Brian Eno - Top Boy (Score from the Original Series)

Posted on August 16, 2023 by James


Released on vinyl and CD September 29, 2023
Pre-order now

To coincide with the final season of the seminal British TV show, Top Boy coming to our screens on September 7th, Netflix are releasing a selection of Brian Eno’s recordings from his soundtrack to the show. ‘Top Boy (Score From the Original Series)’ will be released on vinyl (Music on Vinyl), CD (Beatink Records) and digital formats (Netflix Music) and aside from two tracks included on Eno’s album, “Film Music 1976 - 2020”, this will be the first time any of this material from the entire five seasons has been made available publicly.

Eno contributed the tense theme tune to the series and has composed the original music for Top Boy since the beginning of the show in 2011. Together with Michael "Mikey J” Asante, who provided additional music for the Netflix seasons 1 ~ 3, they have created an aura and atmosphere that has become a crucial element of the programme's appeal. The music to the original season, now titled on Netflix as ‘Summerhouse’ won the 2012 BAFTA Award for Original Television Music.

Released today is ‘Cutting Room 1’, a completely unheard track, especially as it is one of two tracks on the album that Brian selected for inclusion on the soundtrack album, even though they were never used in any episodes of the series. Both were written for Top Boy, hence their ‘Cutting Room’ titles.

Eno has a long history of providing scores and individual pieces for film and TV, and his deep association with ambient music involved him writing music for imaginary films in the early part of his career. His approach to scoring is inspired by Nino Rota’s soundtracks for Federico Fellini films, where music was created for its own sake and images were applied over the music, rather than the composer tailoring sound to every scene.

“From the beginning of Top Boy, I was given the freedom to work in the way I prefer,” says Brian, “making music and atmospheres and then giving it to the film makers to use as they saw fit. I try to absorb the idea of what a piece is about and from that I produce a lot of music, and say, ‘Here it is. Use it as you wish.’

“If you’d been scoring it in the conventional Hollywood way, the temptation would be to up the excitement factor, up the danger factor, all the time. But Top Boy is really about children in a pretty bad situation. So I explored the internal world of the children, not just what’s happening to them in the external world. Quite a lot of the music was deliberately naive, it was sort of simple. The melodies were simple, not really sophisticated, or grown-up.”

Pre-order now on CD, Silver vinyl and Crystal clear vinyl