Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

In the Name of the Father (OST) – Various Artists [#628]

 

Unknown-3.jpegThe soundtrack for the 1993 film In the Name of the Father about the Guildford pub bombings of 1974.

While the film is an often harrowing study on injustice, political corruption and false convictions, the soundtrack is nothing that special. Bono, Sinead O Connor, Gavin Friday, The Kinks and Thin Lizzy (naturally with their Whisky in the Jar) give the whole set the geographical soundscape for the period piece, Bono and O’ Connor  for the Irish connection and The Kinks and Thin Lizzy to set the time.

I think around that time in the nineties there was a strong swell in Irish pop and rock surfing on the crest of which was Bono on his U2 surfboard and it seemed like any TV show or film with a vague Irish link would have featured either a song by U2 or Sinead O’ Connor.

Mrs Gnomepants v1.0 was very fond of the film and requested that I obtain the soundtrack during the Great Internet  Free For All of the early to mid noughties.

 

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Great Expectations (Original Soundtrack) – Various Artists [#549]

Great Expectations Soundtrack Like the goth genre, I came to this film late. Had I come to the film back in the time it was released, my outlook on life may have changed subtly.

Following a childhood meeting with a menacing Robert De Niro, Ethan Hawke falls for Gwyneth Paltrow, and, thanks to a mysterious benefactor becomes a successful artist in New York. Lots of painting and nookie ensues.

As well as being an awesome adaptation of a thought provoking classic piece of literature, the soundtrack is also well presented with songs by contemporary bands such as Mono, Pulp, Reef  and Poe, coupled with contemporary artists such as Scott Weiland, Tori Amos, Duncan Sheik and Chris Cornell. All compiled deliciously in an angsty way.

In a pre-Twilight late 1990s, this movie was instrument in the blossoming of many a youth emerging from the fiction of a post teenage world into adulthood. Much in the same way that the BBC’s nineties soaparama This Life did. Sadly I was too busy with work and other life distractions to notice but as soon as I did, I was out buying the Soundtrack and waiting for the DVD of the film to drop in price.

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Grand Theft Auto (Original Soundtrack) [#546] & Grand Theft Auto: London (Original Soundtrack) [#547]

Possibly one of the best, well thought out and inventive game franchises began back in the late nineties with the release of Grand Theft Auto a game noted, not just for it’s violence and adult themes, for its soundtrack.

I spent many late evenings playing the game driving round the fictional cities of San Andreas, Liberty and Vice Cities, with the soundtrack blaring out to the annoyance of any neighbours. I even popped the CD from my Playstation into my CD player and ripped the soundtrack to cassette to listen to while on the bus or on foot. A cassette that joined me later in my car. A cassette I regret making because, as we all know, home taping killed music (and computer games).

Indeed, when I was able to do the same to the soundtrack of the less than successful London themed spin-off, I further damaged the whole industry which, as we now know, is worthless.

While the original game’s soundtrack was inventive with a variety of music genres parodied by the game’s designers with original songs by fictional bands such as Slumpussy’s Gangster Friday and The Ballad of Chapped Lips Calhoon by Sideways Hank O Malley and Alabama Bible Boys , the London spin-off existed as a blend of 60’s pastiches without the same wicked streak of humour. As a result I felt a little let down by the quality and lack of attention to detail that went into the spin-off game.

The London spin-off was to be a harbinger of things to come, the soundtracks for sequels to the game, like San Andrea, GTA IV and V all relied heavily on existing real music by real bands. The humorous sly digs at the music industry lacking saved only by the sly digs at the radio advertising industry.

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Go: Music from the Motion Picture – Various Artists [#529]

Go_1999_filmGo is one of those films that tried to capture the zeitgeist of the innovation created by Tarrantino’s Pulp Fiction. Three entwined stories about young people involved in a drugs deal.
While not a fan of the movie as such, I appreciate the stylistic  90’s celluloid portmanteau vibe, but I did like the soundtrack. Not only does Len’s enigmatic Steal My Sunshine feature, but so does Natalie Imbruglia, Fat Boy Slim’s Gangster Tripping  and Air’s Talisman (from their album Moon Safari) which, although mostly used to death in “teen” films of the time, do still get the toes-a-tapping.

