Ten Great Alternative Soundtracks – Part 2

Continuing from last week Daniel Dylan Wray talks us through his top ten alternative soundtracks …

6 – Good Will Hunting: Danny Elfman/Elliot Smith– Once again Elliot Smith rears his head into the list. Back in 1997 he was even nominated for an Oscar for the song ‘Miss Misery’ losing out to ’My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion, as if the academy immediately rectified any genuine credibility or taste they implied in the first place. But then again Elliot was never a likely character to bear the weight of such a prestigious title upon his shoulders well . Danny Elfman perhaps most notorious for his majestic work with Tim Burton and creating The Simpsons theme tune is also on fine form, and also knocked up an academy nod. The soundtrack also features the hugely underrated and under appreciated The Waterboys as well as Al Green and The Dandy Warhols.

7- The Blues Brothers- Various. Arguably one of the greatest musical movies of all time also holds host to one of the greatest soundtracks ever: Fats Domino, Hank Williams, John Lee Hooker, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, Robert Johnson. Need I say more?

8- Stop Making Sense- Talking Heads. Does this count? Probably not. However it is without doubt one of the greatest music films of all time, and also one of the greatest albums of all time and one of the greatest concerts of all time. One of the very few examples in which live performances of songs regularly supersede the recorded versions (and these are Talking Heads recorded songs. You know, the really great ones, with David Byrne and that). A landmark in filmmaking and music alike.

9- Almost Famous-Various. Whether or not you think the film is sappy over sentimental shit or you think it’s a warm and touching musical journey is entirely up to you. The soundtrack however is great. But this gets extra marks as the songs that weren’t included on the OST could have easily been rounded up and made into a volume two. So for that reason amongst others it has to be included. I guess the most memorable scene/piece collaboration was Elton John’s ‘Tiny Dancer’ as a bus load of people sang along for a moment, almost forgetting all their woes in life, the power of the song even enough to bring a post acid casualty back to life (of course anybody that has been on the arse end of a bad acid experience knows this is possibly the most stupid scene in film history). However, for me, personally the moments that shine in the films soundtrack (and the film) are the scenes with critic Lester Bangs, when he bursts into the radio station and demands to play The stooges and The Velvet Underground, and proclaims that Jim Morrison is a drunken buffoon. For those of you unfamiliar with the film/soundtrack then expect to hear (as well as the above mentioned) Led Zepp, The Who, The Beach Boys, Stillwater, David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Thunderclap Newman, The Seeds, Lynyrd Skynyrd and a few more.

10- Dogs In Space- Various. Now, I’ve not even seen this film. It’s impossible to get hold of and the only reason I am aware of it and the soundtrack is because of a flea market and the vinyl soundtrack I found for a mere few pounds. It stared the deceased Michael Hutchence and focuses around the post punk scene of Melbourne, Australlia circa 1978. The soundtrack is sublime and manages to encapsulate a very exciting period within music without sticking to boundaries, it covers an interesting mix of artists and genres and stands as a truly unique soundtrack. The highlight is The Boys Next Door’s (Nick Cave’s pre Birthday Party band) ‘Shivers’ the song alone is enough to hold it in such high regard. Other artists to feature are Iggy Pop, Gang Of Four, Brian Eno, Thrush And The Cunts, Michael Hutchence and Ollie Olson.

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