There's something kind of magical about non-album tracks, isn't there? The idea of all these hidden treasures hiding across a universe of soundtracks, tribute albums and other artists' albums, all waiting to be discovered? I've always loved it, even though some of them are completely impossible to track down. some of them are among the best in the artist's output.
In honour of this practise, I'm going to do a series of posts following this phenomenon, each covering one method of releasing these. Note that anything an artist releases themselves (say, one artist singing an album of covers; or a b-side) isn't game unless originally released on some kind of other form.
So, I'll be covering...
POST 1: Movie Soundtracks
POST 2: TV Soundtracks
POST 3: Tribute Albums
POST 4: Compilation Albums
POST 5: 'Guest Starring' on Another's Album
So, without further ado...
Imogen Heap - Can't Take It In (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Imogen Heap - Spooky (Just Like Heaven OST)
Frou Frou - Holding Out For a Hero (Shrek 2 OST)
Imogen Heap is a lovely, but bizarre creature. Why? Because, though her albums are delightful, her best tracks are non-album contributions. See exhibit A, these three tracks much of her regular fanbase probably don't have. I've devoted an embarrassing amount of time seeking out Imogen b-sides and compilation additions, though I'm sure there are many I don't have.
"Can't Take It In" might be my favourite Imogen piece barring none; in fact, its closest competitor will be on a later post. You know that feeling on a winter day where it's beautiful and chilly but not too cold, and that cutting cold wind is reduced to a slight breeze, and even if you hate winter passionately you all of a sudden think, 'you know, winter's not all bad'? This track is that feeling encapsulated into a song, with the chillingly gorgeous chorus, the otherwordly sound of Heap's vocals, and the utter magic of the loping, glittering background music. The song is about, essentially, the sublime; something so big you can't take it in, and that massive, utter feeling that just fills you up. It, somehow, reproduces that feeling perfectly.
"Spooky" is apparently a cover, but I don't know of who. Either way, it's a very nice, definitely a little creepy song. And "Holding Out For a Hero" is an excellent cover that always makes me smile.
Alanis Morissette - Wunderkind (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Alanis Morissette - Still (Dogma OST)
Alanis Morissette - Uninvited (City of Angels OST)
Another one who nails it every time on movie OSTs is the lovely Alanis Morissette. "Wunderkind", like "Can't Take It In", is a very wintery piece, with piano and echoing voices, both cold and hopeful. "Still" is probably among my favourites of Morissette's discography, a study in contained rage and unconditional love; speaking form the point-of-view of an almighty deity, she explains that despite all humanity's flaws, she will always love them. "Uninvited" is another strong piece from Morissette, again one of her strongest; stark bits of piano and percussion echo around her confident, fearful vocals, slowly building in power as it moves forward, new layers building until it is a lush, if unsettling, piece of music. The lyrics, about an unwanted suitor, lead the piece unease and a little worry for our heroine as she fends him off with words while tempted to try and break him herself. Finally, she seriously considers his potential, and we are allowed only a chaotic intrumental ending without hearing her final decision. Wonderful.
Ben Folds - Air (Originally: Godzilla OST)
The Breeders - Collage (Mod Squad OST)
Fiona Apple - Across the Universe (Pleasantville OST)
Hanne Hukkelberg - Lucy (The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian)
Regina Spektor - The Call (The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian)
To round this off: An old favourite, Ben Fold's "Air", the only reason to listen to the terribly dated Godzilla OST (and what a reason!). The Breeders also have a great song in "Collage", and Fiona Apple's reinterpretation of "Across the Universe" is wonderful. Finally, closing it off with the two great tracks off the newest Narnia's OST - they sure know how to pick their songs, as these two are also really nice. Neither quite matches "Can't Take It In", but fit nicely alongside "Wunderkind".
I have to say, these songs are among some of my favourite. "Collage" is hands-down my favourite Breeders song, "Air" is definitely in the top 3 for Ben Folds, "Still" and "Uninvited" and among my Alanis Top 5, and "Can't Take it In" is in my Top 3 Imogen Heap songs. Perhaps it's the nature of some compilations (especially the notoriously picky Narnia folks) to pick only the best, but I'd say picking up an OST or two is always worth it.
MY WISH LIST
I still haven't gotten my hands on some OSTs with my favourite bands on them. Will continue seeking them out...
Rumour Has It OST (Nellie McKay)
The Holiday (Imogen Heap)
What are your favourite OST tracks?
Wait and See
6 years ago