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Gladiator: More Music from the Motion Picture – Lisa Gerrard & Hans Zimmer [#525]

Gladiatorsoundtrack2Lisa Gerrard lends her voice to another Zimmer soundtrack. Honestly, if it wasn’t for her work with Dead Can Dance I’d probably have given up on Ms Gerrard’s caterwauling, although maybe that is a little harsh.

In case you’ve been living in a cellar for the past sixteen years, Gladiator is a film about a Roman general (Russell Crowe) reduced into slavery, seeking revenge on the guy  (Joaquin Phoenix) who murdered his father (Richard Harris). I’ve only seen Gladiator once, and to be quite honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by it. I suppose this was because, at the time, my head was buzzing still from the story of Spartacus and I felt that the Spartacus story would have been a better choice to make into a movie (again).

The movie was a box office smash (just check out the rather lengthy Wikipedia page) and the soundtrack won awards and brought Gerrard’s voice to the masses. So much so, the Original Soundtrack spawned today’s entry, which didn’t sell as many copies. Indeed, Gladiator: More Music reeks so much of over-milked cash cow, I’m surprised heaps of unsellable follow up merchandise such as Gladiator cook books and Build your own Forum kits didn’t pollute the shops.

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Ghosts of Oxford Street – Various Artists [#522]

Unknown-5 The soundtrack to Malcolm Maclaren’s Christmas film for Channel 4.

Like with the Kinks’ Return to Waterloo, I have an off-air recording of the film on VHS that I treasure. I’d even go as far to say it is one of the primary reasons that I still have a VHS tape recorder tucked away in the loft. Sure there are probably versions of this on Youtube or Vimeo, but they’ll only last as long as the copyright nazis allow them to stay up.

Home video taping is killing music.

That said, I did buy this (and still have it) on CD.

The film has Maclaren poncing around London’s Oxford Street at Christmas telling tales about the dark history of the world famous street of consumerism with each of the “ghosts” played (sung) by different artists. Tom Jones pulls off a great Gordon Selfridge while the Happy Mondays manage an excellent cover of the Bee Gees’ Staying Alive. While Sinead O’Connor, Kirsty MacColl and the Pogues remind us of the festive season with their  songs with a slightly Christmassy feel.

Because of the Christmas bias, it feels odd listening to the soundtrack out of season but it’s not impossible to do so. Skipping the four Christmas centric songs still allows the listener a good twenty minutes of interesting music. Even Ponchielli’s  Dance of the Hours (performed on the CD by the Academy of St Martin’s in the Field) isn’t too festive in feeling and is a really piece of driving Classical music.

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Ghostbusters OST – Various Artists [#518]

Ghostbusters soundtrack - various artistsThis is the soundtrack to the classic 1980s blockbusting movie Ghostbusters.

As a regular downloader from the alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.soundtrack newsgroup in the late noughties, I would frequently smugly mark for download the soundtracks for movies I’d always wanted but had been unable to obtain from crappy HMV or Virgin Megastores. One such prize was todays album.

I remember my brother taking me to see Ghostbusters in the Lime Street Odeon in Liverpool. I remember queuing up (in the cold) for hours before the doors opened so that we would be some of the first in the theatre and be able to get the best seats. I remember being excited to rent the video when it became available, and I still remember the anticipation and thrill of being able to video record it off the telly when it was eventually shown over Christmas for the first time on network television.

I also remember the disappointment at being unable to find the soundtrack on CD, a dissipating disappointment when I located it on Usenet.

Classic 80s soundtrack for a classic 80s film. Not sure why they feel the need to “reboot” it.

 

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From the Sea to the Land Beyond – British Sea Power [#502]

Sea-to-the-land-beyondRegular music project visitors, British Sea Power, return today with their 2013 release, From the Sea to the Land Beyond.

The album is actually a soundtrack for Penny Woolcock’s film  From the Sea to the Land Beyond shown originally on BBC 4. The film is a showreel of archive footage from the BFI showing coastal life and activities through the ages accompanied by the unique salt encrusted rusty sound of British Sea Power.

