Sometimes a film can be remembered as much for its soundtrack as its visual punch, here’s five of the best indie rock movie soundtracks of all time.
A movie without music would be unthinkable if not offensive. Depending on our taste, mood, and the film in question, we like our action, romance, tragedy, comedy, and violence on the silver screen scored by a seductive soundtrack of bombastic epics, melancholy dirges, high octane rock, bittersweet love songs, and when the cap fits, indie rock.
Quite naturally, film which reek of pure Hollywood, such as Titanic and The Bodyguard require big and brassy emotive songs which are guaranteed to hound you to the day you die in all their swaggering strut and nauseating glory.
However, cult films made on a budget require a slightly more subtle and well thought out soundtrack to reflect the culture they’re portraying. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best indie movie soundtracks ever made.
Straight from Trainspotting’s opening scene, where Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his junkie mates storm down the Edinburgh streets to Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” you know you’re watching a film where music plays an integral part. A heroin overdose accompanied by the velvet tones of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” takes some beating, but of course director Danny Boyle saved the best for last.
In the final scene Renton says a sweet farewell to the squalor and depravity of his life, as Underworld’s classic “Born Slippy” kicks in, proving just how effective the right music in the right film can be.
This is England
England in 1983 was a grim old place, but people listened to pretty colorful music and it’s the sounds as much as the sights that made Shane Meadow’s This is England such an instant classic.
Ironically, This is England was named after one of the worst Clash songs of all time, but that’s easily forgivable in a film about skinhead culture which incorporates such classics as “54-45 Was My Number” from Toots and the Maytals, Dexy’s “Come On Eileen,” and “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell.
Of course, when you’re making a film based upon Nick Hornby’s book about emotionally retarded audiophiles, then you better make sure the soundtrack is bang on the money, because rest assured, the anoraks will be paying close attention.
Apparently the screenwriters listened to 2,000 songs before they picked the final tunes which appear in the movie. And after watching the film you can only hold up your hand and admit they did a good job.
The Vaselines, Love, Stiff Little Fingers, Belle and Sebastian, and the Velvet Underground are just a few of the artists which make this a film worth listening to.
The Football Factory
Music has always played an important part of life on the terraces, so the film adaptation of John King’s novel about a gang of Chelsea football hooligans was always going to have some good tunes mixed in with the top boy aggro.
From classics from the likes of The Jam, Sham 69 and The Buzzcocks, to more recent sounds from the street courtesy of The Libertines and Primal Scream, this is one soundtrack that is having it large.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Guy Ritchie may have been married to Madonna, but that doesn’t mean to say his musical taste was always bad. In the film he made his name with, the soundtrack was pretty impeccable.
Ocean Color Scene have never sounded so cool than they do when “Hundred Mile High City” kicks this adrenaline fueled roller-coaster of a film off.
“The Boss” by James Brown, “I Wanna By Your Dog” by Iggy Pop, and “Fool’s Gold” by The Stone Roses all add more punch to the party and create a soundtrack to remember.
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