Battleship Potemkin (album)

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Battleship Potemkin
Soundtrack album by Tennant/Lowe
Released 5 September 2005
Recorded 2003-4
Genre Electronica, orchestral
Length 68:29
Label Parlophone & EMI Classics
Producer Pet Shop Boys, sven helbig
Pet Shop Boys chronology
Back to Mine
(2005)
Battleship Potemkin
(2005)
Fundamental
(2006)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Drowned in Sound favourable [1]
Virgin.net 2/5 stars [2]

Battleship Potemkin is a 2005 album of electronic and orchestral music written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe from Pet Shop Boys. The music on the album, written to accompany the 1925 silent film The Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Eisenstein, is performed by Tennant, Lowe and the Dresdner Sinfoniker. The Dresdner Sinfoniker is conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer and orchestrations are by Torsten Rasch. The album was released under the name Tennant/Lowe as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are the composers. The album is produced by the Pet Shop Boys and the German producer Sven Helbig.

About the project[edit]

In April 2003, Philip Dodd, director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, approached Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe and suggested that they might write a new score for the film and perform it as a free concert in Trafalgar Square as part of a series of events organised by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

They wrote the music in the order it would be heard, using a DVD of the film as a guide. From the beginning they resolved to combine electronic music and strings; the lyrics of the three vocal pieces within it were largely inspired by the film's original subtitles, though one – "After All (The Odessa Staircase) " – was also prompted by the role in London of Trafalgar Square as a home of political dissent.

Tennant and Lowe decided to ask Torsten Rasch to orchestrate the work after hearing his song cycle Mein Herz brennt, a record based on the music of the rock group Rammstein which has sold over two million copies worldwide. Torsten Rasch's orchestrations were recorded by the Dresdner Sinfoniker, conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer, in Berlin during July 2004.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "'Comrades!'" – 3:52
  2. "Men and maggots" – 4:57
  3. "Our daily bread" – 0:52
  4. "Drama in the harbour" – 9:00
  5. "Nyet" – 6:14
  6. "To the shore" – 3:12
  7. "Odessa" – 6:50
  8. "No time for tears" – 4:32
  9. "To the battleship" – 4:34
  10. "After all (The Odessa Staircase)" – 7:23
  11. "Stormy meetings" – 1:31
  12. "Night falls" – 5:55
  13. "Full steam ahead" – 1:50
  14. "The squadron" – 4:24
  15. "For freedom" – 3:17

Personnel[edit]

  • Neil Tennant
  • Chris Lowe
Guest musicians
  • Pete Gleadall - Programming
  • Torsten Rasch - Orchestrations
  • Jonathan Stockhammer - Conductions
  • The Dresdner Sinfoniker - Orchestra on all tracks except 2, 3, 11, 12 & 13
  • Dave Clayton - Additional programming and keyboards
  • Markus Schwind - Trumpet

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
position
German Albums Chart 54
UK Albums Chart 97

Touring The Battleship Potemkin[edit]

  • 2004
    • 12 September - Trafalgar Square, London, England.
  • 2005
    • 2 September - Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany.
    • 3 September - Museumsmeile, Bonn, Germany.
    • 4 September - Museumsmeile, Berlin, Germany.
    • 5 September - Stadtpark, Hamburg, Germany.
  • 2006
    • 1 May - Swan Hunters Shipyard, Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
    • 20 July - Prager Strasse, Dresden, Germany.
    • 29 July - Gardens of the Royal Palace of La Granja, Segovia, Spain.
  • 2008
    • 11 January - Barbican Theatre, London (ticket only event)

DVD release[edit]

A DVD release of the original film of Battleship Potemkin with an accompanying soundtrack is planned, although there have been delays because of problems with the film rights. Initially it was hoped to have the DVD out in 2005, but nothing further has been announced.

The future[edit]

The performance of the score in Trafalgar Square was one of the season's top events, and drew a crowd of approximately 25,000. In September 2005, Pet Shop Boys and the Dresdner Sinfoniker took the concerts to Germany and performed in Frankfurt (2 September), Bonn (3 September), Berlin (4 September) and Hamburg (5 September) to promote the release of the album.

Another British performance took place on 1 May 2006 at the Swan Hunter’s Shipyard in North Tyneside.

A 7-inch version of the song "No Time For Tears" was officially released as a b-side on the DVD format of the PSB single, *"Minimal". An online exclusive orchestral mix can be heard on the Official website.

Pet Shop Boys performed the score with the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Barbican, London, on 11 January 2008.

Further concerts are planned, with Pet Shop Boys hoping to take it to Moscow, following their successful Live 8 concert in the Russian capital in 2005. In an interview for the BBC in September 2005, Neil Tennant also mentioned that they had approached the governments of Iran and China about performing the film live, but both countries declined the proposal.

Their song "Comrades" was frequently used in the BBC documentary Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain, episode 4 featuring Margaret Thatcher's career as prime minister.

Live performance reviews[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pet Shop Boys: Battleship Potemkin". Drowned in Sound. 30 September 2005. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  2. ^ "Pet Shop Boys: Battleship Potemkin". Virgin.net. 5 September 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-11-25.