Reworking their own material to provide haunting instrumentals, British Sea Power did an amazing job. I like to play guess the original song when listening to this album. For example Track 2 and the overarching theme throughout the album, Remarkable Diving Feat is a reworking of Waving Flags from Do You Like Rock Music 

This is by far my most favourite album/soundtrack of the decade. You could listen to this album while watching any archive cine or super 8 material and not feel it was out of place. It really works.

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Forever & Ever – Fields of the Nephilim [#487]

R-571075-1165231721.jpegMore brooding beats from the cadaverous cowboys that are Fields of the Nephilim taken from the soundtrack of their video release Forever Remain.

I suspect after Ginger Chris’ cassette finally drove the music industry into an irretrievable spiral of descent, my enthusiasm for music waned too. As I wandered around the global car boot sale that was the early internet of 2004-2010, I would pick up remnants of forgotten things called albums from the digital flotsam and jetsam and store them for humanity on my hard drive. If it wasn’t for my actions I’m fairly certain the music industry would have been completely destroyed by home taping.

Forever & Ever is a rip of a live video album and features many of FONs “greatest hits”, all favourites of mine. I could have quite happily left my appreciation of the band there but subsequent releases enticed me in with the promise of good music. I suppose by then, the zeitgeist had leaked from the loosely sealed bottle of life and I began to realise that the new rules and flavours brought about by the demise of the music industry were bitter and unpalatable.

 

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Flash Gordon OST – Queen [#480]

220px-Queen_Flash_GordonIt’s thirty five years old and still a fantastic film. I must have seen the film more times than I can count to such an extent I often find myself finishing people’s lines and quoting bits for ages.

So it’s no surprise that I have the soundtrack in my music collection. However, I’m not a Queen fan. Freddie Mercury et al did nothing for me musically with perhaps the exception of Love Kills in Moroder’s Metropolis and though Bohemian Rhapsody has its place in music history, Queen’s other output just does not feature in my collection. At school it was the rougher types that liked Queen, the Paul Midgleys and Nick Gosneys of the world who’s fathers subjected them to Queen’s greatest hits on every car journey in their Ford Sierras.  My dad played Glen Miller while my elder brothers force fed me prog and new romance from a very early age but never Queen.

Flash Gordon is a piece of its time. It should remain so and deserves no remakes or reimagining. Whedon and Abrams had better keep their mits off it. The soundtrack, like the film, remains firmly stuck in the eighties psyche like a can of Quattro and tub of Lyons Maid ice cream.

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Exposed – Mike Oldfield [#443]

Exposed Mike OldfieldHi there! Steelrattus again, on day 5 of his 10 day guest stint on Stegzy’s Music Project.

Today’s album, Mike Oldfield’s Exposed (1979). This is the second of the two that I vaguely know in this 10 day stint. This one is a bit more vague that the previous, Trevor Jones’ Excalibur OST, as I don’t actually own Exposed. Coincidentally I have covered another Mike Oldfield album, Discovery, while guest posting on SMP, and double coincidentally I didn’t own that album either. Call yourself a Mike Oldfield fan?!

Whereas Discovery is a proper studio album, Exposed is one of only two live albums that Oldfield released, with the first being an orchestral version of Tubular Bells. This live album again features Tubular Bells, unsurprisingly with it being his most popular album, and also Incantations. Just to further highlight how much of a rubbish Mike Oldfield fan I am, I don’t seem to own nor do I remember listening to Incantations (1978), which is his fourth studio album. Having listened to the live version perhaps that’s understandable, as I didn’t find it very good. To round off the album there’s a short track called Guilty, which was just a single release, during Oldfield’s disco phase apparently (!). The album was recorded during a European tour in 1979, although apparently the musicians supporting Oldfield on the tour did not know they were being recorded. A DVD was released much later on, in 2005.

I’ve sort of already covered my view of the album. Tubular Bells is fab. I found Incantations rather weak and minimal. Guilty definitely has that Oldfield feel to it, and yes it is oddly disco. Generally speaking I don’t tend to enjoy live albums, as typically they’re somewhat worse versions of a mix of studio tracks. Exposed is pretty much this, but I would listen to it, if stuck on a desert island with nothing else. As always, YMMV.

Here’s Guilty, put on your disco pants!

