T2 Trainspotting

The iconic soundtrack revisited & updated

Tuesday 3rd January 2017

1996. A year packed with pop culture moments. It saw Oasis play Knebworth to a crowd of 125,000, Jarvis Cocker upstage the King Of Pop at the Brit Awards and a revitalised The Prodigy terrify Middle-England when ‘Firestarter’ hit number one and stayed there for three weeks.

It was also the year the film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel ‘Trainspotting’ became a cultural phenomenon. The most talked about film of the year came complete with a much-emulated poster and a killer soundtrack. The Trainspotting soundtrack helped the film become one of the most iconic of the ‘90s, and was so successful a Volume 2 was later released due to public demand.

Fast forward twenty one years and ‘T2 Trainspotting’, the sequel to the original film is due for release on January 27th across the UK. A soundtrack once again accompanies the film, taking obvious inspiration from its 1996 predecessor.

‘Lust For Life’ by Iggy Pop again opens the T2 soundtrack. Danny Boyle’s choice to use the thundering drums on the track to mirror the running feet of Ewan McGregor made the opening scene of the original film one of the most memorable of all time.

‘Lust For Life’ returns for the sequel, this time remixed by The Prodigy. Recruiting The Prodigy for a remix is perhaps a reference to the original film itself - 1996 was the breakout year for The Prodigy after all. Trainspotting helped Iggy Pop himself receive something of a career renaissance, opening up ‘Lust For Life’ and ‘Nightclubbing’ to a new generation, and firmly ingraining both tracks in British popular culture.

Unsurprisingly, Underworld also return for the T2 soundtrack, closing the set with a song called ‘Slow Slippy’, rumoured to be a new take on ‘Born Slippy (Nuxx)’. Starting out as an obscure Underworld B-Side, ‘Born Slippy’ came to close the original film after Boyle discovered the song on a CD single, using the tracks clattering drums to mimic Ewan McGregor’s character Renton’s beating heart. Heard everywhere from dancefloors to terraces once the film was released, ‘Born Slippy’ is now frequently referred to (and voted) one of the defining songs of the ‘90s.

Blondie’s ‘Dreaming’ also features on the T2 tracklisting, again perhaps a reference to the original film. Whilst Blondie themselves were absent from the 1996 original, their classic track ‘Atomic’ covered by Britpop heroes Sleeper memorably accompanied a key scene in the film featuring Ewan McGregor and Kelly MacDonald’s rebellious schoolgirl character Diane. The presence of Sleeper, Blur and Pulp on the original soundtrack helped lend a Britpop cool to the film, arguably aligning it to the definitive late 90’s subculture - similar to how Quadrophenia came to be embraced by the Mods 17 years earlier.

Alongside references to its original counterpart, the T2 soundtrack also looks forward - featuring two tracks from Edinburgh based hip hop collective Young Fathers, Fat White Family with ‘Whitest Boy On The Beach’ and ‘Silk’ by Wolf Alice - a standout track from their 2015 debut ‘My Love Is Cool’ and the first song known from T2 – heard here backing the trailer:

The trailer showcases a contemporary update to McGregor’s much-quoted 'Choose Life' intro monologue with 0-hour contracts, social media and reality TV now namechecked instead of the big TV's, compact disc players and game shows of the ‘96 original.

Full tracklist for 'T2 Trainspotting':

1. Lust for Life (The Prodigy Remix) - Iggy Pop
2. Shotgun Mouthwash - High Contrast
3. Silk - Wolf Alice
4. Get Up - Young Fathers
5. Relax - Frankie Goes to Hollywood
6. Eventually But (Spud's Letter to Gail) [feat. Ewen Bremner] - Underworld
7. Only God Knows - Young Fathers
8. Dad's Best Friend - The Rubberbandits
9. Dreaming - Blondie
10. Radio Ga Ga - Queen
11. It's Like That - Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins
12. (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais - The Clash
13. Rain Or Shine - Young Fathers
14. Whitest Boy On the Beach - Fat White Family
15. Slow Slippy - Underworld

T2 Trainspotting 2 arrives in cinemas 27th January 2017. The Soundtrack will be available to buy the same day. 

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