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Date

June 6, 2019

Kat Bein and Sean Cannon The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade, In The Wake Of ‘Rocketman’

A good soundtrack does more than accompany the scene. It creates context, sets a mood, and builds the emotional universe wherein the characters and their problems exist. A proper soundtrack brings depth to the visuals, adds a new dimension, and even helps the audience relate to the fictional world. It brings the movie to life. Best of all, it brings us back to the cinematic experience every time we give it a listen.

Crafting a compelling soundtrack is a feat for any film, but the stakes are even higher when the project in question involves the life story of a musical giant, as is the case with the Elton John biopic Rocketman. Many approaches have been used for soundtracking biopics about musicians over the years.

The soundtrack for Oliver Stone’s 1991 Doors flick was a straight compilation of original recordings, featuring none of Val Kilmer’s performances from the film. The 2007 impressionistic take on Bob Dylan’s many personae, I’m Not There, features a soundtrack that functions as its own tribute to Dylan while being tangentially related to the movie: a four-LP collection of covers, fractions of which appear in I’m Not There.

The Rocketman soundtrack takes a different tack. It follows a path similar to 1978’s The Buddy Holly Story, with Gary Busey singing as Buddy Holly, and 2005’s Walk The Line, with Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon singing as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.

With a voice and personality as large at Elton John’s, this could’ve gone wrong in so many ways. Instead, Rocketman star Taron Egerton holds his own, capturing John’s essence while not trying to imitate him. Having a unique take on the classic tracks was by design, as it turns out.

“I definitely wanted for everyone to know it’s not me singing,” John told Apple Music. “I didn’t want lip-synching. Now, my songs aren’t easy to sing—I know ’cause loads of musicians have told me. He sounds like me, but he also sounds like Taron. Things like Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Take Me To The Pilot, Tiny Dancer are not easy, and it blew my mind when I heard them.”

The result is an engaging album that continually points back to the film while simultaneously standing on its own, and something that makes longtime fans listen closely for the nuances in Egerton’s performances and producer Giles Martin’s arrangements.

Since Rocketman might just be the last monster soundtrack of 2019 — and thus, the decade — we decided to look back at other movie soundtracks in the ’10s from various genres that will be remembered as all-time greats.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Various - Black Panther The Album (Music From And Inspired By) album cover

Black Panther The Album (Music From And Inspired By)

Released on Feb. 16, 2018 — one week before the film saw wide theatrical release — this star-studded LP captured the imaginations of movie and music lovers months before it saw the light of day. Lamar, with his signature knack for balancing commercial appeal with artistic integrity at the expense of neither, was the perfect creative force to spearhead the important job of soundtracking Marvel’s first Afrocentric offering in a way that was both meaningful and entertaining. It’s 14-tracks feature the best minds of a generation, from The Weeknd to SZA, Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz and more. Eight of its songs charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, and it topped the Billboard 200. It’s the definition of a cultural moment, both on screen and off.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Cliff Martinez - Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album cover

Cliff Martinez – Drive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

You can’t talk about Drive without talking about the soundtrack. Released in 2011, the neo-noir thriller featured minimal dialogue. It’s more of an audio-visual experience, driven (pardon the pun) by actors’ expressions and a brilliant use of synthetic sounds. The soundtrack, spearheaded by Cliff Martinez, became as much a foundation of the aesthetically-pleasing experience as Ryan Gosling‘s iconic performance, that car, that jacket or anything else. Opening credit theme “Nightcall,” from French producer Kavinsky featuring CSS singer Lovefoxxx is the standout anthem, but Martinez’ moody compositions give the soundtrack the weight of its sonic personality.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Baby Driver (Music From The Motion Picture) album cover

Baby Driver (Music From The Motion Picture)

