Various Artists – The Beach

Another soundtrack which I own to a film that I’ve never seen is The Beach, which picks a mixture of electronic and dark beats to accompany the Leonardo di Caprio film of the same name.

It opens with Snakeblood, an exclusive track from Leftfield, which like all of their work is good, and is definitely interesting, but it’s not really their best. If I’m not mistaken, it samples Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark for an interesting soundclash, but not an entirely inspiring one.

Less inspirational, but also enjoyable, is All SaintsPure Shores, another of William Orbit‘s many productions from the turn of the millennium. Far from being just yet another pop act, they turn out to be pretty good vocalists, and Orbit’s backing does bring out the best of them.

Moby‘s brilliantly relaxing Porcelain is next, slowing the pace in time for Dario G‘s Voices, which I never entirely got the hang of when it was originally released, but I now find myself really enjoying it, with its gentle ukulele strumming and soft vocals. Underworld turn up next with 8 Ball, which is far from the contrast you might have been expecting from them. As with so many tracks on this album, it’s good, but it’s just not all that great.

Things become more unremarkable still, with a trio of dull inclusions from Sugar Ray, Asian Dub Foundation, and Blur. There’s nothing particularly wrong with any of them, but there’s nothing particularly right with them either. It’s left to Hardfloor to pick things up with their iconic remix of Mory Kante‘s Yeke Yeke, which is always a real treat to hear.

Returning to the theme of amazing artists recording relatively uninteresting tracks, Faithless turn up with a submission entitled Woozy, which is dark, dreamy, hypnotic, and not really anywhere near as good as We Come 1 or Insomnia. Barry Adamson follows with the dramatic, military sound of Richard, It’s Business as Usual, and then there’s another exclusive, this time from New Order, who if I remember correctly were on one of their many hiatuses at the time.

Brutal is probably the best of the exclusive tracks too. It’s a lot livelier than anything else, and while it’s pretty much New Order at their most rock-sounding, it’s actually a pretty good song. Remember, as they have said themselves, a lot of what they put on their albums isn’t entirely up to standard.

I’ve never been entirely convinced by what I’ve heard from Unkle, and while Lonely Soul is certainly interesting, and Richard Ashcroft‘s vocal is characteristically strong, it doesn’t seem the most captivating track in the world until right at the end when you find yourself fighting the urge to listen again as you realise that actually you quite enjoyed it.

Finally Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti turn up, collaborating on the truly exceptional Beached. You could probably dispense with the slightly vacuous voice-over by di Caprio, but otherwise it’s a great piece of music – another example of Orbital at their best, and while I’m not sure exactly what Badalamenti is up to on the track, somehow it all seems to come together perfectly.

The Beach has a patchy soundtrack, then – when it’s good, it’s exceptional, but it has its fair share of filler too. But if you don’t already have those tracks from Mory Kante or Orbital with Angelo Badalamenti then it’s highly recommended.

You can still find The Beach – Motion Picture Soundtrack at all major retailers, such as here at Amazon.

The BRIT Awards 2000

Davina McCall presented the 2000 awards at Earls Court on March 3rd. I believe she did manage not to swear, although it’s doubtful everyone was so courteous. This was the year of pop, and the year that Brandon Block turned up onstage to collect the Best Soundtrack award.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1999 ceremony here, and the 2001 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by Vinnie Jones. Nominees:

  • Basement Jaxx – Remedy
  • The Chemical Brothers – Surrender
  • Gomez – Liquid Skin
  • Stereophonics – Performance and Cocktails
  • Travis – The Man Who

Winner: Travis

Best British Dance Act

Presented by Paul Whitehouse and Mark Williams. Nominees:

  • Basement Jaxx
  • The Chemical Brothers
  • Fatboy Slim
  • Jamiroquai
  • Leftfield

Winner: The Chemical Brothers

Best British Female

Presented by Tom Jones and Robbie Williams. Nominees:

  • Melanie C
  • Gabrielle
  • Geri Halliwell
  • Beverley Knight
  • Beth Orton

Winner: Beth Orton

Best British Group

Presented by Lou Reed. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Gomez
  • Stereophonics
  • Texas
  • Travis

Winner: Travis

Best British Male

Presented by Ben Elton. Nominees:

  • David Bowie
  • Ian Brown
  • Tom Jones
  • Van Morrison
  • Sting

Winner: Tom Jones

Best British Newcomer

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1. In an unnecessarily complicated voting system, the first round was split into four categories:

Best R&B / Urban Newcomer:

  • Fierce
  • Glamma Kid
  • Honeyz
  • Jamelia
  • Kele le Roc

Best Dance Newcomer:

  • Blockster
  • Groove Armada
  • Phats and Small
  • Shanks and Bigfoot
  • Spacedust

Best Indie / Rock Newcomer:

  • Beta Band
  • Death in Vegas
  • Gay Dad
  • UNKLE
  • Wiseguys

Best Pop Newcomer:

  • Charlotte Church
  • Ann Lee
  • Martine McCutcheon
  • Adam Rickitt
  • S Club 7

Of these, the winner of each category and the most voted for act overall were carried through to the list of final nominees. The award was presented by Sara Cox and Zoë Ball.

  • Groove Armada
  • Honeyz
  • Phats and Small
  • S Club 7
  • Wiseguys

Winner: S Club 7

Best British Pop Act

Voted for by readers of The Sun. Presented by Cat Deeley and Ant and Dec. Nominees:

  • Five – Keep on Movin’
  • Geri Halliwell – Mi Chico Latino
  • Ann Lee – 2 Times
  • Martine McCutcheon – Perfect Moment
  • S Club 7 – Bring it All Back
  • Steps – Heartbeat / Tragedy

Winner: Five

Best British Single

Voted for by listeners of independent radio. Presented by Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash. Nominees:

  • Basement Jaxx – Red Alert
  • Blur – Tender
  • The Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy, Hey Girl
  • Fatboy Slim – Praise You
  • Manic Street Preachers – You Stole the Sun from My Heart
  • Moloko – Sing it Back
  • Shanks and Bigfoot – Sweet Like Chocolate
  • Supergrass – Moving
  • Travis – Why Does it Always Rain on Me?
  • Robbie Williams – She’s the One

Winner: Robbie Williams

Best British Video

Voted for by viewers of VH-1. Presented by Richard Blackwood and Donna Air. Nominees:

  • Aphex Twin – Windowlicker
  • The Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be
  • Fatboy Slim – Praise You
  • Supergrass – Pumping on Your Stereo
  • Robbie Williams – She’s the One

Winner: Robbie Williams

Best International Female

Presented by Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Ali G. Nominees:

  • Mary J. Blige
  • Macy Gray
  • Whitney Houston
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Britney Spears

Winner: Macy Gray

Best International Group

Presented by Andrea Corr and Jim Corr from The Corrs. Nominees:

  • Beastie Boys
  • The Cardigans
  • Mercury Rev
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • TLC

Winner: TLC

Best International Male

Presented by Caprice and Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet. Nominees:

  • Beck
  • Eminem
  • Ricky Martin
  • Moby
  • Will Smith

Winner: Beck

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Kylie Minogue and Natalie Imbruglia. Nominees:

  • Eminem
  • Macy Gray
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Semisonic
  • Britney Spears

Winner: Macy Gray

Best Live Act

Presented by Cerys Matthews from Catatonia.

Winner: Steps

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Presented by Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones, and Thora Birch. Nominees:

  • The Dust Brothers – Fight Club
  • John Williams – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Various Artists – Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me
  • Various Artists – The Matrix
  • Various Artists – Notting Hill

Winner: Notting Hill

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Will Smith.

Winner: Spice Girls

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: this post originally listed Shanks and Bigfoot rather than Groove Armada in the final listing for Best Newcomer – this appears to be an error on Wikipedia, and was accidentally included on this post too.