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SoundTRAX: "Sid & Nancy"

Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb pose in character as Sid and Nancy.
Geffen Records
Palace Pictures

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

It was 37 years ago today the movie Sid & Nancy was released, telling the story of the drug-fueled and ultimately doomed relationship between the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious and girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb were perfectly cast in the title roles and Courtney Love— who originally auditioned to play Nancy— has a minor role. There are also cameos from Iggy Pop, Circle Jerks, and Nico.

Did Sid kill Nancy? Was it an unsuccessful suicide pact? Or was it one of the many drug dealers who visited the couple at their room at the Hotel Chelsea who stabbed her?

Many theories abound but with Sid's overdose death just a few months later, there are still more questions than answers.

Now you'd probably assume this film would have lots of Sex Pistols tunes in it, but nope. There aren't even any Sid Vicious songs. But there is a contribution from the Pistols' Steve Jones.

The original music is by the film recording specialists Pray For Rain— and far more interesting to most of us— The Clash's Joe Strummer and The Pogues.

Tears for Fears initially recorded the song "Swords and Knives" for the film but producers felt it wasn't "punk enough." (Seems like that would have been obvious from the start, but I digress.)

Gary Oldman recorded two songs as Sid Vicious, a cover of The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and Sid's infamous take on "My Way".

There are also tunes by the Velvet Underground's John Cale and Circle Jerks, in addition to The Pogues' contributions of "Haunted" and "Junk".

But for today's SoundTRAX selection I'm going with the late, great Joe Strummer.

Strummer's record label only allowed him to provide two songs, but because Strummer was so into the project he found a way to work around that restriction.

Strummer kept contributing more music to the film— for no money— attributing the tunes to fake band names in the credits to keep his label from the truth.

But I'm going with one of the two "label-approved" songs, one that is considered the "theme" of the movie.

For the 37th anniversary of Sid & Nancy, it's Joe Strummer with "Love Kills".

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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