The soundtrack to 2017 favorite Baby Driver opens like a punch of funk to the face. It also immediately marries the soundtrack to the plot of the film, as the titular character is introduced by pressing play on an old iPod to play said opening track. The film even takes its name from a Simon and Garfunkel song, which appears at the tail-end of disc two of the massive 30-track double LP. The Baby Driver soundtrack featured tunes from numerous eras with an additional cover of The Commodore’sEasy” by Sky Ferreira, and two original songs from Danger Mouse feat. Run The Jewels and Big Boi, and Kid Koala.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Daft Punk ‎– TRON: Legacy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album cover

Daft Punk ‎– TRON: Legacy (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Reviving a cult classic is always a tricky endeavor. Disney’s ’80s sleeper-hit Tron was a generational favorite for geeks, gamers, and futurists of all kinds. Bringing a modern sequel to life was worrisome until it was announced French electro duo and anthropomorphic robots Daft Punk would score the film. No better match could have been written in the stars. It wasn’t even problematic to feature the duo in an on-screen cameo. The duo’s digital, neon sound perfectly mirrored the grid’s evolved landscape. It also showcased a more cinematic and classically-influenced side of the French touch icons, though it does feature beefier beats on “End of Line,” “Derezzed” the titular end credits theme.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Junkie XL ‎– Mad Max Fury Road album cover

Junkie XL ‎– Mad Max Fury Road

Junkie XL made his name as an electronic dance producer and remixer in the early 2000s, but when he moved out to California, he started his career all over again, learning the ins and outs of film scoring from one of the best in the business; Hans Zimmer. His apocalyptic, industrial masterpiece for Mad Max: Fury Road made him a soundtrack icon in his own right. He performed most of the score single-handedly, outsourcing only the string and brass sections to an orchestra in Sydney, Australia, and subtle guitar features by Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Trent Reznor And Atticus Ross ‎– The Social Network album cover

Trent Reznor And Atticus Ross ‎– The Social Network

This Oscar-winning soundtrack almost never happened. When The Social Network director David Fincher originally approached Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor to come aboard, Reznor initially declined. He’d wanted to take some time off after completing a NIN tour, but soon changed his mind and asked to be considered again. Fincher said he’d waited for him all along. It’s a dark, ambient work that often balances an undercurrent of anxiety with top layers of hopeful melodies.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Various ‎– Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album cover

Various ‎– Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

When music is part of the storyline, you can almost guarantee a killer soundtrack. Guardians of the Galaxy hero Star-Lord lives his life around the mix-tapes his deceased mother made for him, and Momma Star-Lord had great taste. Composed of ’70s classics from David Bowie, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and more, it tapped into nostalgia for a Golden Age of rock, funk, and soul everyone can agree on. It topped the Billboard Soundtracks chart for 11 consecutive weeks.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Mogwai ‎– Atomic album cover

Mogwai ‎– Atomic

Not all soundtracks amplify works of fiction. This 10-song instrumental from Scottish post-rockers Mogwai helps tell the true story of life in a post-nuclear age. The documentary film, full title Atomic, Living in Dread and Promise, is constructed from archival footage, exploring the pros and cons of life and death in the 70 years since the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The band performed the soundtrack in full during a showing at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2016, a year after its 2015 release.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Django Unchained (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album cover

Django Unchained (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Director Quentin Tarantino has always been known for his wild characters, ground-breaking storylines and killer soundtracks. Django Unchained is his stab at a spaghetti western, and the soundtracks dutifully reflects the untamed frontier sound. It takes serious sonic cues from ’60s genre staples like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly with definite nods to ’70s soul and modern hip-hop. It features original songs from Rick Ross and Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton, and Ennio Morricone and Elisa.

The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World album cover

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

This adaptation of the cult favorite graphic novel of the same name may be the most perfect indie kid teenage love story of all time. It’s only fitting that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World gets the perfect indie rock soundtrack. Metric, The Rolling Stones, The Black Lips, T.Rex and more all make appearances, as well as a handful of songs written by Beck Hansen for the film’s fictional band Sex Bob-Omb.

