Twenty years later, we are seeing the follow-up to British cult hit Trainspotting, that too with Danny Boyle returning to the director’s chair. Not only was the 1996 Ewan McGregor-starrer an accurate, hard-hitting portrayal of the strung-out, poor in Edinburgh, it became known for its selection of songs that became the soundtrack for drug abuse and other adventures – one that put it among the best Soundtracks of all time.
So that’s a tough act to follow even for its musical selection. Chances are, this soundtrack is just as indicative of how good the much-anticipated film will be as well. After all, the T2 Trainspotting soundtrack kicks off with an Iggy Pop adrenaline-soaked classic, ‘Lust for Life’, which featured in the original film’s OST as well as an opener. Except for T2 Trainspotting, it gets a slightly more pumped up remix courtesy of The Prodigy.
While the original 1996 OST featured some of the best names in popular on British radio – from Lou Reed to Iggy Pop to New Order and Blur – there is, understandably, a contemporary snapshot of what Britain’s listening to on T2. The noisy ‘Shotgun Mouthwash’ by High Contrast is the new classic for this film, and it’s followed by the slow sadness of alt rockers Wolf Alice’s ‘Silk’.
One of the major acts the filmmakers have clearly taken a shine to are Edinburgh hip-hop trio Young Fathers, picking up the moody but mostly celebratory ‘Get Up’ from their Mercury Prize-winning 2014 album Dead, the catchy ‘Only God Knows’ (an original composition for this soundtrack) and the dance-y ‘Rain Or Shine’.
But Young Fathers aren’t necessarily the main draw on the album. There are familiar hits like the infamous dance pop number ‘Relax’ by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Surprisingly, it switches gears into the solemn, emotional narration of ‘Spud’s Letter’, set to music by Underworld featuring Ewen Bremmer’s soothing vocals.
Amidst classic rock from the likes of Blondie’s ‘Dreaming’, Queen’s ‘Radio Ga Ga’ and The Clash’s ‘(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais’, the noticeable change on T2 is the hip-hop infusion compared to its predecessor. There’s a messed-up life comedy rap of The Rubberbandits on ‘Dad’s Best Friend’, hip house courtesy of Jason Nevins’ 1997 remix of Run DMC’s 80s hit ‘It’s Like That’. Sure, the shimmering noisy rock of Fat White Family (‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’) breaks the flow, but this soundtrack is probably just as epic as the original.