Back To The Future (and six other films with flawless soundtracks)

back to the future copy

Today’s date is October 21st 2015 – and, as I’m sure you already know – it is being coined globally as ‘Back To The Future Day’. If you’ve somehow evaded the constant monotonous stream of articles written about todays date, then you’ll be amazed to find out that October 21st 2015 is the date that Marty McFly famously time-travelled to in the 80’s sci-fi classic, Back To The Future. Unlike everything else you’ve probably scrolled past during your daily dosage of internet browsing, we’re not here to talk about ‘Pepsi Perfect’, self-tying shoe laces, or how close we are to finally being able to chase steam trains on hoverboards. We’re here to talk about the music.

Back To The Future

Besides boasting Etta James, Eric Clapton, and Lindsey Buckingham on their iconic tracklist, the Back To The Future soundtrack also had an Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song. ‘The Power of Love’ by Huey Lewis and The News (not to be confused with the Frankie Goes To Hollywood hit) sets up the movie perfectly as Marty McFly skates through his hometown on his way to class, encapsulating everything that’s heartwarmingly cheesy about the 80’s in one short scene.

Standout moment:
The film culminates at the high-school dance where McFly is on stage fumbling through the romantic number ‘Earth Angel’ as his hands disappear and his dad tries desperately to seal the deal with his mother. Of course, George McFly finally plucks up the courage, then Marty looks over to his bandmates and says the iconic line, “This is an oldie, well…. It’s an old on where I come from”, before breaking into one of the best musical scenes in Hollywood history.

500 Days Of Summer

All previous indie-rock listening, NME obsessive teenagers of the world (me being one of them) will vouch for how incredible this soundtrack is. This is a film that single-handedly introduced me to artists such as Hall & Oates, Simon and Garfunkel, Doves, Regina Spektor, and now one of my favourite bands of all time; The Pixies. On top of this list, the film also has two Smiths tracks, ‘Vagabond’ by Wolfmother, ‘Sweet Disposition’ by Temper Trap, ‘She’s Got You High’ by Mumm-Ra, AND a script that’s packed to the rafters with music references. It might be a rom-com, but it doesn’t get much better than that

Standout moment:
Although I’d love to choose the bar scene, where Joseph Gordon-Levitt drunkenly introduced me to the Pixies, for nostalgic reasons. It has to be the ridiculous song and dance number along to Hall & Oates.

Donnie Darko

The cult classic kicks things off with ‘Killing Moon’ by Echo and The Bunnymen (or alternatively, ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ by INXS on the extended edition) during its enigmatic opening sequence. The soundtrack continues on the 80’s new wave theme, using hits such as ‘Head Over Heels’ by Tears For Fears and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ by Joy Division. The soundtrack fits the film perfectly as the bipolar and ever-shifting moods of the songs reflect both Darko’s creepy and mysterious nature as well as the idyllic 80’s middle-class society that he’s living in.

Standout moment:
Gary Jules’ cover of ‘Mad World’ – also by Tears For Fears – is what makes the closing sequence one of the most memorable moments of the movie.


It may come as a bizarre surprise, but this is the one movie soundtrack that I physically own. It may stay hidden, out of sight, at the back of the record collection, but being a fan of this album should be nothing to be ashamed of. The soundtrack is scattered with doo-wop numbers, including tracks from 60’s legends such as Frankie Valli and Frankie Avalon. It even includes a cover of the Manchester City favourite, ‘Blue Moon’; and ‘Hound Dog’, the Big Mama Thornton tune that Elvis Presley later
made famous. Not to mention the musical numbers and karaoke regulars such as, ‘Summer Nights’ and ‘Greased Lightning’.

Standout Moment:
When Olivia Newton John leathers up and sings ‘You’re The One That I Want’. Obviously.


The Who’s rock-opera is an essential in any list involving movie soundtracks. The film is an accurate document of the Mod movement in the early 1960’sand the music behind it just happens to come from one the biggest Mod band of all time. The epic ‘5.15’ and ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ are undoubtedly the two biggest highlights from the original soundtrack, with the latter appearing during the controversial final scene.

Standout Moment:
The track is not from the original soundtrack of the film, although one of the most memorable scenes is from house party in which Jimmy is listening to The Who’s era-defining song, ‘My Generation’.

The Graduate

While writing this, I’ve realised that consistency is a common feature throughout this list. Whether the consistency is created by the era, the genre, or simply the mood of the songs, most films from the list have a pattern that they follow that makes them so iconic. Very few films, however, stick to their guns quite as much as The Graduate. This is possibly my favourite film of all time, and it’s made all the better due to how daring, yet simplistic, the soundtrack is. Besides the few instrumental numbers, every song featured on the soundtrack is by Simon and Garfunkel. ‘The Sound Of Silence’ repeats during multiple different scenes throughout the film, as does ‘Mrs Robinson’ – one of the duo’s most popular songs that was written especially for The Graduate.

Standout Moment:
The infamous final scene that sends all sense of a happy ending askew with a single sigh and the reoccurrence of the immortal line, “Hello darkness my old friend…”


When it comes to soundtracks, surely this is the greatest? It has to be. From the opening sequence with Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’, all the way to the overdose scene with Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day’, Danny Boyle’s drug-fuelled masterpiece is the film that it is because of it’s soundtrack. As well as Iggy Pop and Lou Reed; Brian Eno, Primal Scream, New Order, Blur, Pulp, Elastica, Sleeper, and Leftfield all appear in this snapshot of life in 90’s, at the very height of britpop and rave culture.

