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... better than the film? wouldn't be hard ...
on 1 March 2011
If there is anything guaranteed to have me walking past the cinema with my eyes closed and my fingers in my ears going la-la-la-la-la very loudly, it's the words Nick, Forst, Simon and Pegg up on a film poster. But just because someone is a talentless no-mark doesn't necessarily stop the producer of a film from lucking out with a soundtrack. And so it proves with PAUL.
I'll tell you this, so you don't accidentally stray into the pictures. Best friends and uber-geeks Graeme Willy (cue chortles) Clive Gollings have been saving up for years to take a sci-fi fan's trip of a lifetime to America's UFO heartland to track the legendary hot spots of extraterrestrial activity. But when they end up having a close encounter (see what I did there) with an actual alien named Paul, things take a turn for the unexpected, and hilarity ensues. Yeah, right.
Musically, this is accompanied by a batch of seventies (and earlier) tunes, some of which are even alien related. See, they have put some thought into this. So you get `Another Girl Another Planet' by the The Only Ones), 'Planet Care' by the B52s, 'All Over The World' by ELO and, of course, the legendary 'Flying Saucers Rock 'n' Roll' by Billy Lee Riley & His Little Green Men. People as geeky as the stars will be doubtless love Cantina Band's `Syd Masters & The Swing Riders', which is a rockabilly version of the music playing in the bar on Tatooine in the original Star Wars film.
However, it's when they move away from the theme that the stone cold classics arrive. So that would be `Just The Two Of Us' by Bill Withers & Grover Washington Jr., `Hello It's Me' by Todd Rundgren, and the thing that made me take this to my heart. `Dancing In The Moonlight' by King Harvest. I'd forgotten how awesomely awesome their (nearly) original version was. If you hated the Toploader cover as much as me, listen to how it should be done on this 1973 US hit. It's so sweet it hurts.
It's all interspersed with original music, courtesy of David Arnold, still best known for his latter day James Bond work. It's not his best, but it does serve it's purpose in linking the soundtrack together.