Battleship Potemkin is a 2005 album from the Pet Shop Boys, written to accompany the 1925 silent film The Battleship Potemkin by Sergei Eisenstein, performed by Tennant, Lowe and the Dresdner Sinfoniker who were conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer with orchestrations by Torsten Rasch.
In April 2003, Philip Dodd, director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, approached Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe and suggested that they might write a new score for the film and perform it as a free concert in Trafalgar Square as part of a series of events organised by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.
They wrote the music in the order it would be heard, using a DVD of the film as a guide. From the beginning they resolved to combine electronic music and strings; the lyrics of the three vocal pieces within it were largely inspired by the film’s original subtitles, though one – “After All (The Odessa Staircase) ” – was also prompted by the role in London of Trafalgar Square as a home of political dissent.
Tennant and Lowe decided to ask Torsten Rasch to orchestrate the work after hearing his song cycle Mein Herz brennt, a record based on the music of the rock group Rammstein which has sold over two million copies worldwide. Torsten Rasch’s orchestrations were recorded by the Dresdner Sinfoniker, conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer, in Berlin during July 2004. About 25.000 people attended the screening and now the Pet Shop Boys’ score and the film have been combined for you to watch below.
Battleship Potemkin (Movie with Pet Shop Boys Score)