hmv.com Presents... The Best Soundtracks Of All Time: Performance
With some great in-store offers starting this week on films and on film soundtracks as part our 'Decades' series, every day we'll be picking the best soundtrack, one for every year, starting with 1950 right through to the present day. Today we're up to 1970 and we're recommending the soundtrack for Donald Cammel and Nicholas Roeg's film, Performance...
Performance, the story of an East London gangster in hiding starring James Fox and Mick Jagger
So what’s the film about?
James Fox stars as Chas, a violent East-end gangland enforcer looks for a place to hide after carrying out a hit on a rival gangster named Joey Maddocks who he has some personal, unfinished business with.Trouble is, he does so without the authorisation of his employer, the notorious London crime family boss Harry Flowers.
Figuring he needs to lay low for a while before skipping the country, Chas shacks up with fading rock star Turner, played by the very much not fading rock star Mick Jagger.
Turner lives what Chas considers to be a bohemian lifestyle – namely with two young women and a shedload of drugs. It's not something that appeals to Chas' mentality, but before long he finds himself getting caught up in Turner's hedonistic lifestyle.
Is this a score or a soundtrack?
It's a soundtrack 13 featuring contemporary songs.
So who’s on it? Anyone I might know?
Probably. There are contributions from the likes of Randy Newman, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jack Nitzsche, Merry Clayton, Ry Cooder and, of course, Mick Jagger.
So which songs are on it? Did any of them become hits?
One of the singles from the soundtrack, 'Memo From Turner', was adapted from the instrumental version from the film, called 'Natural Magic', and reached no.32 in the UK singles charts. Elsewhere there are some colourfully titles songs, including Merry Clayton's 'Poor White Hound Dog' and the frankly ill-considered 'Wake Up N*****s!' by Ry Cooder and Buffy Sainte-Marie.
What’s the best moment?
'Natural Magic' is probably the highlight, and since Mick and Keef saw the potential in this particular tune as a single, who are we to argue?
Has it stood the test of time?
It does sound very of its time and, if we're being honest, we don't envision any of the tracks getting the remix treatment any time soon – particularly not the aforementioned Ry Cooder number. Unless of course Dr. Dre has other ideas...