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Excalibur OST – Trevor Jones [#440]

500px-Eurovision_Song_Contest_2007_logo.svgHi there! Steelrattus again, on day 2 of his 10 day guest stint.

Today’s album is the soundtrack to Excalibur by Trevor Jones. This is the first of the two albums in this 10 day stint that I actually know something about, albeit I’ve never owned it. I first saw Excalibur when it was recommended to me by the lovely UniversityRichard™ – I’ve mentioned UniversityRichard™ previously, as he introduced me to a shit ton of music and film-ery back at… well, university. Excalibur is an odd old thing, filmwise. Whereas most Arthurian films (he says, trying to think of an example… A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court?) paint the legend as rather glamorous and freshly polished, Excalibur has this gritty feel to it. It feels about as real as make believe a legend can be. Aside from having relatively fab productions values, it is also rich with acting talent, including Nicol Williamson’s fantastic portrayal of Merlin (which UniversityRichard™ does a great impression of).

In terms of technical shtuff, the film was released in 1981. The soundtrack sounds rather familiar, because a lot of it is recycled classical tracks, including pieces from Orff’s Carmina Burana and Wagner’s Ring and Tristan und Isolde operas. I can’t seem to find anything on why they didn’t use an entirely original soundtrack though. There are 18 tracks on the album.

A lot of soundtrack albums have that issue of standing apart from the source, assuming that they have to of course. It’s not so bad in Excalibur’s case, because there are some literal classics on there. Jones’ tracks vary from the more medieval in style (think lutes and reed-y things), to the more traditional classical film soundtrack. Do I like it? Well it’s OK, but I can’t say I’d go out of my way to listen to it, which probably explains why I’ve never bought it.

Here is the Jones’ penned track, Igrayne’s Dance…

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (OST) – Various Artists [#434]

Eternal_sunshine_CD_coverThis will be the last week of Music Project entries before a two week hiatus unless someone comes forth offering to write for two weeks while I’m on the other side of the planet.

While not a great lover of  Michel Gondry’s 2004 rom-com starring Jim Carey and Kate Winslet, the soundtrack does have some nice songs on.

Which is, in part, why I keep the album in my collection. Happy Twee-rock and pop abound, with the likes of Polyphonic Spree, ELO and Lata Mangeshkar interwoven with Jon Brion’s equally twee romantic soundtrack.

Great for feeling twee.

 

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Electric Dreams – OST [#418]

Unknown-1A film ahead of its time was the little known eighties film Electric Dreams. Possibly more familiar is the song from the closing credits performed by former Human League and car stereo buyer Phil Oakey.

Electric Dreams tells the story of Miles (Twin Peaks’ Lenny von Dohlen), a geeky architect nerd who happens to fancy his new neighbour Madeline (played by Dune Princess Virginia Madsen) just at the same moment he buys himself a home computer and accidentally makes it sentient by spilling wine all over it. As you do.

The music is a perfect eighties music time capsule with songs by Culture Club, ELO’s Jeff Lynne and P.P.Arnold (currently doing the Caribbean Cruise circuit).

I love this soundtrack. I love the film too. It’s such a shame that it’s hardly ever shown on TV these days and it’s pricey on DVD.

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Dune – OST [#401]

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 20.20.28The beginning is a very delicate time. Know then that it is the year 2015, and I’m still only a hundred albums shy of being a third of the way through this music project.

Dune is a very special film and soundtrack for me. My oldest brother used to scoff that I couldn’t possibly have understood the concepts dealt with by the film, especially as Lynch’s version was edited to bits. The weird thing is, I got Lynch from a very early age. In fact, I got Dune on a deeper level through the film than I ever did with the novel. I think Lynch did a bloody good job making a sci-fi snob’s book accessible to many people.

My oldest brother repeatedly tried to “explain” his interpretation of the novel to me, but he had no need as I already understood what the author was trying to say. I understood the hidden depths, the concept of the Kwisatz Haderach, the Fremen and what the spice really was. Even the trope of the sandworms.

The film is also important to me because of how the music actually makes a good accompaniment in the way that Queen’s soundtrack to Flash Gordon makes Flash Gordon what it is. Toto do an outstanding job of the soundtrack especially considering their only other significant contribution to the soundtrack of my life is their hit song Africa and Brian Eno’s atmospherics also add to the whole parcel of the film.

