This biopic movie about the downward spiral of Sid Vicious, late 70’s punk lifestyle, love, hate and drug addiction is a must see movie. The role of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen are brilliantly portrayed by Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb respectively. I know Gary Oldman has been in a lot of films, but this may be his best role ever. If you have not seen this move, you must watch it just to see his brilliance.
I loved the movie but there are many opinions about the reality of it. Especially the portrayal of the Sex Pistols. No one even bothered to interview John Lydon (Johnny Rotten). He hates the movie. Especially the portrayal of Sid off-stage, and his own portrayal. He feels most of the information was collected from Joe Strummer.
On a side note, Courtney Love auditioned for the role of Nancy. She got the role of Nancy’s friend Gretchen instead. The director liked her, but the studio insisted on a more experienced actress. Besides, who could believe Courtney Love could play the role of a no talent piece of garbage junkie that would latch onto a famous musician, cause the breakup of his band, use him for all he was worth, and eventually cause his death.
On another side note all five members of Guns N Roses were hired as extras for a club scene. Slash was the only one that stuck around all day though. Other prominent musicians that appear in the film are Circle Jerks, Iggy Pop, Nico, and Edward Tudor-Pole.
Love Kills (Joe Strummer) – This song has a bit too much of an 80’s beat for a punk rock movie. It is almost like Joe Strummer does INXS. Joe does a fine job singing here, but I wonder if Sid turned over in his grave when a member of The Clash sang on his biopic.
Haunted (The Pogues) – Not your normal punk song by The Pogues. It instead has Cate O’Riordan on vocals just before she left the band and married Elvis Costello. The song has kind of a Cowboy Junkies meets The Cranberries.
Pleasure And Pain (Steve Jones) – So apparently they thought it would be a good idea to take a member of The Sex Pistols and let him sing a light hearted 80’s ballad. Think of how the 80’s affected Genesis, Foreigner, Chicago etc. and you get the idea.
Chinese Choppers (Pray For Rain) – This band is a group of film score professionals. A very short instrumental track.
Love Kills (Circle Jerks) – Now this is more like it. An actual punk song on a movie about punk rockers. No offence Joe Strummer, this blows your song of the same title right out of the water, then hunts it down and steps on its throat. ( The Pogues song on first half of the below video clip was not on the soundtrack, but it should have been. The Circle Jerks song is at the second half of the video)
Off the Boat (Pray For Rain) – A trippy instrumental mixed with electronic keyboards. It actually is a really good track.
Dum Dum Club (Joe Strummer) – At least this song has a 70’s flavour. Although it is more new wave than punk. Think Joe Strummer does B-52’s. Joe sounds great on this one as well.
Burning Room (Pray For Rain) – Another really good instrumental.
She Never Took No For An Answer (John Cale) – Ok so a member of Velvet Underground sings here, and Nico is cast as an extra in the film. Where have I heard that before? Velvet Underground. Nico. Hmm. Unfortunately this song has that wonderful (not really) 80’s beat that affected other songs. John does a good job, as does the boobam player. I could do without the whistling and electronics though.
Junk (The Pogues) – An all too short, instrumental song.
I Wanna Be Your Dog (Gary Oldman) – Gary Oldman does his best inner Sid Vicious here. He does an amazing job. The guitar work and drums are pretty awesome as well.
My Way (Gary Oldman) – Another great job by Gary Oldman.
Taxi To Heaven (Pray For Rain) – Another instrumental. It kind of reminds me of the keyboards in She Blinded Me With Science.
It is kind of telling when Gary Oldman and a group of soundtrack composers can put out better songs than some of the professional musicians(Pray For Rain is really very good. Kind of like an unknown Tangerine Dream). I think this has a great deal with listening to this in 2016 and hearing how dated the 80’s electronics and arrangements were. I would have preferred a punk theme.
I think this album has the potential to have been great. More punk, less 80’s cheese and it would have been much better.