Trainspotting, the soundtrack.

I first watched Trainspotting (1996) in my last year of school. We were studying it in our media class and it’s fair to say I absolutely fell in love with it.

Trainspotting was the highest-grossing British film of 1996 and 10 years on it’s still as good as ever. 

After its release, it became the fourth highest-grossing British film in history.

Many people will have come across this ‘franchise’ through an array of formats whether it was the novel, film, or soundtrack, and even though it was the film that introduced me to this heroin-filled, Scottish world, it was the soundtrack that I clung to.

Both soundtracks from Trainspotting and Trainspotting: T2 are best-selling albums, and in their own right I must add, but it is the original that this post is centered upon.

The soundtrack for Trainspotting has become a massive pop culture phenomenon and its songs are divided into 3 groups that represent different styles and eras throughout music history:

  1. Pop music from the 70s. Artist in this category are those who are closely linked with heroin and drug abuse – Iggy Pop, 
  2. The Britpop era of the 90s – Blur and Pulp.
  3. Techno-dance music of the 90s – Bedrock and Ice MC.

This soundtrack has gone on to receive some very well deserved recognition. In 2007, Vanity Fair ranked the Trainspotting original soundtrack at #7 for best motion picture soundtrack in history, 11 years after the film was originally released. It was also ranked #11 /100 by Entertainment Weekly on their best movie soundtrack list and #17 /25 by Rolling Stones in their best soundtracks of ALL TIME article in 2013.

All of these credentials show us how well thought out this soundtrack was and how it worked perfectly for and with the movie itself.

Around the time Trainspotting was being filmed and released (1995/96), there was a major change happening in the British music industry. This time saw the rise of Britpop, even though old fashioned pop was still rooted in the British culture. The Spice Girls were gaining popularity and Oasis were still dominating but there was a shift happening where music was changing from live sounding guitars to a more digitalised and electronic beat.

The aim for the Trainspotting soundtrack was to do something in a way that had never been done before, to champion the alternative music legacy of 1996 Britain with a focus on presenting electronic music on equal footing with rock music.

The film marketing campaign was extremely different to any low budget British film of its time. In the UK alone, they spent £850,000 – half as much as the film’s production costs. This made the film look like a Hollywood blockbuster rather than a small British production. 

The success of this film and soundtrack, you could say then, rests on this massive marketing gamble that took place, and I am so very thankful that it did for this soundtrack is one of the best, and a favourite, to which I have ever listened too.

If you have never watched Trainspotting or listened to it’s soundtrack, I would seriously recommend that you do and I hope that you enjoy both just as much as I do.

Song of the Day: Lust for Life – Iggy Pop

Why? It’s the backing music for the infamous ‘Choose Life’ opening scene from the original Trainspotting.  

Gigspiration: Bastille

Gigspiration will be a blog series where I let you know how I enjoyed different bands and their live shows.

I don’t want to write reviews as such but it’ll be my reaction to the night from a music lover and fans point of view.

I’ll start with a few gigs from last year and make my way through to my most recent.

Who: Wild Wild World Tour – Bastille

When: 31.10.16

Where: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

Rating: 4.5 / 5.o

I was persuaded to buy these tickets when I told my brother I had my first pay day from my summer job and he said that he had already bought his tickets so I should go too. And I did.

I do not regret buying them for a second.

This gig was probably one of the best I’ve been too since I attended my first one with my Mum back when I was 14.

I’ve been to concerts at the Motorpoint arena before and sometimes the crowd seems so big compared to the stage and it’s hard to get into the music properly.

Fortunately, Bastille decided to have a mini island stage at the back of the crowd so it felt a hell of a lot more intimate which I think the entire crowd seemed to enjoy.

Dan (Bastille’s frontman) and the others on stage really interacted with us and during ‘Rhythm of the Night’ even got us all down and bouncing waiting for the drop so we could all jump and dance together. It’s not much, but it makes you feel like they really appreciate us all there.

As a build up to this song, which Dan performed on the mini island, he danced his way through the crowd, singing along with us all, being a part of the experience with us, just to get to the tiny stage. He was at one end of the crowd with the rest of the band on stage and all of us in the middle singing our heart out to one of the best showmen about.

The set list as a whole was immense. All of their top songs from this album and their debut made an appearance, making sure that we all knew at least one song.

And the graphics on display on the massive rectangular screens that hung above them were just as impressive.

I think the thought that got me was how much they had put into this whole tour, not just our Cardiff show. It’s obvious that this is what that band loves doing and they definitely do not disappoint at all.

The only reason I deducted a 0.5 from the score was only down to me not really have listened to their second album as much as I should have so whenever they were playing more recent tunes, I couldn’t enjoy them as much as the hits from the first album.

I will not forget this night in a hurry. All I remember is shouting-singing the songs with a smile on my face while jumping up and down with all my friends.

I seriously suggest going to see Bastille live if it’s a headline tour or at a festival of some sort. Do not miss the experience of watching them.

Song of the day: Rhythm of the Night – Bastille

Why? When I was watching them play this in the arena it was one of them moments where you had to be there to really understand the experience. I could never fully explain how good this song was live. It was insane and one of my favorite moments of my life so far.