Create Your Own Movie Soundtrack
I’m sure by now that all my reader(sic) will have read my book The Beatle Man. If not, what are you waiting for? It’s only 85p! In the unlikely event that you haven’t read it yet, stop reading this post now, spend 85p and come back when you’re finished. This post contains a few glimmers of spoilers, would hate to spoil the, ahem, fun.
I’m also sure that at some point soon that I’ll be inundated with offers to turn the book into a film/episode of Taggart/pulped to make bog roll holders. And when the big film offer does come, I will relinquish all creative control provided I can help choose songs for the soundtrack. Coz that’s the cool bit right?
So, to encourage those film rights offers to come flooding in, here is my first go at the wonder that would be the soundtrack of the movie The Beatle Man – which, for lots of horrible legal reasons, would end up being called something stupid like “Death In Glasgow” or “Gone With The Weegie“. Similarly, for copyright and cost reasons – using Beatles’ songs is probably out. Also, much as I’d like to, I’m assuming that a bespoke composition by Thomas Newman or Tan Dun is perhaps beyond the budget of this small, independent production. Oh, and John Barry is dead, so he’s out.
As ever with my New Year meme, I would encourage you, Dear Reader, to have a go at your own song selections. I admit that this could be tricky as, in the unlikely event that you have read the book, it may have been some time ago and you have literally no idea what happens. I can sympathise with this. I only recently re-read it myself and it was quite a surprise to me too.
I have chosen a few key scenes that would need suitable musical accompaniment. If your fave scene isn’t here, feel free to freestyle and come up with your own. I’ll let you all off the hook early by saying that, of all my daft memes herein, this is the least likely to get any responses! But still I soldier on for my own entertainment. This is my blog, readers are optional, participants even more so.
So, caution : below be spoilers…
Danny is driving to start work in Glasgow
You know Grosse Point Blank? At the starts he’s in the car and Blister In The Sun by The Violent Femmes is playing? How cool is that? We’ll be having some of that, but instead of that, I’m going to have Temptation by New Order. The scenes on the road cut with what happens to Danny that night, the songs ends and Danny eyes open, the camera looking up and out and the smiling face of a nurse…
EDIT : After my drive to work today, I’m now thinking Hit The North by The Fall might work better here.
Danny is in the club dancing
There are so many good club scenes, dark and thumping frenzies, like in City of God, that’s a great one. For mine, I’m going to use The Rhinohead by Von Sudenfed. Why? Because it’s great, that’s why.
EDIT : I’m inclined to go with In Yer Face by 808 State here.
Not a key part in the plot, but the funeral of Danny’s Dad gives a great opportunity to more gloom. We like gloom. I’ve got a Dark Side too. Is Atmosphere by Joy Division too obvious? Who cares if it is!
Mrs Moyes Weeps
She does y’know. It’s very sad for her, it really is, you should read it. This doesn’t need a whole track so we’ll have a very short snippet of Her Eyes Are Underneath the ground by Anthony and The Johnsons.
Danny is dragging the twins through the streets of Glasgow and, at one point, almost gives up. We need something to reflect this dark moment. Was tempted by the idiotic juxtaposition of using Strange Fruit- but that makes no sense and Kermode would have a field day, so we’re going to go with You and Whose Army by Radiohead. It’s dark and, oh yeah, I can see you nodding, quite fitting.
Like any great female lead, Kelly needs a moment of focus so we can see things from Danny’s viewpoint and reflect on how lovely she is. But we can’t be too smoltzy. This ain’t no rom-com buddy, so I’m going with Sparky’s Dream by Teenage Fanclub over a wee Kelly montage. Given how unerringly grim everything else is, need something as a mood counterpoint ( *cough* ).
Danny fights his Dad. Probably done as a flashback style thing. Needs something angry over the top. Or does it? That’s a bit obvious. This is cutting edge film making, it challenges, it makes you think. Pleasant Valley Sunday by The Monkees. Aaah, I get it. Do I?
The Journey To Work
One of my favourite bits of the book is Danny’s mundane yet, slightly elegiac, commute to work on the Glasgow Underground. Obviously, your amateur film types would go for something obvious by Massive Attack, Teardrop or Angel (yes, Guy Ritchie, I’m looking at you) – not me, or Danny Boyle ( who is bound to show an interest ). Me and Danny are going for All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Bauhaus. Elegiac, mournful even, fits well. All together now “Factory town“. Not a dry eye in the house. “Oh to be the cream.” Grown men shuffle uncomfortably in their seats reflecting on lost promise.
The Plane Crash
I see this as being a very abstract montage, lots of slow motion, perhaps in black and white because that’s arty and, let’s face it, Anton Corbin is a shoe-in to direct. Played over this is Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, BMV 244 No. 1. A beautiful, yet chilling edifice of cinematic glory.
Approaching the End Game
As Charlie and Kelly walk up through the forest in the breaking light of dawn, a slow fade in to Winter Kills by Yazoo. Awesome. Hairs stand up on back of neck. Boyfriends finally admit this was a bad choice for a first date movie.
We rise to the emotional zenith, the big reveal, a dreadful scene. You’ve read it, you know what I mean. How good is this? The camera pans low over the floor, the music slowly rises, Asleep by The Smiths. Honestly, it’s Oscar winning stuff.
Now, there is a chance that Danny Boyle might want some sort of boys versus girls dance-off at the end in the style of Slumdog but, despite what I said earlier, neither me nor Anton Corbin will allow it. There is only one choice for the end, Long Distance by The Turin Brakes. Fade to black.
You ignored the spoiler warnings and read on anyway didn’t you, you little minx? You thought you could glean enough of the plot to convince me that you’d read it without having to pay the 85p? Well done you. But, I know what you’re thinking, that might not be a bad film actually and the soundtrack album would be totes amazeballs – well – fear not, the Soundtrack is available in this lovingly constructed Spotify playlist – enjoy! If, in the very unlikely event that you have a go at this yourself, please add the songs to the playlist for my reader(sic) to enjoy.
Now, go harass some film people so we can do this thing. Not for the money you understand. For the art.
Happy New Year!