Alongside repeat collaborator, Thomas Mars of Phoenix, Sofia Coppola has delivered a timeless gem of a soundtrack
Lifted from the 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, Sofia Coppola’s latest film tells the story of Priscilla Presley during her years as the queen consort of rock’n’roll, from the inception to the descent of her relationship with Elvis.
The film’s official soundtrack has been released on streaming via ABKCO, and condenses the fifty-one tracks that line the biopic to a select seventeen.
Though the tracks that comprise Priscilla (A24) span decades, the whole is stylistically quite congruous.
The bulk of the soundtrack is period appropriate, featuring such starry-eyed pop records as Frankie Avalon’s “Venus” and Tommy James & The Shondells’ “Crimson & Clover”.
The Ramones sit comfortably beside the likes of the Righteous Brothers and Brenda Lee with their reluctant but faithful 1980 cover of “Baby, I Love You” by The Ronettes.
A number of modern ambient pieces are strewn over Priscilla, such as Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s aerophonic “Stratus” and Porches’ synth-plucked “Country”.
For the film, Sons of Raphael arranged an instrumental cover of French band Phoenix’s 2022 song “My Elixir”, rounding out the tracklist. Phoenix’s lead singer Thomas Mars, Sofia Coppola’s husband, supplied much of the music for the film.
Alongside Mars, the music of Priscilla was overseen by the prolific music supervisor Randall Poster, who recently worked on Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorcese) and Asteroid City (Wes Anderson).
On the curious omission of Elvis from the soundtrack, he explained that “while the family is in support of the movie”, there’s an “anonymous company that owns [his songs’] rights” that were unwilling to permit their use. “At first, we expected to have some of Elvis’ music,” says Mars, “but we didn’t get anything.”
Another notable absence from the soundtrack – though perhaps less so – is Lana Del Rey, whose career-defining obsession with mid-century American iconography – particularly her emulation of Priscilla’s fashion – led fans to believe her appearance on the soundtrack was almost inevitable.
Coppola was only made aware of this association during the filming of Priscilla, but was immediately keen to have Del Rey on the soundtrack.
This could not come to fruition, however, due to a scheduling conflict.
Stream Priscilla (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) here.
Words By Harrison Jones