Original Soundtracks 1
|Original Soundtracks 1|
|Studio album by |
|Released||6 November 1995|
|Genre||Experimental, ambient, electronica|
|Brian Eno chronology|
|Singles from Original Soundtracks 1|
Original Soundtracks 1 is a studio album recorded by rock band U2 and Brian Eno under the pseudonym Passengers as a side project. It was produced by Eno and was released on 6 November 1995. The album is a collection of songs written for mostly imaginary films (the exceptions being songs for Ghost in the Shell, Miss Sarajevo, and Beyond the Clouds). Due to Eno's involvement as a full songwriting partner and the album's experimental nature, the moniker "Passengers" was chosen to distinguish it from U2's conventional albums. It was commercially unnoticed by the band's standards and received generally mixed reviews. Guest musicians on the record included Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti (on "Miss Sarajevo") and producer Howie B, who would co-produce U2's following album, Pop (1997).
According to Eno, near the end of U2 1993's Zooropa recording sessions the band hit "a stone wall". At that point, Eno suggested to do some improvising sessions "just turn the tape on and play, so we were working with a broad brush rather than the one-hair brushes we'd been using. It was designed to open us up a little".
The recordings were so fruitful that Eno proposed more. After the Zoo TV Tour, the band returned to the studio - without an agenda or a specific project in mind. Their original intention was to record a soundtrack for Peter Greenaway's 1996 film The Pillow Book. Though the plan did not come to fruition, Eno suggested they continue recording for imaginary films. From the sessions' twenty-five hours of taped experimentation came Soundtracks, which reflects both the band's pop instincts and Eno's predilection for ethereal, ambient music that moves slowly and doesn't demand conscious attention.
At this time, the US charts were dominated by movie soundtrack albums and singles. Once Eno pointed out that it would not be a real ploy for radio airplay, but a spoof of one, U2 agreed to the concept.
U2 had frequently improvised in the past, and in the Original Soundtracks 1 sessions they engaged in free-form jamming to video clips from various films. Eno stated, "Listening to the original improvisations as they came off the floor, you feel the excitement of the process ... You have to be careful not to disturb the organic flow of the thing." The group brought in producer Howie B to cut down and mix some of the tracks after several hours of jam sessions had been recorded.
Part of the group's intent in creating Original Soundtracks 1 had been to make a "night-time" record. Lead vocalist Bono said, "It feels like it's been set on the bullet train in Tokyo. Every record has a location, a place where you enjoy listening to it, whether that be a bedroom or a club, well this record location is a fast train. It's slo-mo music though. But it has an odd sense of speed in the background." He also noted that when creating works for soundtracks the visual suggestion from the music is more important than the story told by the lyrics. With this in mind the band had tried to create "visual music" when recording, continuing a trend that began with their 1993 song "Zooropa".
Writing, recording, and composition
The genesis, recording and subsequent release of the album is detailed in Eno's diaries A Year with Swollen Appendices.
About half of the album is instrumental, and the vocal tracks generally stray from the clear hooks and melodies that usually define U2's work. Of these, the delicate "Miss Sarajevo", featuring Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti on vocals, is considered the most memorable.
One of the tracks, "Your Blue Room", features Adam Clayton reciting the final verse. This marks only his second recorded vocal on a U2 project, the first being on "Endless Deep", the B-side to 1983's "Two Hearts Beat as One".
Brian Eno alluded to some extra tracks that were recorded with the Japanese singer Holi at the time and that they may be released at some point in the future: "...in fact we did several things together in four hours. Some of the other pieces are really lovely too, and I'm sure will see the light of day. But she was absolutely fantastic."
Music for films
The album alleges to be a collection of songs written for movies, hence the title Original Soundtracks. The album's booklet contains detailed descriptions of the film for which each song was written. Most of the films are non-existent; however, three of the 13 films listed on the album are real: Beyond the Clouds, Miss Sarajevo, and Ghost in the Shell (One Minute Warning played during the closing credits).
This concept can be seen as something of a successor to Eno's Music for Films album and is also the base of the Dutch electronic duo Arling & Cameron's album Music for Imaginary Films.
"Miss Sarajevo" was released as a successful single, competing (in the UK) for the Christmas number 1 spot ultimately losing to Michael Jackson's "Earth Song", however; it also later appeared on U2's The Best of 1990–2000 compilation in 2002. "Your Blue Room" was intended for the second single following "Miss Sarajevo," but was cancelled after poor album sales. The song was later released as a B-side on the "Staring at the Sun" single in 1997, and on the B-sides disc of The Best of 1990–2000.
The Japanese edition release include "Bottoms (Watashitachi No Ookina Yume) (Zoo Station Remix)" as a bonus track, which is also featured as B-side to the "Miss Sarajevo" single. The track is an instrumental version of the U2 song "Zoo Station", which appears on 1991's Achtung Baby. The Japanese subtitle "Watashitachi No Ookina Yume" translates to English as "our big dream." Some UK promo copies of the album list "Bottoms" as well but the track is not actually present on the compact disc.
