We’ll admit we’ve had our problems with BBC Radio 1 in the recent past, and we’re certainly not the only ones. So of course, given this week’s announcement of Zane Lowe curating-slash-“rescoring” the Drive soundtrack with a little help from his pals, the default internet reaction is (quelle surprise) outrage.
Sure, we’ll put our hands up and say that the original soundtrack was pretty spot-on, if a tad overrated, and certainly elevated itself above the normal status these things are usually offered. But what’s utterly commendable here is this massive BBC-backed risk that’s being undertaken.
Let’s be honest, none of us still really know what BBC Music is, apart from a shitload of stars fighting for lung-space on a mediocre cover track. So for them to take their new pledge towards music and do something rather innovative is a joy to see – as licence-payers, we’re excited to hear a set of our favourite artists (except you, The 1975) add their stamp to a modern classic.
In fact, it’s this ‘modern classic’ accolade that makes Lowe’s experiment worth doing. Where a lesser film might see accusations of the Beeb trying to improve things, Drive is so fiercely etched in pop culture that it won’t make a difference either way. What is exciting, however, is using the outline of an original canvas and shading it with new perspective. Hell, it’s what often makes cover versions way more successful than their parents.
We’ll probably draw the line at someone trying to stick anything other than Simple Minds at the end of The Breakfast Club, but there’s no reason to avoid being open-minded about this sort of boldness, especially from a corporation crippled by safety. At worst we’ll have an album of ace new songs, at best it’ll encourage similar groundbreaking ventures (Annie Mac rescores Human Traffic, anyone?). On top of all that, it might finally make us forgive the BBC for The Voice which, let’s face it, can only ever be a good thing.