Some of the tracks were playing as I wrote the novel, and have earnt their place here for providing the inspiration for some scenes. Others occured to me later to fit with a scene. The tracks that are available on Spotify have been collected for you in a handy playlist, over on the right.
Spoiler warning: I will not give away any blatant spoilers, but in order for anyone who has read the book to put the soundtrack in the right place, some hints as to the direction of the story may be necessary.
1. Blondie – Union City Blue. In my mind, the movie’s opening credits roll over Aidan’s C-Car journey through Unioncity (in the sample chapter). Union City Blue is perfect here in every way. Available on Blondie – Greatest Hits.
2. Brian Eno – Under Stars. Much of what I listen to while writing is instrumental music, which is less distracting than songs. Brian Eno’s Apollo was composed as a soundtrack for the films of the Apollo moon landings, inspired by the feelings and sensations of space travel. This CD was the constantly playing during the writing of the spacebourne segements of Countless, the first of which is in Chapter 2.
3. Brian Eno – Music for Airports. Or, as the background music for Chapter 3, Music for Spaceports. Pick any or all four tracks from Eno’s first ambient offering.
4. Petra – No Doubt. I wanted to have some Christian music on the soundtrack, and while Petra may be a bit old skool, I think this is a great song, especially for when Ade and Savana get some bad news. Available on No Doubt.
5. Petra – I Love You Lord. A worship song that doesn’t specifically mention Jesus for the Temple scene in Chapter 7. Nice interpretation too, all tribal drums and harmonies. Available on Petra Praise 2 – We Need Jesus.
6. Vitamin String Quartet – Stairway to Heaven. I knew from early on that Stairway to Heaven would be like Litah’s anthem. Playing at the launch party will be the definitive version by Vitamin String Quartet. Available on The String Quartet Tribute to Led Zeppelin.
7. Thus Spake Zarathustra. Perfect dramatic piece for the public unveiling of Tellus from space. OK, so I nicked the idea from Stanley Kubrick. Available on most sci-fi theme CDs.
8. Porcupine Tree – It Will Rain For A Million Years. This is nice and moody, for Galford in Chapter 9. This is from one of the few non-instrumental CDs I like to play while writing, ‘On the Sunday of Life…’
9. Enigma – The Gate. Something else I can listen to while writing is Enigma’s mix of ambient soundscapes, dance beats and wierd lyrics. The Gate seems an appropriate soundtrack for the discovery of a new planet. Available on The Screen Behind the Mirror.
10. Jean Michel Jarre – Last Rendez-Vous (Ron’s Piece). This piece was composed by Jarre for his friend Ron McNair to play on his saxophone on the Space Shuttle, and was to be the first piece of music recorded in space. Ron, and his six crewmates, died aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger on 28th January 1986. It is therefore a poignant piece to be played at the first funeral on an alien planet. Available on Rendez-Vous.
11. Balanescu Quartet – Robots. I just love the combination of the ‘futuristic’ Kraftwerk tune played by a string quartet! It’s playing in the dress shop in Chapter 14. Available on Possessed.
12. Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene Part 1. By Chapter 16 we are back in space travel mode. Although Apollo remains the main musical influence for these scenes, I didn’t want Jarre to go overlooked. Available on Oxygene.
13. Brian Eno – Come With Us. This slightly wierd and sinister track from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts accompanies Dan Straker’s return to the Black City in Chapter 19.
14. The Orb – Toxygene. For the action sequences in Chapter 21. Available on Orblivion.
15. REM – Everybody Hurts. Arguably REMs finest moment, here for Blaise in Chapters 23 & 24. And not just because I think it’s one of the best pop songs ever. Honest. Available on Automatic for the People.
16. Lard – Forkboy. Film buffs may recognise this as the riot theme from Natural Born Killers. It serves much the same purpose here. Available on The Last Temptation of Reid.
17. Groove Armada – At the River. Sublime chillout track by one of the UK’s most popular dance acts. For when Aidan is at the, erm, river. Available on The Best of Groove Armada.
18. Brian Eno – Matta. This track has the kind of eerie feel and wierd noises required for a forest world. Also from Apollo.
19. Porcupine Tree – Voyage 34. A musical interpretation of an LSD trip was all I had to go on for Chapter 27. It wasn’t something I wanted to research that thoroughly. Brilliantly now available on CD – I have the two seperate versions on 12 inch vinyl. As an alternative, Queen Quotes Crowley from ‘On the Sunday of Life…’ is suitably psychadelic.
20. The Kinks – Days. Classic tune for, well, Chapter 30. (Don’t want to spoil anything this close to the end!) Find a copy on most Kinks compilations, but I recommend the 3-disc edition of The Village Green Preservation Society if you don’t own that, the Kinks’ best album. Oh, and on no account must you substitute a cover version.
21. Steve – Smile. Finishing with another Christian band, albeit another one that has now disbanded. At the time though, they were cool. Anyway, a mellow, upbeat song for the final scene and closing credits. Available on Falling Down.