allmusic: Glam rock was all about style as substance, finding truth through image. Todd Haynes realized this, constructing Velvet Goldmine, his ode to glam, as a hallucinatory experience where the surface means as much, if not more, than the underlying meanings. Which means, of course, that Haynes' view of glam was based on the artier inclinations of David Bowie and the sinister cabaret and full-blown dementia of Brian Eno-era Roxy Music.
Bowie refused to have any of his songs in Velvet Goldmine, possibly due to the anti-Bowie slant of the script, and the filmmakers squeezed their way out of a potentially fatal situation by hiring Shudder To Think and Grant Lee Buffalo to write Ziggy soundalikes. They work smashingly, as Shudder To Think's "Ballad of Mawell Demon" captures the sweeping ballad feeling of "All the Young Dudes," while Grant Lee Buffalo's "The Whole Shebang" is an uncanny recreation of Hunky Dory's skipping vaudevillian pop.
Their contributions stand out on the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, which is primarily devoted to songs from the era, either in their original incarnations or in newly minted covers. It's actually a risky move to stand Roxy Music's classic first single "Virginia Plain" next to a wealth of Roxy interpretations by the Venus in Furs, yet their recreations are stunning, enhanced by Thom Yorke's remarkable imitation of Bryan Ferry's vocals. Similarly, the Iggy Pop tribute band, Wylde Ratttz do an admirable job with "TV Eye."
The other covers don't fare as well, yet the other new songs are first-rate (particularly Pulp's stomping, horn-driven Slade extravaganza "We Are the Boys") and all the original recordings are terrific, highlighted by cult items as Eno's fantastic "Needle in the Camel's Eye," T. Rex's "Diamond Meadows" and Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel's British hit "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)."
The soundtrack, like the film itself, may be more of a collection of moments than a coherent experience, but those moments are pretty spectacular.
01 Needle In The Camel's Eye - Brian Eno
02 Hot One - Shudder To Think
03 20th Century Boy (T. Rex cover) - Placebo
04. 2HB (Roxy Music cover) - The Venus In Furs
05. TV Eye (Iggy Pop & The Stooges cover) - Wylde Ratttz
06. Ballad Of Maxwell Demon - Shudder To Think
07. The Whole Shebang - Grant Lee Buffalo
08. Ladytron (Roxy Music cover) - The Venus In Furs
09. We Are The Boyz - Pulp
10. Virginia Plain - Roxy Music
11. Personality Crisis (The New York Dolls cover) - Teenage FanClub feat. Donna Matthews
12. Satellite Of Love - Lou Reed
13. Diamond Meadows - T. Rex
14. Bitter's End - Paul Kimble & Andy Mackay
15. Baby's On Fire (Brian Eno cover) - The Venus In Furs
16. Bitter-Sweet (Roxy Music cover) - The Venus In Furs
17. Velvet Spacetime - Carter Burwell
18. Tumbling Down (Steve Harley cover) - The Venus In Furs
19. Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) - Steve Harley