Velvet Goldmine, Music From The Original Motion Picture (London)

Posted December 31st, 1998 by admin

Velvet Goldmine
Music From The Original Motion Picture
By: Eric G.

The new film by Todd Haynes (Safe) purports to recreate the sex, drugs, and debauchery of the Glam movement of the 1999's with Ewan McGregor and Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing human amalgams of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and T-Rex. The soundtrack, under Michael Stipe's watchful eye, tries to be loyal to the cause, mixing current flashes in the pan with sure-fire Glam staples.

Most of the bands attempt their best Bowie impersonations, and the prize goes to Shudder To Think's Nathan Larson, whose voice sounds disturbingly like the Godfather of Glam himself, Ziggy Stardust, in "Hot One." Grant Lee Buffalo comes in a close second with "The Whole Shebang", which sounds like an outtake from Bowie's Hunky Dory. Pulp, whose debt to Bowie can never be repaid, does a bang up job on "We Are The Boys", and Teenage Fanclub makes a surprisingly aggressive showing with Elastica's Donna Matthews on "Personality Crisis."

The all-star line up of The Venus In Furs, one of the two bands formed exclusively for this soundtrack, features Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead), Bernard Butler (ex-Suede), and Andy Mackay, an original member of Roxy Music, hamming it up convincingly for five tracks. Both McGregor and Meyers get to sing two songs by The Venus In Furs, but it’s Yorke’s Glam affectation that fleshes out the Furs’ truly pompous, over the top sound.

Next to Roxy Music’s “Virginia Plain” and Lou Reed’s “Satellite’s Of Love”, Placebo’s “20th Century Boy” sounds frivolous and contrived, but that is the exception to the rule on this soundtrack. The current bands hold their own for the most part even in the presence of T-Rex’s “Diamond Meadows” and Steve Harley’s highly revered “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me).” I just hope the film lives up to the glitz and glam of its soundtrack.

Tags: review