Jez at A History of Dubious Taste maintains there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure, but here’s one to severely test that hypothesis.
After Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark splintered at the end of the 80s, Andy McCluskey kept the name and carried on with new collaborators. And for a while he did rather well, with 1990’s Sugar Tax selling squillions and yielding top ten hits in “Sailing On The Seven Seas” and “Pandora’s Box”. But diminishing returns led to him retiring the name after 1996’s guitar-led Universal, and seeking new ventures. Together with 90s OMD member Stuart Kershaw, he wrote a bunch of songs and assembled a girl group to be the vehicle for them. And thus Atomic Kitten was born.
I won’t make any claims for Atomic Kitten’s subsequent releases (later McCluskey/Kershaw songs proved disappointing, and I stopped paying attention altogether after they left the project) but the first single was a properly corking glam disco stomper. Honestly.
Link: Atomic Kitten – Right Now (password: salad)
1. Right Now
2. Something Spooky: Theme To BBC “Belfry Witches”
3. Right Now (demo)
It’s the usual thing, but this time with four in a row… from jangly 70s blues-pop to piano-led 70s blues-rock to 80s indie rock (with very dated Mel & Kim reference) to 2000s (but only just) gloomy indie rock.
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…
You remember Touch And Go, right? It was a big beat / latin thing basically made up of David Lowe of BBC News theme semi-fame and a couple of sessioneers. Discogs reckons veteran music journo Charlie Gillett was involved too, which I didn’t know until ten minutes ago, and… well, to be honest, I have no idea whether it’s actually true. Anyhow, their big hit was “Would You…?” back in 1999, which was followed by a not-very-successful album, I Find You Very Attractive, and a couple of flop singles, of which this was the second and last. Weirdly it does not appear to credit Willy DeVille at all despite the obvious quotation of “Spanish Stroll”.