UMC (Universal Music Catalogue) is releasing the first-ever official soundtrack to the series Peaky Blinders, in a two-CD set spanning all five series, which will also be available as a 3-record vinyl release.
Since the opening credits of the first series, using Nick Cave’s menacing Red Right Hand to set the sinister tone, music has been integral to the narrative and style of Peaky Blinders. A new version of Red Right Hand by PJ Harvey, only available on this release, has been specially recorded for the series, now available to stream from here. Also exclusive to the new soundtrack album are Jehnny Beth’s I’m The Man, Richard Hawley’s Dylan cover Ballad of A Thin Man (on CD and vinyl for the first time) and Anna Calvi’s series 5 score, You’re Not God. Other tracks come from Nick Cave, Arctic Monkeys, The White Stripes, Royal Blood, Joy Division, Queens of the Stone Age, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Laura Marling and Foals, among many others. The total track list runs to 49 songs and includes excerpts of dialogue from all five series.
Peaky Blinders uses music in a highly original way. While the costume styling, though bypassing the dress code of the original gang that the series is based on, is rooted in sartorial accuracy for the period, immediately after the First World War, the music abandons all temptation to stay in that era. The songs, chosen purely for their reflection of the dark, brooding menace of the storylines, come from all periods of rock ‘n’ roll history. Songs that previously had no connection to each other have been fused together into a collection that charts the rise and fall of the Shelby empire, as if PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Richard Hawley and David Bowie and all the other musicians were all secretly living in Small Heath in the 1920s.
David Bowie was such a big fan of Peaky Blinders that he sent a pre-release copy of his final studio album Blackstar to the show’s creators, with a request that it be considered for use in Series 3. It was, but sadly the singer died before he could hear his music in the programme. However, when he received Cillian Murphy’s original Tommy Shelby flat cap as a thank you from the actor, he knew it was going to happen.
Both CD and vinyl versions come with copious sleevenotes and pictures, and The Chap, with its long association with Peaky Blinders, has provided six pages of commentary on the sartorial style of the characters, and how the iconic Peaky swagger was achieved for all the actors.
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