Just to really, really break the formula, I threw in one of those “soundtracks” which are really just an excuse to package a bunch of songs from various artists into one presumably-appealing market-friendly slice of the current state of the pop music industry. The movie could have been a blockbuster, but more likely it was utterly forgettable and the resulting music bundle is far more memorable than the film whose existence led to its assembly.
What is it?
Until the End of the World: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack is, as the title suggests, a collection of songs used in the 1991 movie. (This isn’t always the case with such projects; you get a lot of “inspired by” with this sort of thing usually.)
How does it sound?
It was a miracle I got the sampler mix out alive:
Why this pick?
I wanted to represent a type of album release which is present enough in my collection to warrant notice, the “music from or inspired by” cash grab movie-tie-in album. What’s funny about this one is that it’s one of the more genuine of its kind, as this music actually is all in the movie (however briefly, in some cases). And a lot of the music is really good!
I’m doing you a favor, basically. You should be grateful.
Which songs are the highlights?
There are two songs here titled something along the lines of “Until the End of the World,” one by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and the other by U2. Both are good, albeit very different from one another.
Can’s “Last Night’s Sleep” is delightful. The Jane Siberry & k.d. lang duet, “Calling All Angels,” is fantastic. T-Bone Burnett’s “Humans From Earth” is a hoot. Talking Heads’ “Sax and Violins” is fun, too.
Which songs don’t work so well?
The thing about a “various artists” set is, how much you enjoy a given artist will probably determine how much you like a given song.
I don’t really like R.E.M. or Elvis Costello, so “Fretless” and “Days” (respectively) are a big NOPE.
Which album did you almost pick in favor of this one?
It was so tempting to pick the tie-in album for When The Wind Blows, you have no idea. Just… let me Google that for you. Maybe the one for the Spawn movie instead? Were it not for Until the End of the World I’d have a lot of bog-standard movie-adjacent records to choose from but nothing nearly as good or iconic.
Any final thoughts?
In case you’re thinking of watching the movie after listening to this quite-nice collection of songs… no, don’t, really. Trust me. It’s a long boring weird-assed slog of a film. Not even William Hurt and Sam Neill can save it. Not even this nice collection of songs can save it. Save yourself a couple of hours: Watch anything else, do anything else.
You’ll notice that the music here is more artsy and more relaxed than my usual fare. It’s true, in the early 1990s I was into artsy movies and artsy music, at least for a little while.
I got better. Or worse, depending on your point of view.