Although it’s their first foray into television series sountrack work, Reznor and Ross are no strangers to film composing, having scored David Fincher’s The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl. Fincher had worked with the Nine Inch Nails previously on their music video for ‘Only’.
In the ‘Life On Mars?’ cover, the pair do away with their signature harsh synths that were utilised so heavily in their film work, and rather allow a lonely piano lead line to pitch apart from the background of brooding electronics. What’s left is a hauntingly beautiful cover of the Hunky Dory favourite that perfectly reflects the dystopian and dissolusioned feel of the Watchmen universe.
Similar covers have also been utilised in HBO’s Westworld where the ragtime piano renditions make the usually melancholic songs sound upbeat and therefore an undercurrent of maliciousness, much like how the human-like robots of the series seem both familiar and uncanny. But I digress.
Have a spoiler-free listen to the track below:
Reznor and Ross recently announced a reissue of Nine Inch Nails’ With Teeth on vinyl – find out more.