Category Archives: Soundtracks

IT’S TIME TO BRING BACK MOVIE THEME SONGS!





Hands up if you remember a time when films had a theme tune! I’m talking Ghostbusters, Weird Science and Men in Black. This was a time when the theme song was already topping the charts weeks before anyone had even seen the accompanying movie. What on Earth happened to the days of old when you could see the film, wear the t-shirt and sing the theme tune while eating from a popcorn box with the lead actor on it? It seems that only James Bond movies have continued this grand tradition, but they would never consider having the main star record the song like most Will Smith films from the 90s.

It is time to bring back the music people!Recently Warner Bros have released Kong: Skull Island. This is the kind of popcorn movie fodder that a marketing agency adore. Big stars, big concept and a well-known franchise. But why hasn’t anyone thought of asking one of the latest chart-topping stars today like Drake or Sean Paul to cover Sisqo’s ‘Thong Song’ but changing the thong to well, Kong! “Let Me Hear You Say – Kong, Kong, Kong, Kong, Kong Kong”. Now that is a song that needs to be recorded and would surely lead to thousands downloading the official soundtrack!

It was quite a surprise for fans of Ghostbusters to have their favourite film remade with a cast of female actors. Twitter was ablaze with fury at replacing their male heroes with stars of Bridesmaids and Saturday Night Live. If only Rhianna had covered Ray Parker Jr’s classic tune. Imagine the online rage, especially if she had eclipsed the original. An opportunity wasted.

Bring back movie themes

Source: Promo

Most of the big summer blockbusters at the moment have been super-hero related, and maybe Marvel Studios and Warner Bros feel they don’t need to cheapen their franchise by having anyone re-record the cheesy cartoon themes. Though the Sam Raimi directed Spiderman trilogy tended to have rock bands record a song inspired by the movie: Nickelback’s Chad Kroger & Josey Scott’s ‘Hero’ and Snow Patrol’s ‘Signal Fire’. But alas the new reboot will probably choose not to recordJustin Bieber’s a capella version of the 60’s much loved Spiderman theme. The 90’s Batman series were famous for their successful song tie-ins : U2’s ‘Hold Me Kiss Me Thrill Me’ and The Smashing Pumpkins’ The End Is The Beginning  Is The End’ are two of the greatest singles of the era, but they were tenuously linked to the films. Could Batman V Superman not have had a track inspired by the rivalry? Maybe Limp Bizkit V Korn, with a video filmed on top of a burning skyscraper and a bagpipes solo? It would have been at least more entertaining than most of the film.

Something has to change and film studios need to get their act together and start getting music and film working together to make a brighter future. There may be an Ellie Goulding track written for the 50 Shades Of Grey soundtrack, but this is just one song rare example. There are just so many opportunities being missed. OK, not every movie song was a winner, Paul McCartney should probably have stayed clear of Spies Like Us and Vanilla Ice should never mix Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with rapping. But let us remember the good times and here are the 5 great movie songs for your enjoyment.

Queen – ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’




No one can sing a ballad as well as Freddie. From the 80’s cult classic Highlander directed by Russell Mulcahy, who was more famous for his extravagant music videos at the time. The soundtrack by Queen was better than the actual film, which is pretty much what happened when the same band chose to record the soundtrack for Flash Gordon. Basically if you want your film to be eclipsed by the music, don’t bloody hire Queen.

Duran Duran -‘View To A Kill’

From the James Bond film of the same name, Duran Duran recorded this at the height of their eighties’ glory. They were so high on their ability and fame they could just ask the producers if they could record the next Bond theme and it would happen. Though as their fame faltered they had to put up with recording the theme tune to The Saint starring Val Kilmer, which is quite a coincidence as Roger Moore played The Saint and James Bond. And speaking of coincidences, fact fans, is that Russell Mulcahy also directed this video before moving on to making Highlander. How interesting!

Simon & Garfunkel- ‘Mrs Robinson’

Simon and Garfunkel penned this beauty decades before the term ‘milf’ was conceived and at a time when it was a rarity for a pop band to record a film soundtrack. The song has been covered to death by the likes The Lemonheads, Garth Brooks and Busted, but the original still rings true as a film classic.

The Psychedelic Furs – ‘Pretty In Pink’

One of the rare times when the song came before the film, Pretty In Pink appeared on The Psychedelic Furs’ 1981 album Talk, Talk, Talk and Writer/Director John Hughes used the tracks inspiration for the 1986 hit teen movie. The band re-recorded the single and it went on to be their first top 20 UK hit single. Another example of the song being greater than the film.

Eminem- ‘Lose Yourself’

Quite possibly his greatest track to date. It was written for the movie 8 Mile and is based on a young man in Detroit trying to make it as a white hip-hop artist and won the rapper an Oscar for best original song. Eminem wrote the track during breaks in between filming and is now on various gym playlists around the world, just after the theme from Rocky.

