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Original Soundtracks 1

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Original Soundtracks 1
Studio album by Passengers
Released 7 November 1995
Recorded Westside Studios, London, UK and Hanover Quay Studios, Dublin, Ireland, 1995
Genre Experimental, alternative rock, ambient, electronica
Length 58:10
Label Island
Producer Brian Eno
Singles from Original Soundtracks 1
  1. "Miss Sarajevo"
    Released: November 1995
  2. "Your Blue Room"
    Released: scheduled for early 1996, later cancelled

Original Soundtracks 1 (also known as Original Soundtracks) is a 1995 album recorded by U2 and Brian Eno, as a side project, under the pseudonym Passengers. It is a collection of songs written for mostly imaginary films (the exceptions being songs for Ghost in the Shell, Miss Sarajevo, and Beyond the Clouds).


U2 and producer Brian Eno formed Passengers as a warm-up for U2's 1997 album, Pop. Their original intention was to record a soundtrack for Peter Greenaway's 1996 film The Pillow Book.[1] Though the plan did not come to fruition, Eno suggested they continue recording for imaginary films. At this time, the US charts were dominated by movie soundtrack albums and singles. Once Eno pointed out that it would not be a real ploy for radio airplay, but a spoof of one, U2 agreed to the concept.[1]

U2 had frequently improvised in the past, and in the Original Soundtracks 1 sessions they engaged in free-form jamming to video clips from various films.[1] Eno stated, "Listening to the original improvisations as they came off the floor, you feel the excitement of the process ... You have to be careful not to disturb the organic flow of the thing."[2] The group brought in producer Howie B to cut down and mix some of the tracks after several hours of jam sessions had been recorded.[1]

Part of the group's intent in creating Original Soundtracks 1 had been to make a "night-time" record.[3] Lead vocalist Bono said, "It feels like it's been set on the bullet train in Tokyo. Every record has a location, a place where you enjoy listening to it, whether that be a bedroom or a club, well this record location is a fast train. It's slo-mo music though. But it has an odd sense of speed in the background."[4] He also noted that when creating works for soundtracks the visual suggestion from the music is more important than the story told by the lyrics. With this in mind the band had tried to create "visual music" when recording, continuing a trend that began with their 1993 song "Zooropa".[5][6]

Writing, recording, and composition

The genesis, recording and subsequent release of the album is detailed in Eno's diaries A Year with Swollen Appendices.

About half of the album is instrumental, and the vocal tracks generally stray from the clear hooks and melodies that usually define U2's work. Of these, the delicate "Miss Sarajevo", featuring Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti on vocals, is considered the most memorable.

One of the tracks, "Your Blue Room", features Adam Clayton reciting the final verse. This marks only his second recorded vocal on a U2 project, the first being on "Endless Deep", the B-side to 1983's "Two Hearts Beat as One".

Brian Eno alluded to some extra tracks that were recorded with the Japanese singer Holi at the time and that they may be released at some point in the future: " fact we did several things together in four hours. Some of the other pieces are really lovely too, and I'm sure will see the light of day. But she was absolutely fantastic."[7]


 Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [8]
The Boston Globe (favourable)[9]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[10]
Hot Press (10/12)[11]
The Los Angeles Times [12]
Rolling Stone [13]

Because of the nature of the music and the decision to release it under another name, the album is easily the least-known and poorest-selling in the U2 catalogue. Further, critical reaction from the fans and even the band members has been mixed. Drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., is noted for his dislike of the album: "There's a thin line between interesting music and self-indulgence. We crossed it on the Passengers record."[14] Later reflecting on the album in 2002, Mullen stated, "It hasn't grown on me. However, 'Miss Sarajevo' is a classic."[15] Bono objected to Mullen's statement in the same documentary, claiming that "Larry just didn't like [Passengers] because we didn't let him play the drums."

