Invada Records and Lakeshore Records are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the release of the blockbuster soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive with limited edition vinyl double LPs with brand new artwork and packaging in three variants. The groundbreaking album features the iconic synth-driven score by Cliff Martinez as well as various artists such as College featuring Electric Youth and Chromatics. Drive was a smash hit upon release as it charted at #4 on the iTunes album chart and peaked at #35 on the Billboard Top 200. Accolades came rolling in such as Spin Magazine that lists it as one of the “Top 40 Movie Soundtracks The Changed Alternatvie Music.” The vinyl edition will be released in the Americas by Lakeshore Records and the rest of the world on Invada Records October 8.
The vinyl variants are as follows: In the Americas via Lakeshore Records “Neon Noir Splatter,” in the rest of the world via Invada Records “Marbled Pink” / “Marbled Blue” for retail, and for the Invada Records webshop, an exclusive four-sided picture disc.
This action drama follows a mysterious man who has multiple jobs as a garage mechanic, a Hollywood stuntman and a getaway driver seems to be trying to escape his shady past as he falls for his neighbor – whose husband is in prison and who’s looking after her child alone. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss is trying to set up a race team using gangland money, which implicates our driver as he is to be used as the race team’s main driver. Our hero gets more than he bargained for when he meets the man who is married to the woman he loves.
Notes Martinez: “The words ‘hit’ and ‘soundtrack’ seldom appear in the same sentence. The score to Drive is the closest I’ve ever come to having anything of the sort. And I wish I knew the recipe for it’s success as no one is more eager than me to repeat the experience.”
Cliff Martinez, who was born in the Bronx but raised in Ohio, moved to California in 1976 landing in the middle of the punk movement. After stints as the drummer for the Weirdos, Lydia Lunch and Foetus frontman Jim Thirlwell, and the final incarnation of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Martinez joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers (playing on the band’s first two albums) and later the Dickies. It was during his tenure with the Chili Peppers that Cliff began exploring the new technologies of that era, which would eventually guide him towards the film music world.
A tape Martinez had put together using these new technologies made its rounds, leading him to score an episode of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. The same recording also ended up in Steven Soderbergh’s hands and Martinez was hired to score the famed director’s first theatrical release 1989’s sex, lies and videotape. Martinez’s longstanding relationship with Soderbergh has continued through the years and they have worked together on ten theatrical releases including Kafka, The Limey, Traffic, Solaris, Contagion and the critically acclaimed TV series The Knick.
Perhaps it is because of his time in the punk scene that Martinez’s approach to scoring is nontraditional. His scores tend towards being stark and sparse, utilizing a modern tonal palette to paint the backdrop for films that are often dark, psychological stories like Pump Up The Volume (1990), The Limey (2009, Wonderland (2003), Wicker Park (2004), and Drive (2011). Martinez has been nominated for a Grammy Award (Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic), a Cesar Award (Xavier Giannoli’s A L’origine), and a Broadcast Film Critics Award (Drive). His second film with Drive with director Nicolas Winding Refn, Only God Forgives, earned Martinez a 2014 Robert Award (Danish Academy Award). His score for Refn’s The Neon Demon was awarded Best Soundtrack at the 2016 Cannes International Film Festival.
Still the drummer at heart, Martinez’s use of audio manipulations, particularly for percussive sounds, has been evolving through the years and is evident by the hammered dulcimer of Kafka (1991), the gray-areas between sound design and score for Traffic (2000), the steel drums and textures of Solaris (2002), what Martinez called ‘rhythmi-tizing pitched, ambient textures’ of Narc (2002), and ‘using percussion performances to trigger and shape the rhythmic and tonal characteristics of those ambient textures,’ as he described his score for 2011’s The Lincoln Lawer.
Martinez’s recent films include Martin Campbell’s The Foreigner, Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, Nicholas Jarecki’s Arbitrage, and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers (co-composed with Skrillex). Next up will be the Warner Bros. thriller/comedy Game Night and Refn’s new Amazon series Too Old To Die Young.
Cliff Martinez was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012 with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He earned the prestigious Richard Kirk Lifetime Achievement award from BMI in 2013. Martinez served as a juror for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and served on the International Feature nominating committee for 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Jeremy [Six Strings]