What will be the next great movie theme? Sadly to date there isn’t any news that the Gorillaz are going to be collaborating with the remaining members of The Monkees to perform the theme tune to the upcoming Planet Of The Apes movie, but we can still hope.



WHICH TRAINSPOTTING FILM HAS THE BEST SOUNDTRACK?





If you are reading this article and are not aware of Trainspotting or its sequel T2, you must be too caught up in a world of jotting down trains into a WHSmith’s notepad, while enjoying a weak orange drink.

Danny Boyles’ 1996 classic has become a historical document for those caught up in all things Brit-pop and 90’s nostalgia, but it wasn’t just the motion picture that made such a splash. The accompanying soundtrack became that year’s ‘must have’ album in the same way that the Pulp Fiction OST had been the year before. For a movie set in the 80’s, the soundtrack features the big players (except Oasis and Suede) of the era; Blur, Pulp, and Leftfield as well as some musical legends like Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. But how does it compare to the follow-up?

ROUND 1: OPENING TRACKS

Iggy Pop- ‘Lust For Life.’

It is impossible to remember a time when the sound of that drum intro and the bassline didn’t evoke the image of ‘Renton’ and ‘Spud’ sprinting through the streets of Edinburgh. The perfect choice of song and a big thank you to David Bowie for making it happen. As a fan of Boyle’s first feature ‘Shallow Grave,’ Bowie recommended his friends Reed and Mr. Pop to strike a deal to have their music used for the film. Without his help, it could have been Kula Shaker’s ‘Hey Dude’ that opened the movie. The sequel ends with a Prodigy remix of the track, that sadly isn’t on the compilation.

Result: Draw – both films used the same song.

ROUND 2: THE TRACK THAT IS LIKE SO NOW!

Leftfield – ‘A Final Hit’

The mid to late 90’s was rich with forwarding thinking electronic artists were aching to break away from ‘rave’ and acid-house. Massive Attack, Tricky and obviously Leftfield would be found in the CD collections for those people who knew where to be on a Saturday night. ‘A Final Hit’ may not have been their best track, but it works on the screen.

Young Fathers – ‘Rain Or Shine’




The former Mercury Prize winners keep gaining acclaim for being one of the great British hip-hop acts. Hailing from Edinburgh and just stinking of cool – no wonder they feature on T2’s soundtrack twice, ‘Get Up’ and ‘Rain Or Shine’ help push the movie’s love of nostalgia into the now.

Result: Young Fathers

ROUND 3: THE BLONDIE TRACK

Sleeper- ‘Atomic’

Was the use of the Blondie cover by a hip Brit-pop group a cynical move to stay in touch with the zeitgeist or just a cheaper option? As Sleeper’s version is so faithful to the original, it seems silly to not just use the Blondie track. It does soundtrack one of the most beloved scenes in the film when ‘Renton’ meets ‘Diane.’

Blondie – ‘Dreaming’

‘Dreaming’ explodes with Clem Burke’s  opening drum rolls quickly followed by one of Chris Stein’s legendary guitar riffs and we already have one of the Blondie’s greatest anthems even before Debbie Harry’s sublime vocals take off; this would make any film come alive.

Result: Blondie ‘Dreaming’

ROUND 4: THE UNDISCOVERED GEM

Blur – ‘Sing’

It was a brave move for the makers to have one of Britain’s biggest bands and choose an album track from their least fashionable album ‘Leisure.’  The first time you hear those piano chords, you have to wonder how you had never heard of this track before. ‘Sing’s’ success after the soundtrack gave it a new lease of life and found it’s way back into Blur’s live set as recently as 2012.

Wolf Alice – ‘Silk’




Being included in the soundtrack left the band was over the moon, and ‘Silk’ is T2’s answer to the atmospheric ‘Sing.’ One of the best tracks on their debut album ‘My Love Is Cool’ is given a welcome platform in one of the final scenes of T2.

Result: Blur – ‘Sing’

ROUND 5: THE CLASSIC TRACK

Lou Reed – ‘Perfect Day’

Trainspotting achieved what Duran Duran failed to so the year before, and introduced a brand new audience to one of Lou Reed’s finest songs. The rest is history and with the BBC releasing a star-studded version for charity and karaoke bars across the country will seldom have an evening without it.

The Clash – ‘(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais’

Not many soundtracks can do wrong when including a Clash track, ‘(White Man)’ may not be their most known song and hopefully, it will be discovered by a whole new audience.

Results: Lou Reed – Perfect Day

THE WINNER: TRAINSPOTTING (1996).

It was level heading after five rounds, and both are brilliant compilations, but the original has a perfect mix of contemporary artists as well as relighting the fires to some forgotten classics and doesn’t include Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga.’