After the cult success of the original Trainspotting soundtrack, which continues to effortlessly and timelessly resonate with youth culture, T2 Trainspotting’s soundtrack had a hell of a lot to live up to.
From that classic, pulsating intro to Renton and co, provided by Iggy Pop’s Lust For Life, to the goosebump-inducing feelgood factor of Underworld’s Born Slippy – NUXX backing the closing monologue, the music to Danny Boyle’s 1996 blockbuster was an undisputed masterstroke.
As a result, the question posed to the team behind the tunes for T2 was as follows: stick or twist?
The answer is that T2’s soundtrack achieves an exquisite equilibrium of old and new, combining glorious nostalgia with one eye on the present – much like the film itself.
Welcoming back both Lust For Life and Born Slippy – NUXX – with the former a modernised remix courtesy of The Prodigy and the latter teasingly echoed throughout poignant moments as a Slow Slippy adaptation – T2 lovingly returns back to its roots. The vintage highlights continue with Queen’s Radio Ga Ga and Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax finding themselves accompanying two of the films ludicrously surreal scenes of Begbie seeking his revenge against Renton. Other retro hits caught up in the chaos include Run DMC’s It’s Like That and Blondie’s Dreaming, among others.
Contrastingly, the modern contingent of the soundtrack is an adrenaline-pumping, eclectic mix of up-and-coming talents. Complementing the more established names of Wolf Alice and Brixton rockers Fat White Family – in Silk and Whitest Boy On The Beach respectively – are more leftfield choices, like the recruitment of Mercury Prize-winning Edinburgh hip-hop trio Young Fathers and Irish rappers The Rubberbandits.
Young Fathers feature an impressive three times throughout T2’s soundtrack, with Get Up, Only God Knows and Rain Or Shine demonstrative of the Scottish natives’ refreshingly alternative sound, while The Rubberbandits’ Dad’s Best Friend is a prime example of the comedic nature of the duo from Limerick.
Overall, T2’s soundtrack doesn’t stray from the quirky and in-your-face style of its predecessor, instead opting to recreate the whirlwind of emotion for your ears – which truly rivals that which your eyes go through – in T2.
T2 Trainspotting (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is available physically and digitally now via Polydor.
Words by Jonno Mack