The new soundtrack for T2 Trainspotting is available now. Last Friday the highly anticipated film premiered in theaters across the UK, and in just a few weeks we will finally be able to see it stateside. Trainspotting was a definitive movie of its time and the original soundtrack was just as impactful upon release. Even Iggy Pop’s seminal Lust for Life benefitted from the frenzy. Is there any way the music for the sequel can live up to expectations?
It’s no secret that director Danny Boyle is mad about music. The man is a walking jukebox with the ability to seamlessly use profound needle drops in his films with seemingly no effort at all. His movies all feature amazing soundtracks that on their own come off as excellent compilation albums. With T2 Trainspotting, Boyle mixes new music with old classics to define his characters and set the tone of their world. Here are seven music videos from artists featured on the soundtrack that start off fun and get terrifying fast.
Blondie – Dreaming
Of all the returning artists that are back for T2, Blondie’s Daydreaming is one of the best carryovers from the original film. Atomic played during one of Trainspotting’s most memorable sequences and gave the song an entirely new life 16 years after its initial release. Blondie’s seductive and energetic track is a high point in the first film, and having the band’s music featured in the sequel is a welcome inclusion.
Young Fathers – Get Up
Where Iggy Pop managed to define the tone of Trainspotting, Young Fathers seems to take up the mantle for T2. Featured three times on the soundtrack alone with a song specifically written for the film, this group is the Edinburgh sound these characters have grown into. Get Up feels like a blend of uplifting energy with revolutionary undertones. This song might as well be Renton’s anthem at this point.
Queen – Radio Ga Ga
Another classic needle drop, Queen commands the attention of the listener with one of their greatest tracks. Radio Ga Ga is placed upon a pedestal alongside the rest of the soundtrack. In an album filled with modern pop and hip-hop, Queen’s triumphant single struts its stuff as a drum machine driven electronic opus. Freddie Mercury is in great company on this record, but just like in life he stands out as the star of it all.
Run-D.M.C. – It’s Like That
Probably the most fun and energetic anthem of failed adulthood on the soundtrack, Run-D.M.C.’s It’s Like That is real talk in it’s purest form. After all the hopes and dreams of Trainspotting’s characters have been washed away by two decades, everyone comes to a harsh realization. Their youth has faded and all that time wasted is lost. Renton, Sick Boy, Begbie and Spud have a new lease on life, but they’re still as disillusioned as ever.
The Clash – (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais
Combining musical elements of reggae, punk and early ska, The Clash wrote (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais as a call to arms and rebellion. Joe Strummer’s lyrics recount a real-life showcase where powerful bands performed in front of London crowds with little fervor. It’s reflective of the punk philosophy Sick Boy preaches in Trainspotting. The song is a jab at the establishment, yet our characters are still only in it for the money.
The Rubberbandits – Dad’s Best Friend
This is where the music of T2 Trainspotting starts getting really scary. The plotline that Begbie is finally out of prison is terrifying enough since Renton is back in town, but this song kicks in halfway through the soundtrack and completely changes the tone of the album. Dad’s Best Friend by The Rubberbandits is absolutely manic. The NSFW lyrics and disturbing themes present are unnerving and cringe-inducing. Nobody should act this way. With a beat and rhythm almost too similar to The Knife’s Full of Fire, this is a musical horror story.
Fat White Family – Whitest Boy on the Beach
Written and performed by a band just as radical as their music, Whitest Boy on the Beach is a musical maelstrom of sickness and filth. Made in a time when members of the band were literally riding the line between life and death, this track is a haunting pop ballad that crescendos into a whirlwind. Even the extreme video featuring controversial and immoral imagery is a sight to intense for some. It’s no wonder they filmed it at the infamous Beachy Head cliff site. Danny Boyle couldn’t have picked a darker track for T2’s climax if he tried.