Track listing

All music composed by Passengers (Brian Eno, Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, and Larry Mullen, Jr.).
# Title From film Length
1. "United Colours"   United Colours of Plutonium (Japan) 5:31
2. "Slug"   Slug (Germany) 4:41
3. "Your Blue Room"   Par-delà les nuages / Beyond the Clouds (Italy) 5:28
4. "Always Forever Now"   Always Forever Now (Hong Kong) 6:24
5. "A Different Kind of Blue"   An Ordinary Day (USA) 2:02
6. "Beach Sequence"   Par-delà les nuages / Beyond the Clouds (Italy) 3:31
7. "Miss Sarajevo" (featuring Luciano Pavarotti) Miss Sarajevo (USA) 5:40
8. "Ito Okashi" (featuring Holi) Ito Okashi / Something Beautiful (Japan) 3:25
9. "One Minute Warning"   Ghost in the Shell (Japan) 4:40
10. "Corpse (These Chains are Way too Long)"   Gibigiane / Reflections (Italy) 3:35
11. "Elvis Ate America" (featuring Howie B) Elvis Ate America (USA) 3:00
12. "Plot 180"   Hypnotize (Love Me 'til Dawn) (UK) 3:41
13. "Theme from The Swan"   The Swan (Hungary) 3:24
14. "Theme from Let's Go Native"   Let's Go Native (South Africa) 3:08
Bonus track (Japan only)
# Title From film Length
15. "Bottoms (Watashitachi No Ookina Yume) (Zoo Station Remix)"   Bottoms (Australia) 4:11

Music for films

The album alleges to be a collection of songs written for movies, hence the title Original Soundtracks. The album's booklet contains detailed descriptions of the film for which each song was written. Most of the films are non-existent; however, three of the 13 films listed on the album are real: Beyond the Clouds, Miss Sarajevo, and Ghost in the Shell.

This concept can be seen as something of a successor to Eno's Music for Films album and is also the base of the Dutch electronic duo Arling & Cameron's album "Music for Imaginary Films".

"Miss Sarajevo" was released as a successful single, competing (in the UK) for the Christmas number 1 spot ultimately losing to Michael Jackson's "Earth Song", however; it also later appeared on U2's The Best of 1990-2000 compilation in 2002. "Your Blue Room" was intended for the second single following "Miss Sarajevo," but was cancelled after poor album sales. The song was later released as a B-side on the "Staring at the Sun" single in 1997, and on the B-sides disc of The Best of 1990-2000.

The Japanese edition release include "Bottoms (Watashitachi No Ookina Yume) (Zoo Station Remix)" as a bonus track, which is also featured as B-side to the "Miss Sarajevo" single. The track is an instrumental version of the U2 song "Zoo Station", which appears on 1991's Achtung Baby. The Japanese subtitle "Watashitachi No Ookina Yume" translates to English as "our big dream." Some UK Promo copies of the album list "Bottoms" as well but the track is not actually present on the compact disc.

The track "Always Forever Now" appeared only briefly in the film Heat, but managed to make its way onto the Heat soundtrack, which also includes other tracks by Brian Eno. The track "Plot 180" was also used in the film Heat but only in a deleted scene.[16]

The film descriptions contain many hidden references and in-jokes, beginning with the descriptions' supposed authors, "Ben O'Rian and C. S. J. Bofop", both references to Brian Eno. The first is a simple anagram of the name, while the second replaces each letter with the alphabetically following letter.[17]


Chart (1995) Peak
Canadian Albums[18] 15
UK Albums[19] 12
US Billboard 200[20] 76


  • Bono  vocals, additional guitar, piano on "Beach Sequence"
  • Adam Clayton  bass guitar, additional guitar on "Your Blue Room", percussion, narration on "Your Blue Room"
  • The Edge  guitar, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Corpse," church organ on "Your Blue Room"
  • Brian Eno  strategies, sequencers, keyboards, backing vocals, guitar, treatments, mixing, chorus voices, vocals on "A Different Kind of Blue", production
  • Larry Mullen, Jr.  drums, percussion, rhythm sequence on "One Minute Warning," rhythm synthesizer on "United Colours"
Additional personnel
  • Luciano Pavarotti  tenor voice on "Miss Sarajevo"
  • Holi  vocals on "Ito Okashi," voices on "One Minute Warning"
  • Howie B  mixing, treatments, scratching, and rhythm track on "Elvis Ate America"
  • Craig Armstrong  string arrangement on "Miss Sarajevo"
  • Paul Barrett  string arrangement on "Always Forever Now"
  • Des Broadbery  sequencer on "Always Forever Now"
  • David Herbert  saxophone on "United Colours" and "Corpse"
  • Holger Zschenderlein  additional synthesizer on "One Minute Warning"

