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Nowhere Boy OST - Review

Nowhere Boy OST

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

NOWHERE Boy: The Original Soundtrack is tipped to become one of the biggest soundtrack albums in recent years… and it’s easy to see why.

The film follows John Lennon’s teenage years that led to his music career from The Quarrymen, to his early relationship with Paul McCartney and the Beatles’ first trip to Hamburg.

As such, it offers a keen mix of songs especially recorded by the film’s young stars – including Aaron Johnson as Lennon – as well as a selection of the music that inspired Lennon at the time.

Stylishly packaged in a deluxe 2CD set, the album features the music to the film on CD1, followed by the rock ‘n’ roll classics that inspired Lennon on CD2.

Disc 1 includes original tracks recorded especially for the film by the band that portray ‘The Quarrymen’ characters (credited on the soundtrack as The Nowhere Boys), which means some unique takes on those Quarrymen songs, as well as original recordings from Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and many more.

It really does offer value-for-money and a nice extra for anyone who can’t get enough of Lennon and The Beatles.

And it’s a brave selection too. Lennon’s Mother, for instance, could have backfired spectacularly had the singing skills and musicianship of The Nowhere Boys not been up to scratch.

But as things stand, The Nowhere Boys deliver their tracks with the gusto and flair expected from the rock ‘n’ roll era, with Raunchy, That’s Alright Mama and That’ll Be The Day emerging as instantly familiar favourites, delivered well.

Their cover of In Spite Of All The Danger, meanwhile, is a personal favourite – and delivered with all the emotion and meaning inherent in the lyrics. It’s also a personal favourite of Aaron Johnson’s.

The inclusion of Mother itself, meanwhile, marks a coup for the filmmaking talent behind it, as it’s the perfect accompaniment to the film’s themes – and Lennon’s relationship with his mother and aunt.

Of the classics, it’s good to hear that the soundtrack hasn’t always gone for the obvious. There are some sterling, timeless favourites, including original versions of I Fought The Law (by Bobby Fuller Tour), Peggy Sue (Buddy Holly) and Mr Sandman (by Dickie Valentine) that are out and out classics.

But rarely heard songs by Elvis Presley (Baby, Let’s Play House), Let The Good Times Roll (Shirley & Lee) and Ain’t That A Shame (by Fats Domino) are brilliant reminders of why that era of music remains one of the finest.

In short, this 2CD offering is a belter of a listen that’s perfect party music, dinner party accompaniment, Sunday afternoon kickback, or memory trip with some contemporary relevance brought about by the release of Sam Taylor-Wood’s acclaimed film.

Download picks: Shake, Rattle & Roll, Mother, In Spite Of All The Danger, Raunchy, Hound Dog, I Fought The Law, Ain’t That A Shame, Peggy Sue, Rock Around The Clock, That’ll Be The Day, I Put A Spell On You, Stagger Lee

Track listing:
Disc 1

  1. Wild One – Jerry Lee Lewis
  2. Mr Sandman – Dickie Valentine
  3. Rocket 88 – Jackie Brenston & The Delta Cats
  4. Shake Rattle And Roll – Elvis Presley
  5. Hard Headed Woman – Wanda Jackson
  6. I Put A Spell On You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  7. Maggie May – Nowhere Boys
  8. That’ll Be The Day – Nowhere Boys
  9. Rockin’ Daddy – Nowhere Boys
  10. Twenty Flight Rock – Eddie Cochran
  11. That’s Alright Mama – Nowhere Boys
  12. Movin’ And Groovin’ – Nowhere Boys
  13. Raunchy – Nowhere Boys
  14. Hound Dog – Big Mama Thornton
  15. Be Bop A Lula – Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps
  16. Hello Little Girl
  17. In Spite Of All The Danger – Nowhere Boys
  18. Mother – John Lennon

Disc 2

  1. Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry
  2. Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & The Comets
  3. Rip It Up – Little Richard
  4. Baby Let’s Play House – Elvis Presley
  5. Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly
  6. Party Doll – Buddy Knox
  7. I Fought The Law – Bobby Fuller Four (The)
  8. Brand New Cadillac – Taylor, Vince
  9. Susie Q – Dale Hawkins
  10. Let The Good Times Roll – Shirley & Lee
  11. Money (That’s What I Want)
  12. Ain’t That A Shame – Fats Domino
  13. Stagger Lee
  14. These Dangerous Years – Frankie Vaughan
  15. Come Go With Me – Del-Vikings