Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Australian Television: The Music of City Homicide

I've done four posts on the Australian crime drama City Homicide and I can't talk about that show without talking about the music from it.

Along with delivering a great drama from a stellar cast, City Homicide delivers a wealth of good music.  Virtually every episode of the show has two or three songs in it that adds to the tension, emotion and action of the storyline. 

A couple of years ago, some of the music from the series was collected into a 2 disc soundtrack.  The soundtrack was sold in Australia and available on some Internet music retailers to other countries as an import.  (A full track listing of this soundtrack is at the end of this post.)

In my opinion, Josh Pyke's Goldmines and Into My Arms by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were two of the stand-out tracks from the soundtrack.

But the soundtrack didn't contain all of the excellent music viewers of City Homicide have been privileged to hear over the course of the three seasons the show has been on the air.  Some of the songs that didn't make the cut for the soundtrack can be found on iTunes as well as on the original albums on which they appear (providing the albums are still in print).  Fans of the show and its music living outside of Australia might have a little trouble finding the songs but some of them are certainly worth the extra legwork to find.  I can't mention them all here, sadly, as it would make the post several pages long.

Hello by the John Butler Trio is a very notable exception.  The song is a rocking folksy number from the premiere episode of season one.  I love everything about this song--the lyrics, the beautiful guitar work and the prominent percussion--and am quite surprised it didn't make the soundtrack.  The band is from Freemantle, Western Australia and appears twice in City Homicide.  Their song What You Want makes an appearance in episode 8 of season two.  Both songs appear on the John Butler Trio record Sunrise over Sea.

Beautiful Storm by Greg Johnson is another great song from the premiere episode.  Yes, the lyrics are a bit odd but the "the sun will once more rise" line alone is more than worth the trouble you might have finding this song.  It appears on Johnson's album Sea Breeze Motel.

Alex Lloyd's Never Meant to Fail from his self-titled album makes an appearance twice in the fourth episode of season one.  Both times, it adds some emotion to scenes featuring Matt Ryan.  The video below was posted on YouTube by bluetonguefilms:

Finally, my hands-down favorite song from all three seasons of City Homicide that, unfortunately, didn't make the soundtrack cut is Damien Leith's Shine Like the Sun.  Used in the after-episode video of the 5th episode of season one, this song, albeit in an edited form, provides the musical background to a video montage of scenes from various episodes illustrating the ups and downs our heroes have faced.  Leith has an excellent voice and the lyrics to this song are amazing.  This song is truly one of my favorite songs ever and made me an instant Damien Leith fan the first time I heard it. 

City Homicide Original Soundtrack
Disc 1
01.  John Butler Trio – What You Want
02.  Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream
03.  Pete Murray – Saving Grace
04.  Wolfmother – Joker And The Thief
05.  Gyroscope – Silver Heart
06.  Josh Pyke – Goldmines
07.  Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Into My Arms
08.  Evermore – The Only One I See
09.  Little Birdy – On And On
10.  My Friend The Chocolate Cake – It’s All In The Way
11.  The Grates – Aw Yeah
12.  Kisschasey – Spray On Pants
13.  Whitley – The Life I Keep
14.  Intercooler – Hold Me Again
15.  Lovers Electric – Could This Be
16.  Bob Evans – Don’t You Think It’s Time
17.  Dash & Will – Pick You Up
18.  Skybombers – It’s Goes Off
19.  Anika Moa – Ka Whakahuia Ano

Disc 2
01.  Gabriella Cilmi – Don’t Wanna Go To Bed Now
02.  Jessica Mauboy – Running Back Feat. Flo Rida
03.  The Living End – Moment In Sun
04.  The Presets – Down Down Down
05.  Operator Please – Get What You Want
06.  Rogue Traders – What You’re On
07.  Cut Copy – Lights & Music
08.  The Potbelleez – Are You With Me
09.  Paul Kelly – I Won’t Be You Dog Anymore
10.  Choirboys – Run To Paradise
11.  Clare Bowditch And The Feeding Set – Old Joelene
12.  Kate Miller-heidke – Can’t Shake It
13.  Tim Finn – Salt To The Sea
14.  Lisa Mitchelle – Neopolitan Dreams
15.  Lenka – The Show
16.  Missing Hours – Falling Down
17.  The Screaming Jets – Blue Sashes
18.  Rose Tattoo – Bad Boy For Love


  1. so agree with you Shine like the sun is a fantastic song, surely Damien deserves recognition as he is a gifted and multi talented entertainer who is so overlooked by the music industry.

  2. I agree. Damien is an extraordinarily talented musician. Whoever had the responsibility of putting together the City Homicide soundtrack sure dropped the ball when they didn't include Shine Like the Sun. True, there's been a lot of great music used in the series but I don't know how that song couldn't have stood out as a must-include track.