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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday March 21, 2019 


And I thought the Moulin Rouge soundtrack was eclectic. Here we have a dizzying array of styles that could never have expected to share the same disc, but have been brought together by a story about people who share houses.

One such housemate is the titular corpse. Surprisingly, no one from the Big Brother household was cast in this role, although I’d have thought a number of them had just the right charisma.

Never mind. If, like me, you’re bored stiff-as-a-dead-felafel-eater by the inanity of prime time television, switch off the tube and give this tasty soundtrack a whirl.

The Anglo-Saxon hues of Golden Brown kick it off to a wistful start. I always find these folksy ternary-accented tunes have me dreaming of Nottingham Forests, although John and Paul apparently dreamt of Norwegian Woods. Anyway this delightfully zesty tune was a huge hit for The Stranglers about a decade ago, despite belonging to that rare species of pop song that bounces along without a heavy snare back-beat. Only Enya comes to mind as producing such chart-topping, toe-tapping hits on the back of percussion-light arrangements.

Golden Brown's intro pattern;—repeated in the bridge—does spring a trap for unwary waltzers, however. Watch for that extra beat as it cycles around... perfect for those with two left feet.

No one will lose stride to the jaunty waltz of Negresses Verde’s La Valse, or the exquisite walking bass lines of a grab from Nina Rota’s La Dolce Vita score. Yes, that’s right, Nina Rota. La Dolce Vita. This excerpt lasts a total of three and a half minutes, and of course it alone is worth the price of the CD.

At the other end of the musical spectrum, some less virtuosic offerings from Rowland S. Howard and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are sparse with quality musicianship but pretty rich with character. I’ve been known to give Nick and his Seeds a royal roasting in the past but I have to admit that Into My Arms and more particularly a live recording of The Mercy Seat showcase the depths of charisma that sometimes spark interest over the simplicity of the music. He’s still wonky on a few notes, but even I have to admit that Nick’s is a Cavernous voice.

Another stylistic leap and we have three tracks featuring the pure voices of The Melbourne University Choral Society. These run the gamut from the Latin intonations of Solstice Chants to the closing Celtic lilt of Auld Lang Syne.

Just when we seem to be running out of musical dimensions along comes Pound System with the fabulous theme from that eponymous pronoun with the fourth-dimension-defying police box. Unfortunately they spend too little time putting some pound into the timeless theme and too much time exploring every techno cliché in the galaxy.

Incredibly, the variety doesn’t end there. Some hip-hop meets gospel from Moby, the old U2/Pavarotti collaboration Miss Sarajevo and an old classic from The Mamas & The Papas bob up between excerpts of short but hilarious film dialogue.

The eclecticism isn’t as seamless as Luhrmann’s cleverly woven project, but overall the music is just about as good.
Brad Green

Published August 30, 2001

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Track 1 - Golden Brown
Track 11 - La Dolce Vita
Track 8 - Dr Who Theme 2000 Remix

TITLE: He Died With A Felafel In His Hand


ARTISTS: The Stranglers, Spiderbait, Moby, Foran Bregovic & Kolic Zlato, Rick Charles, Pound System, Negresses Verde, Nina Rota, The Melbourne University Choral Society, Rowland S Howard, U2 & Luciano Pavarotti, Nick Cave, Deborah Conway & Wicked Beat System, Paradise Motel, Snog, The Mamas & The Papas


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