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Best Movie Soundtracks: Trainspotting

On November 3, 2015

picture via PixelVulture

words by Marcie H.

I was in a music store with a friend checking out the CD listening stations (remember those?) and saw they had the Trainspotting soundtrack which I knew I would buy even before listening. But I wanted to check it out and make my friend listen since she insisted on not seeing the movie (she was afraid it wouldn’t be as good as the trailers made it seem… yeah, weird). I hit play and was met with the exciting drum intro to Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life,” except it was just drums. Thinking I had found a hidden track, I told my friend that it was like that Track 0 from The X-Files CD soundtrack, Songs in the Key of X. That’s a real thing, in case you didn’t know. Check it out.

You’re all laughing at me right now, as you should. Hidden track on the Trainspotting soundtrack? Just the drum track from “Lust for Life”? Sure enough, after handing over the headphones to my friend so she could hear it she said she didn’t know what I was talking about, that there was nothing unusual. It turns out the headphone jack was loose. I’m shaking my head right now with the memory.

Anyway, Trainspotting and its soundtrack, released in 1996, brought new fans to Iggy Pop, made Brit Pop more ubiquitous, not to mention showed how heroin addiction is pretty sad and disgusting, and was so popular it generated a second soundtrack. The energetic sounds of Iggy Pop, Sleeper and New Order meet the melancholic downturns of Brian Eno, Lou Reed and Blur. Let’s also not forget that outstanding Underworld track, “Born Slippy .NUXX,” an alcoholic’s cry for help according to Karl Hyde from Underworld. The soundtrack is an all-around great combination of past and present looking towards the future, just as the character Renton does at the end as he walks away with the money, abandoning his friends, looking confident at his chances on the straight and narrow but we, the audience, know better.

Stream the soundtrack here:


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