This article was produced in partnership with UMG.

The post The Best Movie Soundtracks Of The Decade, In The Wake Of ‘Rocketman’ appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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Wire Playlist: Caterina Barbieri

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letters@jazzwise.com (Mike Flynn)

Iconic London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s will mark its 60th anniversary in style when artists associated with the world famous venue line-up for a special charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 30 October.

The starry line-up includes revered Irish singer Van Morrison, popular Irish songstress Imelda May, renowned US singer Madeline Bell, Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling, celebrated Brit-jazz singer Georgie Fame and top UK-based saxophonists Pee Wee Ellis and Courtney Pine. Ronnie’s regulars also appearing include a trio of acclaimed singers – Natalie Williams, Ian Shaw and Liane Carroll – as well as leading trumpeter/arranger Guy Barker whose association with the venue goes back to his teenage years and an early encounter at age 17 when he played with Dizzy Gillespie.

The club’s resident pianist and MD James Pearson will lead the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, while bandleader Pete Long will direct the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. The evening’s programme will tell the story of the club, which was founded by Ronnie Scott and Pete King in Gerrard Street in 1959, with proceeds from the gala concert going to the venue’s Charitable Foundation.

The club’c Managing Director, Simon Cooke, commented on the concert’s line-up: “We are transporting the club, for one night only, into the slightly larger Royal Albert Hall but have every intention of recreating the unique atmosphere we have here in Frith Street. It’s wonderful that so many artists have asked to appear at the show and is indicative of the affection and importance the club holds in London and across the world.’’

Mike Flynn

For more info visit www.royalalberthall.com

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CAS Neil Young ‘After The Gold Rush’

By the end of the 1960s Neil Young was catching the ear of many influential figures – not least his old band mate Stephen Stills, who was now part of the Grammy-winning folk-rock super group Crosby, Stills & Nash. The band were keen to have him onboard as a sideman, but Young was insistent that he be given a full title credit as a condition for his contributions. Stills frequently found himself fighting with Young for control over the band’s songwriting, and has famously said that the latter “wanted to play folk music in a rock band.”

Check out Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy’s hour long podcast telling the story behind the album.


Read more: The Story Of Neil Young ‘After The Gold Rush’

The post Neil Young ‘After The Gold Rush’ appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

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CAS James Lavelle on Classical Music at Classic Album Sundays

UNKLE and Mo’ Wax Records’ founder James Lavelle in conversation with Classic Album Sundays’ founder and BBC Radio 6 Music host Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy, as part of Royal Albert Hall’s ‘Love Classical’ series.

James and Colleen will define the relationship between classical music, hip-hop and electronica, which as James says “has been the foundation of things that I’ve done in my career musically.”


Read more: DJ Shadow “Endtroducing” presented by Ben Murphy

 

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Mark Kimber Forgotten Classic: Nirvana ‘Bleach’

By the time of Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, Nirvana’s meteoric rise to fame had brought the age of rock iconography to its logical and tragic conclusion. Following the release of their second album Nevermind in 1991, the band were catapulted to the upper echelons of the music industry, despite lacking the skills to safely navigate this world of excess. For Kurt Cobain – whose reluctance to embody the teen idol archetype ironically stoked pop culture’s hunger for marketable rebellion – the pressures of this lifestyle, and the corrupting influence of its attendant vices, proved too much to handle.

While Nevermind is seen as the band’s bold breakthrough, and In Utero considered a middle finger to the fans it attracted, in retrospect their 1989 debut Bleach sounds like a relic from a simpler time. A thick, sludgy soup of sound that rigorously stuck to an established grunge recipe, the album embodied what was by then a codified stye of rock with a strong network of followers loyal to local labels and venues. But whilst the band didn’t set out to rewrite the rule book, Bleach displays early signs of the confusion surrounding their identity – where exactly did Nirvana fit into the modern rock landscape?


