Forget about landing a slot at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits or Outside Lands, the hottest gig for bands this summer is the soundtrack for the latest installment of the monster “Twilight” franchise. And if you hurry, you can listen to the entire album almost a week before its release.
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, which hits shelves June 8, features freshly exhumed songs from Metric, The Dead Weather, Vampire Weekend, Cee Lo Green, The Bravery, Beck w/Bat for Lashes, Florence + The Machine, UNKLE featuring The Black Angels, Fanfarlo and many others.
Landing the honors of lead single is Muse, who contributed the more-Queen-than-Queen track “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)” to the project.
To help build excitement for the collection (like that’s necessary), the complete soundtrack is streaming online at EclipseSoundtrack.com until tomorrow morning.
Competition for a spot on the latest “Twilight” disc was hot and heavy, with more than 400 songs submitted, according to Rolling Stone.
“Great songs were sent in by world-class talent,” Alexandra Patsavas, “Twilight” music supervisor, told Rolling Stone. “The would-have-been album is quite stunning.”
Among the acts approached by producers of the film were Trent Reznor (who declined to participate), Beck (who visited the editing room for inspiration) and Vampire Weekend (who jumped at the chance to get in on the music marketing juggernaut even though they were out on the road touring).
“At first it seemed like too much to do,” Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig told RS. “But it was an opportunity to experiment, to write a different kind of pop song. And it made a certain amount of sense for us to do this.”
The decision to contribute a song was probably also made easier by the fact that the first two “Twilight” outings have moved more than 3.6 million albums and placed artists ranging from Death Cab for Cutie to Paramore to Bobby Long on the radar of the series’ rabid fans.
Patsavas said the songs chosen for the album reflect the shift in tone the “Twilight” movies have taken.
“This is about the battle between the vampires and the werewolves,” she explained to RS. “There’s a louder, more dissonant component to the music.”
Of course “Twilight” isn’t the only hot bloodsucker franchise moving music these days. True Blood: Music from the HBO Original Series Volume II, hit shelves last Tuesday.
The compilation includes tracks inspired by and chosen to accompany the happenings among the residents living (or not living, as the case may be) in the series’ fictional home of Bon Temps, La.
The album features new and exclusive tracks by Beck, Lucinda Williams w/Elvis Costello, Thievery Corporation and Robbie Robertson, as well as classics by artists like Bob Dylan, Eels, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Jr. Walker & The All Stars and 13th Floor Elevators.
“‘True Blood’ is very atmospheric and reflective of the backwoods of Louisiana, so it’s fitting we choose music that brings out the distinctive cultural heritage of the area,” series creator Alan Ball said. “It’s great to see that not only the show, but the music itself has been embraced by fans.”
Here’s the clip of Muse channeling Freddie Mercury and company on “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever).”
And here's the brand spankin' new extended trailer for the new season of "True Blood," which kicks off June 13.