“Are we having a party or something?”
Nicolas Winding Refn has never been shy about letting music own a moment in one of his films – see Drive, Only God Forgives, etc. But that was never more true than in last year’s The Neon Demon. Refn’s brooding take on the carnivorous L.A. fashion scene was steeped in visual language. Much of the film unfolded with little to no dialogue. Cliff Martinez’s breathtaking original score often dominated the film’s landscape … almost to the point that it was difficult to tell which came first for Refn – the music or the image.
Refn is such a visual story teller that you have to assume it’s the image. But you also have to assume that music is never far behind. We’ll get a rare glimpse into the music that inspired The Neon Demon this week when he releases the film’s soundtrack companion ‘The Wicked Die Young’.
The vinyl only release comes via frequent Refn collaborator Milan Records – they previously partnered with the director to release the music from Old Boy (2003), Robocop (1987), The Terminator (1984) and It Follows (2015). This latest compilation collects music from the likes of Dionne Warwick, Electric Youth, Suicide, Pino Donaggio, Sparks and (my personal fave) Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. It promises to double down on glitz and glam and doom and gloom that helped make The Neon Demon one of 2016’s best films. And there’s a couple of unused tracks from Martinez and Julian Winding on there that are so good you’ll be scratching your head wondering how they didn’t make it into the film.
Here’s a little taste of the album’s overall vibe:
‘The Wicked Die Young’ will be released April 14. That’s this Friday if you don’t have a calendar handy. But you can pre-order a copy of your own via Milan Records today if you wish. Just FYI – this is going to sell well and it’s going to sell fast. So don’t sleep on it.
01. Electric Youth – ‘Good Blood’
02. Lynsey de Paul – ‘Won’t Somebody Dance With Me’
03. Suicide – ‘Cheree (1998 Remastered Version)’
04. 999 – ‘Homicide’
05. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers – ‘Pirate Love’
06. Dionne Warwick – ‘(Theme From) Valley of the Dolls’
07. Tommy Seebach – ‘Bubble Sex’
08. Amanda Lear – ‘Follow Me’
01. Giorgio Moroder – ‘Knights In White Satin’
02. Sparks – ‘The No. 1 Song In Heaven’
03. Cliff Martinez – ‘Becoming’
04. Pino Donaggio – ‘Dressed to Kill (Pulsion) (1980): The Shower (Theme from Dressed to Kill)’
05. Claudio Gizzi – ‘End Of A Myth’
06. Julian Winding – ‘When You Want To Hurt Someone’