A Life Less Ordinary’s soundtrack will inevitably be compared to the stormer that accompanied Trainspotting. TIM WHEELER of Ash takes the competition in his stride.
Words: Brian Donaldson
‘YEAH, OK, THE film may have been rotten but what a soundtrack, man.’ Once, film music was incidental, complementing. maybe even adding mood and flavour to a scene rather than being a separate living being of its own. Michael Nyman can never truly be listened to without stirring in the mind’s eye an image of a naked Shakespearean courtier, Siamese twins or an angst-ridden zebra.
While the notion of cobbling several acts together on one soundtrack in a compilation- type way is hardly new, the latest rash, sparked partly by Quentin Tarantino. have their own distinctive identities. The most potent example has to be Trainspotting, with its keynote moments belonging to Iggy Pop and Underworld.
The trio behind that critical/box- office/marketing triumph, Danny Boyle (director), Andrew Macdonald (producer) and John Hodge (scriptwriter) have assembled another bunch of rhythmic eclecticians for A Life Less Ordinary.
The soundtrack ranges from the hyper- smooth deadbeat of Beck’s ‘Deadweight’, to REM’s stripped to the breeches revamping of their own ’Leave’, onward to predictably pumping contributions from The Prodigy and Underworld and a brace of insertions from the archives courtesy of Elvis and Bobby Darin. And can anyone go wrong by sticking in a track by the Squirrel Nut Zippers?
But the big prize of title track goes to those Northern Irish young Turks, Ash, with a typically throbbing quasi-anthemie 250 seconds’ worth of pop artistry.
‘I think Danny Boyle being quite into our music was why we were asked,’ states Ash frontman and girlie teen pinoup Tim Wheeler, who wrote the title track to A Life Less Ordinary. ‘We were very pleased because they were very cool after Trainspotting, so we couldn’t say no, really.’
Commenting on his most enduring memory of Trainspotting, he says: ‘I guess the swimming scene in the bog was my favourite bit.’ Tried a spot of that, Tim? ‘Yeah, many times.’
Right, so anyway. ’In February we went to
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London to see some of A Life [.ass Ordinary and the scene which we were to play with,’ he says. ‘It’s the batik robbery where Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz go to rob the bank. he gets shot in the leg and they have their first kiss.’
The true test of the song’s durability will be how often you hear a selected snatch of it on TV and radio. This is best described as the Mata/t QfT/za Day syndrome where a snippet of soundtrack pops up to accompany every overhead ﬂick, mistimed tackle or scenes of distraught Geordies sniffling into their scarves. ‘It‘s good to have your music used anywhere but it’s mainly good for the royalties.’ says Wheeler.
Boyle's babies: Tim Wheeler (second right) and Ash
1997 sees the Ash lads and lass - new guitarist and ex-Nightnurse Charlotte Hatherley — back in the studio to work on more royalty cheques with the follow-up to /977. ‘You’II be able to tell it’s Ash but there’s a different ﬂavour compared to l977,’ insists Wheeler. ‘I‘m not influenced by what’s going on at the minute. really. Things have gone a bit avant-garde over the last year with the Radiohead album. which has had a mild influence. I suppose.’
Expect something out of the ordinary.
The soundtrack album for A Life Less Ordinary and the title single by Ash are out now on A&M.
up the big screen in A Life Less Ordinary wasn’t
even have to go out to have A Life Less Ordinary.
novel (Penguin) and screenplay (Faber And Faber). HOW TO ENTER: All you have to do to win is answer the question:
Who wrote the title track for the soundtrack of A Life Less Ordinary?
THE CD, THE NOVEL &
AS IF EWAN McGregor and Cameron Diaz burning
enough, prepare yourself for an extraordinary, full-
We have ten prizes of the movie soundtrack, the novel and the screenplay to give away - so you don't
Ash, Underworld, Beck, The Prodigy, REM and more head up an astounding soundtrack CD, while A Life Less Ordinary writer John Hodge provides the words for the
Answers on a postcard by Fri 7 Nov. Mark them: LIFE LESS ORDINARY COMP, The List, 14 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TE.
24 Oct~6 Nov 1997 THE LIST15