Soundtracks for Lynch’s films appear several times in this music project but if asked to save one from deletion it would definitely be the soundtrack for Dune. A film that still sends shivers down my spine and, in some respects, seen by many as a premonition/allegory/parable for the events in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East as we live right now and, I believe, has been since it was written.

 

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Donnie Darko – OST [#384]

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 14.28.54I missed Donnie Darko on the cinema. First time I knew of its existence was when I saw it on the shelf in the Rialto News video library on Upper Parliament Street looking unloved.

Watching the film had me transfixed in a way a film hadn’t had me transfixed since Lost Highway. Here was a film that was so intricate that one viewing would not suffice. Several viewings would be needed and so, as it should be, I nipped into HMV and treated myself to a copy of the film on DVD. I went round telling people that this film was one they should watch and digest, a suggestion that was met with the usual dismissive shrug.

Since then, the film had an almost viral spread. Months would pass and the people I suggested the film to would say to me “Hey, have you ever seen Donnie Darko?” excited by the prospect that they may have seen something enlightening that would appeal to me before me. Then people started talking about it in the mainstream press, on the mainstream television, even a song from the soundtrack, the Michael Andrews version of Tears for Fears’ Mad World reached number 1 in the UK.

The film, previously a slightly unknown cult movie, was rereleased to capitalise on its growing success with a Director’s cut. Unfortunately, the directors cut didn’t add anything to the original apart from time. In fact it watered the content down if anything. Made it easier to digest and over explained bits that didn’t need explaining. Then there was the sequel,  S.Darko but we don’t talk about that. In fact, let’s not even admit to it existing…

Still, like all good capitalists the owners of the film rights released an extended version of the soundtrack too and today’s album is that very same. The soundtrack features a number of popular contemporary songs from the time in which the film is set interwoven with nice hauntological piano led intermissions. The original soundtrack release featured less of the plinky plonky and focussed more on the atmospherics and contemporary sounds than this version. Still good though.

 

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Dirty Dancing – OST [#372]

DIRTY+DANCINGDirty Dancing – OST

Hello again. It’s Steelrattus here with the first of seven consecutive guest posts. This time around I am helping Stegzy out for a whole week, so I have essentially got whatever seven albums are scheduled for this week. So this is why I’m utterly blameless for the first of these posts.

The Dirty Dancing soundtrack. I’m not sure I have ever seen the film. In fact my only real memory of the film is my sister being a huge fan back when it must have been at the cinema in 1987, and subsequently home cinema. But in the interests of… science (and blogging) I have forced myself to listen to the soundtrack. For review purposes I appear to have the 20th Anniversary Edition of the soundtrack, which is twenty seven tracks versus the 1987 original edition’s twelve, to add insult to injury. So the beers that Stegzy owes me have just increased I feel. By an order of magnitude.

The soundtrack itself appears to be a mix of 1950/60s rock and roll, reflecting the 60s setting of the film, and 80s power ballads. I don’t mind the 1950/60s tracks so much, but the 80s stuff doesn’t do so much for me. Listening to the album it all tends to bleed together. And that’s about all I’ve got to say about the music.

For fact fans, apparently the original 1987 soundtrack was a huge success, sold 32 million copies worldwide, and is one of the best-selling albums of all time, proving there is no God. Apparently it spent 18 weeks at number one in the US Billboard chart. Its performance spawned a follow-up called More Dirty Dancing in 1988. Ultimate Dirty Dancing was released in and contains every song in the order played in the film (great for OCD nuts like me… well it would be if I would ever listen to it. Which I won’t. Ever). It transpires that the version I’ve listened to, the 20th Anniversary Edition (unsurprisingly released in 2007), contains remastered and additional tracks in a different order. *shrugs*

Anywhere, here’s the obligatory YouTube video, of what is presumably the most popular track.

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Darkman: OST – Danny Elfman [#339]

440px-DarkmansoundtrackBack in the 1990s movie studios saw, from the success of Tim Burton’s Batman, that superhero movies worked and were popular. The race was on to find the next big thing. Would it be Tank Girl? Would it be Phantom? Would it be Swamp Thing? Or would it be Darkman?