The track "Always Forever Now" appeared only briefly in the film Heat, but was included in the soundtrack, which also includes other tracks by Brian Eno. The track "Plot 180" was also used in the film Heat but only in a deleted scene.
The film descriptions contain many hidden references and in-jokes, beginning with the descriptions' supposed authors, "Ben O'Rian and C. S. J. Bofop", both references to Brian Eno. The first is a simple anagram of the name, while the second replaces each letter with the alphabetically following letter.
|The Boston Globe||favourable|
|The Los Angeles Times|||
Because of the nature of the music and the decision to release it under another name, the album is easily the least-known and poorest-selling in the U2 catalogue. Further, critical reaction from the fans and even the band members has been mixed. Drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. has stated his dislike of the album: "There's a thin line between interesting music and self-indulgence. We crossed it on the Passengers record." Later reflecting on the album in 2002, Mullen stated, "It hasn't grown on me. However, 'Miss Sarajevo' is a classic." Bono objected to Mullen's statement in the same documentary, claiming that "Larry just didn't like [Passengers] because we didn't let him play the drums."
|1.||"United Colours"||United Colours of Plutonium (Japan)||5:31|
|3.||"Your Blue Room"||Par-delà les nuages / Beyond the Clouds (Italy)||5:28|
|4.||"Always Forever Now"||Always Forever Now (Hong Kong)||6:24|
|5.||"A Different Kind of Blue"||An Ordinary Day (USA)||2:02|
|6.||"Beach Sequence"||Par-delà les nuages / Beyond the Clouds (Italy)||3:31|
|7.||"Miss Sarajevo" (featuring Luciano Pavarotti)||Miss Sarajevo (USA)||5:40|
|8.||"Ito Okashi" (featuring Holi)||Ito Okashi / Something Beautiful (Japan)||3:25|
|9.||"One Minute Warning"||Ghost in the Shell (Japan)||4:40|
|10.||"Corpse (These Chains Are Way Too Long)"||Gibigiane / Reflections (Italy)||3:35|
|11.||"Elvis Ate America" (featuring Howie B)||Elvis Ate America (USA)||3:00|
|12.||"Plot 180"||Hypnotize (Love Me 'til Dawn) (UK)||3:41|
|13.||"Theme from The Swan"||The Swan (Hungary)||3:24|
|14.||"Theme from Let's Go Native"||Let's Go Native (South Africa)||3:08|
|Bonus track (Japan only)|
|15.||"Bottoms (Watashitachi No Ookina Yume) (Zoo Station remix)"||Bottoms (Australia)||4:11|
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||11|
|Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)||40|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)||35|
|Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)||14|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||38|
|Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)||32|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||9|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||28|
|UK Albums (Official Charts Company)||12|
|US Billboard 200||76|
- Bono – vocals, additional guitar, piano on "Beach Sequence"
- Adam Clayton – bass guitar, additional guitar on "Your Blue Room", percussion, narration on "Your Blue Room"
- The Edge – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Corpse," church organ on "Your Blue Room"
- Brian Eno – strategies, sequencers, keyboards, backing vocals, guitar, treatments, mixing, chorus voices, vocals on "A Different Kind of Blue", production
- Larry Mullen, Jr. – drums, percussion, rhythm sequence on "One Minute Warning," rhythm synthesizer on "United Colours"
- Additional personnel
- Luciano Pavarotti – tenor voice on "Miss Sarajevo"
- Holi – vocals on "Ito Okashi," voices on "One Minute Warning"
- Howie B – mixing, treatments, scratching, and rhythm track on "Elvis Ate America"
- Craig Armstrong – string arrangement on "Miss Sarajevo"
- Paul Barrett – string arrangement on "Always Forever Now"
- Des Broadbery – sequencer on "Always Forever Now"
- David Herbert – saxophone on "United Colours" and "Corpse"
- Holger Zschenderlein – additional synthesizer on "One Minute Warning"
- Moon, Tom (November 2005). "Eno: the story behind Original Soundtracks 1". Knight-Ridder News Service.
- McKay, Alastair (April 2009). "Passengers: The Album". The Ultimate Music Guide. Uncut (U2): 93.
- Stokes (2005), p. 196
- Richardson, Andy (21 October 1995). "Achtung Bono!". NME.
- "Short form Interview with Music". Original Soundtracks 1 Promo (Digipack). Passengers. Island Records. 1995.
- McCormick (2006), p. 247–248
- PASSENGERS: OS1 Quotes & Song Information
- "Deleted scene from HEAT "11 of 11"". YouTube. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
- Scrambled Names And Other Surprises (Original Soundtracks 1) Archived 5 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Original Soundtracks 1: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
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- Derogatis, Jim (14 December 1995). "Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1". Rolling Stone (723).
- U2 quotes by Larry
- 10 Years of Turmoil Inside U2
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- "Ultratop.be – Passengers – Original Soundtracks 1" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
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- "PASSENGERS". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- "Billboard 200: Week of November 25, 1995". Billboard. 15 November 1995. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- Original Soundtracks 1 on U2.com