A CULT CLASSIC, a cultural phenomenon, a ground-breaking moment in British cinema. A film that defined an era with shocking darkness, ecstatic joy and grim realism.
Trainspotting found itself at the forefront of a countercultural movement when it was released in 1996. So entrenched in the cultural zeitgeist of its time, the film ultimately became known for its soundtrack as much as its iconic characters. Arriving at a time when rock & roll was a force to be reckoned with and Britpop was in full flow, it became synonymous with the music of its time; providing a snapshot of 1996 Britain through its portrayal of punk, Britpop and rave culture.
If one scene could sum up the exuberant youth culture of mid-nineties Britain, it would be the sight of a starved and sickly Ewan McGregor running down Princes Street to the thumping sounds of Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’. Whether it was Renton overdosing to the inimitable sounds of Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’ or Brian Eno’s unearthly ‘Deep Blue Day’ joining ‘the worst toilet in Scotland’ scene, Danny Boyle always found the perfect musical accompaniment to the surrounding narrative.
Widely regarded as having one of the best soundtracks in film history, it was no surprise that as soon as Trainspotting’s long awaited sequel was confirmed, speculation began to circulate about its proposed new tracklisting and whether it would have the same cultural impact as its predecessor.
Now that it has been confirmed, fans have been quick to note that Boyle has opted for a modern makeover while retaining the film’s original aesthetic; adding a number of new artists to the iconic names of before. With modern remixes of its two classics, Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’ and Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’, the soundtrack will also include the grungy shoegaze stylings of Wolf Alice, the audaciously primitive sounds of Fat White Family and the eclectic Rubberbandits.
Featured most heavily though are Scotland’s very own Young Fathers. As one of the most innovative and forward-thinking bands in today’s music scene, they make for an inspired choice and will undoubtedly fit in with Boyle’s desired countercultural aesthetic. Described by the director as ‘the heartbeat of the film’, the band have just revealed the stunning new track ‘Only God Knows’ which features a stirring performance from the Leith Congregational Choir. Already stirring plenty of online interest, it seems inevitable that it will follow in the footsteps of ‘Lust For Life’ as the film’s landmark track.
With anticipation building in the run up to its release, Trainspotting fans don’t have long to wait. While the original soundtrack not only revived Iggy Pop’s career but provided a perfect snapshot of the nineties’ era-defining youth culture, Danny Boyle has refused to simply relive past glories with this new tracklisting and has chosen to highlight the brilliantly varied and disparate sounds of 2017. Whether it will be as iconic as its predecessor is unknown, but it indicates Trainspotting’s continual and maturing relationship with our collective culture.
T2 Trainspotting comes out in UK cinemas on 27th January. Check out the trailer and soundtrack below. Read our review of the film here.
1. Iggy Pop – ‘Lust for Life’ (The Prodigy Remix)
2. High Contrast – ‘Shotgun Mouthwash’
3. Wolf Alice – ‘Silk’
4. Young Fathers – ‘Get Up’
5. Frankie Goes to Hollywood – ‘Relax’
6. Underworld /Ewen Bremner – ‘Eventually But (Spud’s Letter to Gail)’
7. Young Fathers – ‘Only God Knows’
8. The Rubberbandits – ‘Dad’s Best Friend’
9. Blondie – ‘Dreaming’
10. Queen – ‘Radio Ga Ga’
11. Run D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevis – ‘It’s Like That’
12. The Clash – ‘(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais’
13. Young Fathers – ‘Rain or Shine’
14. Fat White Family – ‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’
15. Underworld – ‘Slow Slippy’