I don’t update this blog very often anymore, but in case you’ve surfed in from the link on The New Vinyl Villain today, I’ve hastily thrown together some bonus Pizzicato Five stuff that was in the running for the Imaginary Compilation Album but didn’t make it for one reason or another.
This is one of the P5 songs that’s turned up as background music for TV and film, and might therefore elicit a vague sense of recognition. I considered throwing it in for that reason, but ultimately decided to avoid anything that appeared in the same form on “Made In USA”, so it was disqualified on those grounds.
I flip-flopped for a long time over whether to use this or the standard version of “Triste” on the ICA. I think the standard version is the right choice, but you might still like to hear this one.
A bright, catchy tune but in the end a bit too similar in style to “Happy Sad”.
This “big beat”-ish instrumental mix of “Playboy Playgirl” nearly replaced “Darlin’ Of Discotheque” in the “overly long instrumental” slot, but simply wasn’t overly long enough.
And if you like “The Night Is Still Young”, there’s also a previous post here that features thirteen versions of it.
Is it just me, or did Cocteau Twins always have a bit of a wintery vibe about them? In any case, in 1993 they put this pair of cover versions out as a very limited edition. Limited because they didn’t want to accidentally have a big hit with it and for this to be the single that everybody would know them for, forevermore. Probably wise.
In 1993, Sub Pop, then probably the coolest record label on the planet, sent their mailing list a Christmas card with a CD inside. I’m guessing that had this CD contained material by one of Sub Pop’s alt-rock signings, most obviously Nirvana, but Sebadoh or Afghan Whigs would do at a pinch, this CD would probably change hands nowadays for a lot more money than it actually does. As it is, less than ten dollars will secure you a copy, probably with the card itself attached too. It seems lounge revivalists Combustible Edison just aren’t that collectible…
Anyway, here are the two tracks featured on that CD. Well, they were given away for free in the first place, after all. Apparently, “Christmas Time Is Here” is a seasonal standard in the USA, but I’d never heard of it, and until I looked into the story of Combustible Edison last year, I’d assumed it was an original song. How wrong I was… Wikipedia lists a whole heap of other versions, noticeably all by North Americans. We just don’t have that song in the UK. I think the Charlie Brown christmas special which introduced it in 1965, may have been shown here at nine in the morning once in 1991.
Anyway, “Christmas Time Is Here” is the less interesting of the two tracks. Much better is their inventive arrangement of “Sleigh Ride”. We in the UK do know “Sleigh Ride”, mainly through the Ronettes version, but Combustible Edison’s version is a pleasing contrast to Phil Spector‘s wall of sound. A surprisingly minimal arrangement (no strings or brass in this version) and seemingly delivered with a determination not to maintain the same combination of instruments for more than eight bars in a row, it fairly breezes along and even survives the uncharacteristic cheesiness of the brief vocal interjections (“Giddy up!”). Delightful.
This is the “Jamscraper” mix of “Mmm… Skyscraper I Love You” by Underworld, with the snappily-titled “Mmm…Skyscraper I Love You (After Sky Id6 1551 2)” (basically, a demo version of the coda from the standard single/LP mix) edited onto the end for 14 minutes of… stuff.
2000’s The Beach was Danny Boyle‘s fourth movie as director and he had certainly got a reputation as a man with an ear for a good, varied soundtrack. Though strangely, after The Beach, his soundtracks were largely single-composer with perhaps the odd curveball thrown in, and he didn’t really return to the eclecticism of Trainspotting, A L ife Less Ordinary and The Beach until this year’s T2: Trainspotting.
Unlike its predecessors, there’s not a lot of guitars on The Beach – it’s really heavy on the electronics. Boyle regulars Leftfield and Underworld are present, both with excellent new tracks subsequently deemed worthy of inclusion on their respective Best Ofs, and there are also return appearances from New Order (with the album’s most “rock” song), Faithless, and Blur. In the “quick, get someone to cover the tracks we couldn’t licence” corner, we get Asian Dub Foundation doing The Upsetters‘ ska standard “Return Of Django” (not as exciting as you might hope) while John Cale and Brian Eno‘s “Spinning Away” is covered by Sugar Ray, which seems like an odd choice, though they take it dead straight and make a decent go of it.
The big hit, of course, was All Saints’ “Pure Shores”, a number one smash which critics were quick to point out bore a considerable resemblance to the sort of thing producer William Orbit had recently been doing with Madonna. Dario G‘s “Voices” (a two-year-old album track) and Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti‘s “Beached” were also released as singles, to less success.
Anyway, here’s a whole heap of downloadables for you. In all cases, the password is salad – all lower case. First, of course, the soundtrack album itself:
Various Artists – The Beach Soundtrack
01 Snakeblood – Leftfield
02 Pure Shores – All Saints
03 Porcelain – Moby
04 Voices – Dario G
05 8 Ball – Underworld
06 Spinning Away (Souledout Mix) – Sugar Ray
07 Return Of Django – Asian Dub Foundation
08 On Your Own (Crouch End Broadway Mix) – Blur (remix by William Orbit)
09 Yeke Yeke (Hardfloor Mix Edit) – Mory Kante
10 Woozy – Faithless
11 Richard, It’s Business As Usual – Barry Adamson
12 Brutal – New Order
13 Lonely Souls – UNKLE featuring Richard Ashcroft
14 Beached – Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti
Angelo Badalamenti’s score didn’t get issued until a few months after the film, which seems a strange way of going about things…
Angelo Badalamenti – The Beach (Motion Picture Score)
01 Bizarre City (with Barry Adamson)
02 The Beach Theme (Swim To Island)
03 Vision Of Fantasy
04 Mournful Myth
06 Killing Fields
07 Blue Sex
08 The Beach Theme (Mythical Waters)
10 Daffy’s Done
11 Mystery Of Christo
12 Pure Victims
13 Pursuit Of A Shark
14 Waterfall Cascade
Link: Original Score
There were three singles from the soundtrack album (well, four if you include “Porcelain” but that was released later on and not tied in to the film), and here they are, with all the tracks combined.
“Pure Shores” was the breakout hit, and probably more popular than the movie was! Karl “K-Gee” Gordon gives it a hip hop flava on the 2 Da Beach U Don’t Stop Mix and Tom Middleton goes all cosmic on the, yup, Cosmos Mix.
All Saints – Pure Shores
01 Pure Shores (album version)
02 If You Don’t Know What I Know
03 Pure Shores (2 Da Beach U Don’t Stop Mix)
04 Pure Shores (Cosmos Remix)
05 Pure Shores (The Beach Life Mix)
06 Pure Shores (Instrumental)
Link: Pure Shores
The second single was “Beached”, usually described as a “collaboration” between Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti, though I’m not sure they actually got together as such. The single has shorter and longer versions (apparently an instrumental mix exists too, which I think I would prefer because that narration is properly irritating, but I’ve never seen it anywhere) plus an unrelated Orbital original. I rather think they should have put Angie’s original theme on it, particularly considering that the original score album wasn’t yet released at this point.
And last and probably least (though with the most mixes), Dario G’s “Voices”, with the voice of Vanessa Quinones.
Dario G featuring Vanessa Quinones – Voices
01 Voices (radio edit)
02 Voices (Sash! radio edit)
03 Voices (film acoustic version)
04 Voices (Sash! X-Tended mix)
05 Voices (Taste Xperience)
06 Voices (Jimpy & Wolff mix)
07 Voices (Kriana mix)
And because I forgot to include it in the bundle…
First released 1992, but the single I’m sharing here is the reissue from 1993.