Vinyl: Music From the HBO Original Series- Vol. 1

8 Mar


Film and television soundtracks are hard to pull off — the ethos generally being to encapsulate the film’s tone and (hopefully) get a few hit singles out of it. This formula is even harder to pull off when the film is a period piece. Set in 1973, and based in the world of music, Vinyl presents an opportunity to offer a more diverse range of musical flavours. Overall, it is a solid sound byte of the times. We get some deep(ish) cuts from the likes of the Edgar Winter Group (‘Frankenstein’), and a refreshing variety of styles (Soul, rock, Glam) of the era. We even get a dash of pre-punk in ‘Rotten Apple’ (sung by Mick Jagger’s son James) and a couple tracks from the New York Dolls’s David Johansen.

It’s a nice selection that immediately sets you in a specific time and place, although a few of the choices might offend purists (For some reason, the versions of ‘Personality Crisis’ and ‘Stranded in the Jungle’ are not the originals). If you are not that invested in the minutiae, there is a nice selection here. Any compilation that includes Otis Redding’s ‘Mr. Pitiful’ is doing something right.

Overall, Vinyl’s OST is pretty strong, and so it acts as a decent gateway into a variety of genres. Its  producers deserve credit for not falling back on the expected hits — this is not a ‘Cliff Notes’-style compilation, so we don’t get ‘Mississippi Queen’, ‘Horse with No Name’ or ‘Get It On (Bang A Gong)’ (insert your own choices here). None of the tracks could be considered well known, so there is an excitement to this compilation that most time capsule soundtracks do not achieve.

A solid listen


By Tim George


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