Read: The Story of Nirvana ‘Nevermind’

The band’s debut single ‘Love Buzz’ – a cover of Shocking Blue’s brilliant 1969 album cut – held some indications of the musical influences percolating within Cobain’s head. A beefy American makeover, the song dials up the intensity of its spidery Dutch progenitor with searing psych rock flourishes layered atop a bare-bones garage beat, invoking the likes of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and the Pixies. Nirvana’s thirst for simple, ear worming melodies – here satisfied by Krist Novoselic’s acrobatic bass line – was largely informed by Cobain’s love of ‘60s rock and pop. Refracting this inclination through the murky prism of grunge threw Nirvana’s unique approach into sharp relief.

They signed a deal with the burgeoning indie rock powerhouse Sub Pop, who, following the critical success of ‘Love Buzz’, asked the band to record an EP. Nirvana, however, were ready to commit to a full album, and turned up to their sessions armed with a plethora of new material. Recording with influential Seattle producer Jack Endino the band’s first five hour session of Christmas Eve 1988 commenced a month long process of committing heavily rehearsed material to tape. Cobain and Novoselic had experienced some difficulty securing a permanent drummer, following the departure of previous players such as Aaron Burkhardt and Dave Foster, eventually asking the Melvins’ Dale Crover to perform on a ten track demo. Despite welcoming Chad Channing soon after, Crover still appears on three of the album’s tracks – “Floyd the Barber”, “Paper Cuts”, and “Downer”.

Even at this early stage of Nirvana’s career, Cobain was feeling somewhat indentured to the cultural conditions in which he found himself. Suppressing the urge to flex his pop-songwriting muscles, he adhered to the hard rock sensibility of the era out of a desire to please Sub Pop and build a solid fanbase within the grunge scene. Informed by the likes of Black Sabbath and Motörhead, Bleach highlights such as ‘School’ and ‘Negative Creep’ mainline the high-octane distorted death charge of the heavy metal pioneers with a focus on simplistic sensory overload.


Read: Forgotten Classic: Unwound ‘Fake Train’

There were nonetheless hints of Cobain’s emotional vulnerability. ‘About A Girl’, in dedication to the frontman’s girlfriend Tracy Marander, was a risky yet inspired addition to the track-list. Written after Cobain had spent the afternoon listening to The Beatle’s second album, Meet The Beatles!, the song embodies the melancholic style for which the songwriter would later become iconic, revolving around a simple yet subtly evocative chord sequence. In his typically conflicted style, the lyrics detail his ailing relationship with Marander, citing his own laziness and lack of domestic cleanliness as a source of major conflict.

Despite eventually becoming Nirvana’s main draw, Cobain was already dismissive of his own lyrical prowess. Although his words artfully channel the necessary teenage angst throughout Bleach, for the frontman they were low on the list of priorities, often written late at night in a fit of sleep-deprived rage or in hurried scrawl on the car ride to the studio. This viscous, off-the-cuff style is epitomised on songs such as ‘Scoff’ and ‘Floyd The Barber’ which mix oblique references to Cobain’s troubled upbringing with irreverent scenarios that seem to deflect deeper analysis. There are moments of horrific yet poetic brilliance however; in particular, the menacing ‘Paper Cuts’, which paints a grim tableau of personal humiliation lurking in past memories.

Recorded for around $600, there’s a naïvety to Bleach, a commercial flop that marks its unique place in the band’s discography. Nirvana were still finding their way through the murk of grunge, scraping away the layers to hone a style of songwriting that would reach its peak just a few years later on Nevermind. Their debut is hailed by some purists as the band’s finest work, but this honour is rightfully bestowed upon their third and final album In Utero, which rallied against expectations by mining the same muddy vein as Bleach. In its wildest moments, such as ‘Scentless Apprentice’ and ‘Tourettes’, the ghost of their debut lingers like a devil on the shoulder. Through retrospective rediscovery, Bleach finds its rightful place as the hidden heart of Nirvana’s brief but bright phenomenon.