See also

  • Music for Films  a similar concept album series by Eno solo
  • Heat (soundtrack)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 McKay, Alastair (April 2009). "Passengers: The Album". The Ultimate Music Guide (U2).
  2. Moon, Tom, Eno: The story behind Original Soundtracks 1, Knight-Ridder News Service, 5 November 1995.
  3. Stokes (2005), p. 196
  4. Richardson, Andy, Achtung Bono!, NME, 21 October 1995.
  5. McCormick (2006), p. 247248
  6. PASSENGERS: OS1 Quotes & Song Information
  7. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. [Original Soundtracks 1 at All Music Guide Original Soundtracks 1: Review]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 30 September 2009.
  8. Sullivan, Jim (7 November 1995). Eno, U2 Make An 'Original' (reprint). The Boston Globe. Retrieved on 30 September 2009.
  9. Browne, David (10 November 1995). Music Review: Original Soundtracks 1. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 30 September 2009.
  10. Graham, Bill (15 November 1995). Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1 (reprint). Hot Press. Retrieved on 30 September 2009.
  11. Hochman, Steve (5 November 1995). Taking A Ride To Another World With Eno And U2 (reprint). The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 30 September 2009.
  12. Derogatis, Jim (14 December 1995). "Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1" (723).
  13. U2 quotes by Larry
  14. 10 Years of Turmoil Inside U2
  15. Deleted scene from HEAT "11 of 11". YouTube. Retrieved on 4 March 2012.
  16. Scrambled Names And Other Surprises (Original Soundtracks 1)
  17. Search Results: Passengers. RPM (27 November 1995). Retrieved on 25 November 2009.
  18. Retrieved on 22 January 2010. Note: U2 must be searched manually under the album category.
  19. Billboard 200: Week of November 25, 1995. Billboard (15 November 1995). Retrieved on 30 September 2009.

External links

Brian Eno
with Roxy Music Roxy Music | For Your Pleasure
Solo albums: Here Come the Warm Jets | Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy | Discreet Music | Another Green World | Before and after Science | Music for Airports | Music for Films | Thursday Afternoon | The Shutov Assembly | Nerve Net | Neroli | The Drop | Another Day on Earth
with Robert Fripp: Fripp & Eno (No Pussyfooting) | Evening Star | Air Structures (bootleg) | The Essential Fripp and Eno | The Equatorial Stars | The Cotswold Gnomes
with Cluster: Cluster & Eno | After the Heat | Begegnungen | Begegnungen II | Harmonia: '76: Tracks and Traces
Other collaborations: June 1, 1974 | 801 Live | The Plateaux of Mirror | Day of Radiance | Fourth World, Vol 1: Possible Musics | Fourth World, Vol 2: Dream Theory in Malaya | My Life in the Bush of Ghosts | Ambient #4, On Land | Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks | Music For Films Volume 2 | Textures | The Pearl | Hybrid | Music for Films III | Wrong Way Up | Wah Wah | Spinner | Original Soundtracks 1 | Music for Onmyo-Ji | Drawn from Life
Installations/Compilations etc: The Great Learning | The Portsmouth Sinfonia Plays the Popular Classics | Hallelujah! The Portsmouth Sinfonia Live at the Royal Albert Hall | June 1, 1974 | Peter and The Wolf | Working Backwards 1983-1973 |More Blank Than Frank/Desert Island Selection | My Squelchy Life | Robert Sheckley's In a Land of Clear Colours | Box I | Box II | Headcandy | [Generative Music 1 | Extracts from Music for White Cube | Lightness: Music for the Marble Palace | I Dormienti | Kite Stories | Music for Civic Recovery Centre | Compact Forest Proposal | January 07003-Bell Studies | Curiosities Volume 1 | Curiosities Volume 2 | 77 Million Paintings
A Year with Swollen Appendices | I Dormienti
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