man! That’s some of the top singing you’re gonna hear.”

The song I want played at my funeral
Phil Collins – ‘Sussudio’
“I never really understood the malignancy around ‘Sussudio’ and even Phil seems to hate it. But I always thought it was a pretty fun song, so when you gotta go, keep a smile on people’s faces.”