Standout Moment:
The final scene as Renton walks off into the distance to the sound of Born Slippy.


Massive Attack have returned

Tickets for the European tour went on sale this morning
The group promise that new material will be arriving imminently


The legendary trip-hop duo, consisting of Robert “3D” Del Naja and Grant “Daddy G” Marshall, announced their 22-date European tour this week, with the tickets going on sale at 9am this morning (9th October). Their only Irish date on the tour – at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin – sold out completely within just 20 minutes, and a third date has been added at the Brixton Academy in London, due to high demand.

The award-winning group are best known for their genre-defining albums, ‘Blue Lines’ (1991) and ‘Mezzanine’ (1998). Their fifth album – ‘Heligoland’ – was released in 2010, and since then, the band have remained relatively dormant. The duo did a small tour of America and the European festival circuit in 2014, although it has been almost six years since they performed any headline shows within the UK. Despite hearing old classics such as ‘Teardrop’, ‘Angel’, and ‘Unfinished Sympathy’, we should also expect some new songs to be debuted during the upcoming tour. No official announcement has yet been made, but the new album is expected to drop by the end of this year. Fellow Bristol-based trip-hop artist, Tricky, is also rumoured to be joining the band on tour, as photos of him in the studio with Del Naja have resurfaced.

Official support for Massive Attack’s European tour comes from Mercury Prize winners, Young Fathers. The Scottish hip-hop collective are renowned for their incredible live shows, making them the perfect warm-up act for the trip-hop pioneers. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to get tickets for (at least) one of these shows as soon as you possibly can. Seriously, if you see only one gig in the entirety of 2016, a Massive Attack gig should be it.

The dates for Massive Attack’s 2016 European tour are as follows:

01/19: Dublin, Ireland @ Olympia Theatre
01/22: Glasgow, Scotland @ O2 Academy
01/25: Leicester, England @ De Montfort Hall
01/27: Leeds, England @ O2 Academy
01/28: Manchester, England @ The Apollo
01/30: Birmingham, England @ O2 Academy
01/31: Portsmouth, England @ The Guildhall
02/01: Brighton, England @ The Dome
02/03: London, England @ Brixton O2 Academy
02/04: London, England @ Brixton O2 Academy
02/05: London, England @ Brixton O2 Academy
02/07: Copenhagen, Denmark @ Tap 1
02/09: Esch Alzette, Luxembourg @ Rockhal
02/10: Brussels, Belgium @ Palais 12
02/12: Milan, Italy @ Fabrique
02/14: Padova, Italy @ Geox Theatre
02/16: Cologne, Germany @ Palladium
02/17: Berlin, Germany @ Tempodrom
02/20: Vienna, Austria @ Gasometer
02/21: Munich, Germany @ Tonhalle
02/24: Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Klokgebouw
02/25: Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Heineken Music Hall
02/26: Paris, France @ Zenith

Chaika @ Nation of Shopkeepers – 17/09/15

Leeds’ most exciting musical prospects continue to impress
This is one band not to be ignored


Chaika have slowly but surely been taking the West-Yorkshire music scene by storm. They proved themselves – most recently – when they stole the show at Autobahn’s album release party at Brudenell Social Club, despite the quality of incredible local acts on the lineup. Last night at Nation of Shopkeepers, it was more of the same from Leeds’ most promising four-piece.

Dedicated fans packed out the tiny bar in order to witness the band’s performance and to get a glimpse of the group whilst they’re still in such an intimate setting. They may not have had the Brudenell’s impressive stage set-up at their disposal on this occasion, but the band more than made up for it with their performance. Chaika have clearly been practicing, as the sound that the four-piece produced was nothing short of breathtaking. This is reflected in the bounds of confidence that the lads have grown over the past few months too.

Frontman, Joe’s, onstage antics were the primary factor that made the gig as captivating as it was. He cavorted up and down the stage shaking his tambourine, almost religiously, for the first few songs – like some kind of new-era embodiment of Bez in the early 90’s. Later in the set, the enigmatic vocalist could be found lying flat on the ground in the centre of the audience, screaming his lyrics, completely unphased by the crowd around him. It’s a perfect combination of this wonderfully-erratic behavior from the frontman and the thunderous, psych-tinged, rock and roll exploding from the stage that makes Chaika gigs so unmissable.

Don’t get me wrong, the band have still got a long way to go before they’re ready to conquer the UK. Debut releases ‘White Hare’ and ‘Scream Back/Coming Home’ are two of my favourite tracks of the year so far – and their new single, ‘Mirror’, is equally as infectious – but they have to prove with future releases that they can keep up this consistency; because, so far, the group have set the bar incredibly high. If these early gigs are anything to go by, then they’ll have no problems convincing anyone on their potential. Whether Chaika can progress from being Leeds’ most exciting musical prospect to being in a position of national reverence is still yet to be seen. Personally, I wouldn’t put it past them.

For fans of: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club / Eagulls / The Jesus & Mary Chain

Their music is available to download and listen to via Soundcloud: