There are few movie soundtracks quite as iconic as that of Trainspotting. Now T2 Trainspotting, the much-anticipated sequel to the ’90s movie, is getting tangibly close – so we can get excited about not only the film itself, but the songs that will soundtrack it.
What do we know about the soundtrack to T2 Trainspotting so far?
The clues and reveals came in drips, like a syringe leaking tasty, tasty smack. The official trailer for the film, released in November, featured ‘Born Slippy’ by Underworld, a track that was used in the original. Another track from Trainspotting – Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’ – was also used in a previous teaser trailer, which perhaps suggested it would be included on the full soundtrack again.
The latter part of the trailer also features ‘Silk’ by the mighty Wolf Alice, whose bassist Theo Ellis was understandably excited.
Being in the new transporting trailer really means a lot, just had a "moment" in my ma's living room.
— Theo Ellis (@SteadyTheo) November 3, 2016
Fuck sake, "Trainspotting", grammar hindering all emotional events since 1992.
— Theo Ellis (@SteadyTheo) November 3, 2016
WELL. We now know that plenty of other musicians also have good reason to be excited, as the track list for T2 Trainspotting soundtrack was officially revealed on Friday January 13, and it looks like this:
1. Iggy Pop – ‘Lust for Life’ (The Prodigy Remix)
2. High Contrast – ‘Shotgun Mouthwash’
3. Wolf Alice – ‘Silk’
4. Young Fathers – ‘Get Up’
5. Frankie Goes to Hollywood – ‘Relax’
6. Underworld /Ewen Bremner – ‘Eventually But (Spud’s Letter to Gail)’
7. Young Fathers – ‘Only God Knows’
8. The Rubberbandits – ‘Dad’s Best Friend’
9. Blondie – ‘Dreaming’
10. Queen – ‘Radio Ga Ga’
11. Run D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevis – ‘It’s Like That’
12. The Clash – ‘(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais’
13. Young Fathers – ‘Rain or Shine’
14. Fat White Family – ‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’
15. Underworld – ‘Slow Slippy’
So, we can see that ‘Lust For Life’ gets a Prodigy remix, which the dance-punk firestarters – the twisted dance-punk firestarters – rattled off especially for T2 Trainspotting. Here’s a flame-grilled taster of what it’ll sound like, shared via the band’s official Instagram account.
Fuck! It sounds massive. And new and exciting. And also weirdly nostalgic. We’re getting #vibes over here. Also new: ‘Only God Knows’ by Young Fathers, the experimental hip-hop group from Edinburgh, the city in which the film is set. Two tracks from the band’s excellent 2015 album ‘White Men Are Black Men Too’.
Irvine Welsh, the author of Trainspotting and its sequel Porno, on which T2 Trainspotting is loosely based, has bigged up Young Fathers in no uncertain terms. Speaking to Gigwise before the soundtrack was confirmed, he said: “Sometimes you get great tracks but they don’t go with it. The one I hope works for the soundtrack is Young Fathers you know they’re Edinburgh. They’ve created their own genre.”
What does the soundtrack need to do?
The original Trainspotting soundtrack was such an integral part of the movie, with tracks by the likes of David Bowie, Sleeper, Primal Scream, Goldie and more enhancing everything that was happening on screen tenfold. The songs became synonymous with the scenes they soundtracked – who can listen to Brian Eno’s ‘Deep Blue Day’ and not think of Renton diving into “the worst toilet in Scotland” or hear ‘Born Slippy’ and not be transported back to the gang’s bleak world?
T2 Trainspotting‘s soundtrack needs to do much the same thing. Creating something as iconic and perfect was obviously a lot easier said than done, but director Danny Boyle is notorious for his ability to select just the right music for his films. Look at the ongoing success of the first one, 20 years after it was first released: it topped the UK vinyl charts upon re-release in November last year (pressed onto delicious orange vinyl) and we still find ourselves waxing lyrical about how it defined 1996 by being generally bloody brilliant. Hopefully the T2 Trainspotting soundtrack will similarly evoke #feelings about 2017 in years to come.
Who should have been on the T2 soundtrack?
We put this question to Wolf Alice, who picked out their ideal fellow soundtrack-ers for us (Let’s Eat Grandma, Foals and Honeybloody FTW). And, yes, the original soundtrack was like a who’s who of ’90s subculture. You’d hope this time round would also reflect the times we’re living in while retaining the edge of its predecessor – no one wants to hear Adele scoring Renton falling in love, right?
Instead, NME reckons Boyle could have looked to artists like Jamie T (‘Tinfoil Boy’ would be perfect), Slaves, Disclosure, man of the moment Skepta and gritty realists Sleaford Mods to give even more life to his creation. How about Jamie xx as this generation’s Underworld? Or The Twilight Sad’s ‘A Girl In The Corner’ to add some authentic Scottish misery to the mix? It was a great idea to include a band as depraved as Fat White Family, but using ‘Touch The Leather’ , with all its druggy connotations, rather than ‘Whitest Boy on the Beach, could really be a genius move.
But these are minor quibbles. The soundtrack looks amazing, and we can’t wait for everyone to get it in their ears when it’s released in tandem with the film on January 27. Choose your favourite local record store, choose the awesome T2 Trainspotting soundtrack.