Owen Jones


Read: Forgotten Classic: Dinosaur Jr ‘You’re Living All Over Me’

 

The post Forgotten Classic: Nirvana ‘Bleach’ appeared first on Classic Album Sundays.

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SoLil 10 Reasons To Go Record Shopping In Athens, Greece

Last year, we visited Athens, Greece for the first time and were blown away by the record scene there. As if the astonishing Acropolis rising up in the middle of the city, the mouth-watering food and the beautiful weather weren’t enough! Here are 10 reasons to go record shopping in Athens and book your flight for a vinyl vacation right now.

Record shopping in Athens Mr. Vinylios

1. 30(!) Record shops.
With around 30 record shops scattered around the city center, most of them in walking distance of each other and otherwise only a few metro stops away, we unfortunately weren’t able to visit them all in the few days we were there (We tried!). A good selection all around, check out VinylHub for more info and create your list of shops to visit.

Record shopping in Athens

2. A wealth of 90s releases on vinyl.
Whether it’s Nirvana, Moby, Soundgarden or any other of the 90’s staples you’re into, we guarantee you’ll find original pressings by the dozen. Save up in advance or be prepared to make some tough choices…

Record shopping in Athens Metal Releases Greece

3. Heaven for Metal fans.
Most of the shops we visited had an extensive Metal selection, and there were quite a few dedicated Metal shops. Classics, new releases, boxsets, t-shirts and other merch in abundance!

Record shopping in Athens Tok Tok

4. Greek pressings by international artists.
I mean, a Mini album by Tok Tok?! Local pressings of your favorite albums are the best souvenirs to take home from anywhere, but the sleeves with Greek writing are extra special. Just ensure your record bags are closed when your plane takes off otherwise your gems might slide across the whole cabin (yep, I can confirm that is indeed embarrassing…).

Record shopping in Athens Greek releases

5. Greek pressings by Greek artists.
Every shop has a large selection of Greek music, and the shop staff will be happy to guide you to some gems that you don’t even know exist. Whether you’re into traditional music, folk, classical, rock or psychedelic music, there is so much to discover!

Record shopping in Athens

6. Good deals.
We found very good quality records at reasonable prices, in the shops and at the record fair.

Athens Record Sellers

7. Great Shop owners.
Knowledgeable, patient, friendly, happy to chat and with a good sense of humour – How we like them best!

Record shopping in Athens Ikaros records

8. Greek record labels.
The Greek music scene is an interesting one with active independent labels like Ikaros RecordsΤο Δισκάδικο, B-Otherside, Sound Effect RecordsInner Ear Records, Geheimnis Records, United We Fly Records, Fabrika Records and many more. Check out what they have been releasing recently online, or ask in the shops.

Monastiraki

9. Loads to see & do for your not-so-interested partner/friend/family.
Most of the record shops in Athens are based in or around the Monastiraki area and in Exarchia. The first is home to the flea market and hundreds of small shops with clothing, art, crafts and souvenirs. The second is the more alternative district with amazing graffiti all around. Enough to keep your travel companion(s) occupied. In both areas you’ll find cozy bars and terraces to enjoy the weather and rest your feet after your record shop crawl.

Record shopping in Athens Vinyl is Back

10. Record Fairs.

While we were in Athens we attended the Vinyl is Back record fair. And if any of the other fairs in Greece are like this, you’ll have a field day (or weekend!). We enjoyed the laid back atmosphere, the large turnout, the crowd (from young families to the elderly) and of course the friendly sellers.

All in all: Greece is a great record shopping destination, you won’t regret spending a few days there. And if you can’t make it to Greece, you can of course always explore what’s on offer from our Greek sellers on Discogs!

Greece Record Shops

Have you been record shopping in Athens/Greece? Share your experience and recommendations in the comments!

This article was first published in March 2018

The post 10 Reasons To Go Record Shopping In Athens, Greece appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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