Sam Raimi, unable to secure the rights to make his own version of Batman or The Shadow, went off and did what anyone else would do and created his own superhero. The Darkman tells the tale of a talented scientist who, while working on a synthetic polymer skin, is attacked by thugs, burnt, disfigured and left for dead forcing the scientist to go forth and seek revenge and administer justice.  The film was released in 1990 and stars Liam Neeson as the scientist Peyton Westlake alongside Frances McDormand and Larry Drake. I loved the film. It was one of the last films I went to see at the Liverpool Lime Street Canon Cinema.

Composer of the moment, Danny Elfman, who seems to have spent most of the 1990s writing soundtracks for films about superheroes or people with scissors for hands,  works wonders with his talents. It’s not quite Batman but has essences of Batman tonally. It probably influenced Elfman’s other works such as Spiderman and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but this is not a bad thing. Instead it shows us how composers have themes that reemerge throughout their work kind of like a signature and if you can detect it you can have a cookie.

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Cruel Intentions – Original Soundtrack [#329]

Cruel_Intentions_SoundtrackA film about two well to do toffs, the kind of people that need a good old balaclava wearing slap in the woods, doing bad things to people lower down the socialite spectrum at their school.  Only one of the toffs falls for the lower down socialite and ends up in a pickle.

Serves him right.

Soundtrack is good though. Oh and theres a bit where Sarah Michelle Gellar snogs Selma Blair. But that’s not on the sound track. Instead there are treats from 90s bands like Blur, Aimee Mann and, of course, The Verve.

I liked the film so I downloaded the soundtrack as is my way. Like film = get soundtrack, as you will see through the progress of this music project.

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The Crow – Original Soundtrack [#328]

The_Crow_soundtrack_album_coverI didn’t want to be seen as a scenester or hipster. I didn’t want to be seen as a trend seeker. So I came to the whole thing late. The Crow was always a film I liked though.

It tied in the mid nineties comic book superhero film gold rush which saw films featuring forgotten heroes such as Swamp Thing, Darkman and The Phantom being pushed out on meagre budgets and crappy scripts. But amidst the deluge The Crow took centre stage, mostly due to the tragic loss of the lead actor, the rumours of conspiracy, curses and such like. The dark, brooding pre-emo atmosphere making floppy goth vogue long before sparkly vampires.

The soundtrack featured a number of bands from the perimeters of good taste. The Cure – Because you know, it’s goth.  Pantera, for the angry shouting. Nine Inch Nails because it’s the nineties and they’re in every sound track from Toy Story  to Big Breasted BiBabes from Baltimore. They’re all there. But for me, it was the song It Can’t Rain All the Time performed by Jane Siberry that made the whole soundtrack endurable. That and the realisation, the entire soundtrack wasn’t really goth.

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Continental Circus – Gong [#307]

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 14.59.40This album is the soundtrack to a film about a motorcycle racer. The greatest private rider in the world.

The film Continental Circus (1972) is a kind of documentary about motorcycle racing across Europe at a time before sponsorship money and safety took hold. It’s a bit like the motorcycling version of Rush with real life sports people rather than actors and motorbikes over F1 cars.  Jack Findlay talks about the sport, how it affects the mind and body.

The soundtrack is by French progsters and previous entrants in the music project, Gong, whose founder, Daevid Allen, died last month. This is possibly my most favourite of all Gong albums. It’s a proper driving album for driving long journey’s on wet late nights when there’s nothing good on Radio 4.

The film is difficult to get hold of though I have a copy if anyone wants one. Alternatively, there are versions on Youtube and via Amazon for those wanting a quicker access to it.

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The Commitments: Original Soundtrack [#293]

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 14.38.02 I inherited this album from Jamie.

I’ve never seen the film, nor does it interest me in ever seeing it. I’m sure it’s a good film but it’s not one that appeals to me.

The soundtrack is a compilation of soul classics, none of which appeal to me.

Why I still have it in my collection is beyond me.

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Original Soundtrack(#268)

Chitty Chitty Bang BangChitty Chitty Bang Bang – Original Soundtrack

As the family film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was out several years before I was born by the time I was old enough to really appreciate it it was being shown on the telly regularly.  Just thinking about the film counjures up evocative memories of laying in front of the telly on Bank Holiday Mondays and Easter afternoons, the precious extra spare time before being back at school again.
 
