Top Fifteen Movie Songs 2/15 (in no particular order that I will admit to):
02) "I SEE THROUGH"
Performed by Rollins Band
Written by Henry Rollins, Melvin Gibbs, Sim Cain, Chris Haskett
Published by Sony Songs, Inc. / Men-O-Rok / Archetext Music / Imago Music, Inc. (BMI)
Produced by Theo Van Rock
Engineered by Peter Rave
Recorded at Echo Creek Ranch; Myers, CA
Rollins Band appears courtesy of The Imago Recording Company
Film: Johnny Mnemonic
Yeah, I go on a lot about this film, but with very good reason:
Based on the short story of the same name by my favourite author, William Gibson
William Gibson also wrote the screenplay.
Henry Rollins is in it. (Hot body - just wish there was more in the film.)
It has a great soundtrack.
Okay, Raise you hand if you actually say thin one.
Now, Raise you hand if you actually read the short story... before seeing the film.
There is an interesting story here...
Gibson, in the late 80's, sold the movie rights to Neuromancer. It got as far as getting Devo to do some soundtrack work for it, but alas, the project was never finished.
Johnny Mnemonic was the precursor to the Sprawl trilogy - Neuromancer, Count Zero and Monalisa Overdrive - and the first time we see Molly Millions (also known as Sally Shears in Monalisa Overdrive, and "the Steppin' Razor" to the residents of Zion.)
Molly is in the Sprawl tril, so, not having the rights to the character, could not be included in Johnny Mnemonic. In comes Jane. Jane is not just a re-naming of Molly, but more on that in a minute.
Gibson was working on the Bridge trilogy - Virtual Light (1993), Iduro (1996) and All Tomorrow's Parties (1999) - when working on the screenplay of JM (released 1995).
Gibson went on tour with the band U2 (the Zeuropa tour) while working on Iduro (for inspiration).
On the soundtrack, we have:
"ALEX DESCENDS INTO HE[ck] FOR A BOTTLE OF MILK/KOROVA 1"
Performed by Bono and The Edge
Written by Bono and The Edge
(There is some mutual fandom between Gibson and members of the band.)
So, having the film of Neuromancer fall short of ever getting finished, Gibson figured on this being his one big chance. He incorporated elements of the Sprawl and Bridge trilogies into the screenplay. Among the most prevalent are:
"Heaven" - the bridge is largely right out of the trillogy.
Jayne (the Molly replacement) is strongly influenced by the character Chevette Washinton.
Ratz from Neuromancer becomes Hookie.
So... well, that was a lot on the film, but what about the song!?
I am a major fan of Henry Rollins. There are a lot of really good songs on the soundtrack (by Stabbing Westward, KMFDM, Orbital, the afore mentioned Bono and The Edge...) but "I See Through" ... the sound of the music, the sound of his voice... Ah... what a song. It is (basically) (to me) about facing your fear and staring it down until you "see through" - the fear, the darkness, etc.
Anywho, there you have it.