Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on May 4th 2007 11:00AM by Steve Baltin
The Oklahoma City band's contribution to the 'Spider-Man 3' soundtrack is the brilliantly titled 'The Supreme Being Teaches Spider-Man How to Be in Love.' The song, with psychedelic overtones that peg it as classic Lips, is one of the centerpieces of the surprisingly strong collection. Coyne says the promise of the talent assembled for the project appealed to the band. "That's why we were fighting so much to be part of it," he says. "They had a lot of the bands on the roster that they wanted to get. When we saw who all they were approaching for it, we were like, 'Well, this has potential to be good.' There's Wolfmother, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, quite a few good things."
The other groups involved also made the album an appealing prospect for Hamilton Leithauser, lead singer of New York-based indie rockers the Walkmen, whose 'Red River' will be the second single from the soundtrack. For Leithauser it was more of a calming influence. "I heard band names when the idea was originally presented to me," he tells Spinner. "They made it sound a little more in our world, 'cause I don't know much about it, but I think it's like 'Titanic' and 'Spider-Man' are the biggest movies ever made, or something like that. When you hear that it seems kind of weird, like it's a different world."
Given the size of the movie, even Leithauser admits to being surprised at 'Red River' being chosen to be a single. "That's really baffling, especially when you look at the other bands," he says. "'Cause it seems to me it's such a big thing, and so many people have so much stake in it, that it would just come down to numbers. I'm very surprised that somebody was allowed to make that choice."
But size didn't matter in this case. Jordan Tappis, head of Record Collection, the label releasing the compilation with Warner Bros., says that out of the 100 to 150 submissions they received for the soundtrack, they tried to winnow it down based on several criteria. "We were looking for songs that we thought fit well together on a record, that made a complete album, and it just so happens a lot of those artists that wrote those songs were some great artists, some big bands, and some of them were really small bands and unknown bands," he says. "There are a couple of bands on the soundtrack that we didn't expect to write the songs that they had."
Among those that made the cut alongside the Lips, the Killers and Snow Patrol, are Sounds Under Radio. If you're saying, "Who?" you're not alone. "They're a band in Austin, an unsigned band, who nobody's heard of," Tappis says. "They submitted a track they wrote, completely unsolicited. It kind of shocked everybody. In fact, Dave Sardy, my partner, who put together the soundtrack and produced it, heard that song first and played it for all of us. He's like, 'I don't know who this band is, where they come from or how they even know we're putting out a record, but check it out.' And it kind of blew all our minds."
Another standout selection is Black Mountain's haunting 'Stay Free,' which Tappis says also took him by surprise. "The song that Black Mountain wrote reminded me of kind a throwback Neil Young song," he says. "And the content of the lyrics is similar to the metamorphosis that Spider-Man is going through in this particular film. So that was kind of shocking that they hit the nail on the head without reading a script or seeing any footage."
As for the Lips' contribution, Coyne says he couldn't help but touch upon memories of his late-'60s childhood. "I always felt like my older brothers especially related to Spider-Man, so we just really thought that we could do a Spider-Man-themed thing," he says. What Coyne and mates came up with is a track that unites two icons of the time, Spidey and Muhammad Ali. What brought the two together? "When I was growing up I remember us having boxing matches in the front yard -- you have to remember this being 1969, 1970 -- where one of my brothers would literally be Spider-Man and you'd act like you were Muhammad Ali," he says. "So some of that's probably just coming from my bruised brain's altered recalling of my Spider-Man memories."
And who won the fights? "I think inevitably Muhammad Ali always won," Coyne says. "He's the champ and he knows how to box. Spider-Man's a superhero, but he's no boxer."
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