(2013 - Ongoing)
By Helena ‘Raven’ Geo
What happens when the Italian Mafia crosses paths with the Peaky Blinders? Well, the answer to this question is mayhem. The third season introduces us only to the patriarch of the Changretta Family, leaving us the official Mafia introductions for Season 4, which has one of the most barbarically bloody scenes from the many so far, and we, bloodthirsty hounds, love it even more.
With the astounding stoner/hard rock track Burn The Witch by Queens Of The Stone Age, which was released in their 2005 album Lullabies To Paralyze, we can’t help but bring into mind the fires always bursting throughout the episodes of the series, which, fact is, are deliberately used to shape the connection between Tommy Shelby and his after-death unavoidable ending in hell.
Another notable stoner rock track is Don't Sit Down 'Cause I've Moved Your Chair, by the Arctic Monkeys, from their 2011 album Suck It And See.
The alternative/indie genre is once again present in the series, with tracks such as Dangerous Animals and the single Crying Lightning by the Arctic Monkeys (from their 2009 album Humbug). By The Last Shadow Puppets indie fans can listen to Used To Be My Girl and their single Bad Habits, from their 2016 album Everything You’ve Come to Expect.
From The Kills the track DNA (2011 album Blood Pressures) and Monkey 23 (from their 2003 album The Beat That My Heart Skipped), Cherry Lips by the Archie Bronson Outfit (2006 album Derdang Derdang), and of course the track This Is Love from the amazing voice of PJ Harvey, from her 2000 album Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.
And since we mention PJ Harvey once again in the series soundtrack, take a listen to the alternative/blues rock Meet Ze Mostra from her 1995 album To Bring You My Love. The song borrows the line "meet the monster tonight" from Beefheart's "Tropical Hot Dog Night", the second track of his album Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller), an album which Harvey has said had a particular impact on her.
The experimental/alternative rock, with hints of electronica, sounds of Radiohead are heard in this third season, with their tracks I Might Be Wrong and Life In A Glasshouse, both taken from their 2001 album Amnesiac. An album which earned them even more respect, musically wise, since it moves within the genres of electronic music, 20th-century classical music, jazz, and krautrock (a broad genre of experimental rock that developed in Germany in the late 1960s’, among bands drawing on various diverse sources such as psychedelic rock, electronic music, funk, jazz improvisation).
And what is Peaky Blinders without Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, since many of their songs can be heard during the first two seasons. Their post/punk track Tupelo, from their 1985 album The Firstborn Is Dead, which was written by Barry Adamson, Nick Cave and Mick Harvey in mid-late 1984, describes the birth of Elvis Presley during a heavy storm in Tupelo, Mississippi and is loosely based on the American Blues singers’ John Lee Hooker song of the same title, which also focuses on a flood in the same town.
Do you guys remember the 1995 song Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing by Chris Isaak, from his album Forever Blue? Well, it was also featured in 1999 in Stanley Kubrick's final film, Eyes Wide Shut, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, and was also released as a cover in the American indie rock bands’ Queen Kwong 2013 album Bad Lieutenant, which is also amongst our favorite series tracks. And though we much more got used to Isaaks’ sounds on this song, this cover did not disappoint us. Under the female voice of Carré Callaway, it does separate it partly from the original 1995 one, making it a sound of its own.
The review could not be complete without a discovered music gem, this time the folk rock track You Want It Darker, by Leonard Cohen, released 19 days before his death on October 16 2016. His 14th and final studio album, created towards the end of his life, focuses on Death, God, and humor, and was awarded a Grammy Award in January 2018 for Best Rock Performance. A deep coarse sound that penetrates your entire being, bringing to mind the scene of a poker game played between a human and the Devil, one playing to save his soul and the other just for the fun of it. Even though the lyrics are directed towards God, as if it were the last words of a dying man, the sound is definitely remind you of a much darker place, the kind of sound that you could hear being performed in an underground illicit speakeasy bar during the alcohol prohibition, with amazing lyrics, like “If you are the dealer, I'm out of the game. If you are the healer, it means I'm broken and lame. If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame. You want it darker. We kill the flame”, “Magnified, sanctified, be thy holy name. Vilified, crucified, in the human frame. A million candles burning for the help that never came. You want it darker”. (Listen to this dark amazing sound here).
Saving one of the very best for last on this review, as mentioned in the fun facts of the first season review, the late David Bowie was a big fan of the show, and permission was given to enlist in the series soundtrack the track Lazarus, the second single from his 25th and last 2016 album Blackstar, which he never got to perform live since he passed away on January 10 2016, leaving the worldwide rock scene with one gifted artist less.
P.S.1: Even though the story takes place in Birmingham, most of the shooting scenes take place in Liverpool and in the surrounding Merseyside area.
P.S.2: Huge fans of the series include Dennis Lehane, the author of the brilliant Mystic River and Shutter Island, and also Snoop Dogg (yes, the weed-king himself) who invited the series creator Steven Knight on a 3-hour discussion of how the series reflected his own attraction to the gang culture as a kid.
P.S.3: Sam Neill (CI Campbell), even though he was born in Northern Ireland, he grew up in New Zealand, so he enlisted the help of Irish actors James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson to help him with the Irish accent.
P.S.4.: Let the screen bloodshed continue. Join the Peaky Blinders gang!
Cillian Murphy (Tommy Shelby), Paul Anderson (Arthur Shelby), Joe Cole (John Shelby), Michael Gray (Finn Shelby), Sophie Rundle (Ada Shelby), Helen McCrory (aunt Polly), Annabelle Wallis (Grace Burgess), Tom Hardy (Alfie Solomons), Iddo Goldberg (Freddie), Sam Neill (CI Campbell), Kenneth Colley (Vicente Changretta) and many more.
Theme Song: Red Right Hand (από Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
For the 1st season review : peaky-blinders-series-soundtrack-review-part-i-of-iv-season-1-en
For the 2nd Season review : peaky-blinders-series-soundtrack-review-part-ii-of-iv-season-2-en