Like any musical of the time it has a big impressive sound, written to be experienced on the silver screen, and from the style it feels like it could actually have been made any time between about 1930 and 1975.
Despite not having seen the film for about 30 years I found that when I listened to it I could cheerfully sing along with 90%+ accuracy to the entire album, which is just how it should be for a kiddy film.  The songs took me straight back to the feelings it created, fear for the characters – would Truly get found out as she pretended she was a music box figure? Or the rousing chorus of the onomatopoeic title track Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the thrill of seeing this characterful old car fly or float.
 
It is impossible to separate the film from the soundtrack, so I apologise if this seems to have had too much film and not enough music,  but I challenge you not to do the same in my shoes.  
I’ve put the track listing below, why not have a nostalgic little hum along to yourself?
  1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” – Caractacus Potts, Jemima, Jeremy and Truly
  2. Truly Scrumptious” – Jemima, Jeremy and Truly
  3. Hushabye Mountain” – Mr. Potts and Truly
  4. Me Ol’ Bamboo” – Mr. Potts and chorus
  5. Toot Sweets” – Mr. Potts and Truly
  6. The Roses of Success” – Grandpa Potts and Inventors
  7. Lovely Lonely Man” – Truly
  8. You Two” – Potts, Jemima and Jeremy
  9. Chu-Chi Face” – Baron and Baroness Bomburst
  10. Posh!” – Grandpa Potts
  11. Doll on a Music Box” – Truly
  12. Doll on a Music Box / Truly Scrumptious” – Truly and Mr. Potts
  13. Come to the Funfair

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Danny Elfman [#261]

CHANGES+IN+MINDCharlie and the Chocolate Factory – Danny Elfman

Hello again, it’s me Steelrattus, with my third guest post. Stegzy is obviously far too polite to give me the boot.

Of the three albums I’ve “reviewed” so far this is the most difficult, because there’s not a lot of substance to review. I made the mistake twice previously of choosing “best of” albums, and now we have an (original) film soundtrack!

Why I feel vaguely qualified to comment on this album requires a short bit of background. I have young children, and being someone who loves… adores films I was keen to introduce my eldest daughter to what I feel are some of the best films around. One of those was the 1971 version (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory). I was keen she watched this version first, because I feel it’s the more charming of the two film incarnations of Roald Dahl’s book. We have subsequently watched the 2005 version, which does have some charm, but is arguably spoiled by trying to be too moral. I have tried to read the book to my eldest daughter, but it’s too complicated for her at the moment. Anyway, I have the soundtracks to both films, and we have regularly sung along to them both in the car, so this particular soundtrack is fairly well ingrained in my brain.

Anyway, the soundtrack… for a Tim Burton film you won’t be surprised to find that it’s composed by Danny Elfman. The album is essentially divided into two parts. The first five tracks are all songs with lyrics, and the remaining fifteen tracks are all instrumentals that essentially act as the film’s score. One of the reasons I’d like to read the book again is that apparently the four songs about the various nasty children are taken from Dahl’s book, unlike the 1971 version which has both less and different songs (as far as the children are concerned). Elfman of course had to arrange them to music, and apparently sings them all as well using a variety of synthesised voices to reflect the Oompa-Loompas. The songs are quite fun and as mentioned I regularly sing along to them, with my eldest, in the car. The remaining tracks are a bit more forgettable and fairly standard film score fair.

Here we have the first of the songs about the children, in this case Augustus Gloop. As you can see, all the Oompa-Loompas are performed, with a bit of CGI magic, by Deep Roy. Although as mentioned above, it’s all sung by Danny Elfman.

1 Comment »

Celestine Prophecy – Christopher Franke [#255]

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 13.45.24Celestine Prophecy – Christopher Franke

Utter shite.

A musical “accompaniment” for the best selling book by James Redfern which sparked off a new age revolution in the 90s. Plenty of floaty tofu weaving vaginary in this album as well as new age world m-yewsick wankery. And pan pipes. Lots of pan pipes.

In collection for interest only.

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