The Social Network (soundtrack)

Last updated
The Social Network
TSN-cover-CD.jpg
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedSeptember 28, 2010
Recorded2010 (Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length66:07
Label The Null Corporation
Producer
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross chronology
The Social Network
(2010)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(2011)

The Social Network is a dark ambient soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for David Fincher's film of the same name. It was released on September 28, 2010. [1] On September 17, a five-track sampler was also made available for free. [2] The film's score bears a similar sound to the previous Reznor/Ross 2008 collaboration, Ghosts I-IV , and even features two slightly reworked tracks from Ghosts : the track "Magnetic" (reworked from "14 Ghosts II") and "A Familiar Taste" (a remixed version of "35 Ghosts IV").

Dark ambient is a genre of post-industrial music that features an ominous, dark droning and often gloomy, monumental or catacombal atmosphere, partially with discordant overtones. It shows similarities towards ambient music, a genre that has been cited as a main influence by many dark ambient artists, both conceptually and compositionally. Although mostly electronically generated, dark ambient also includes the sampling of hand-played instruments and semi-acoustic recording procedures, and is strongly related to ritual industrial music.

A soundtrack, also written sound track, can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program, or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film, video, or television presentation; or the physical area of a film that contains the synchronized recorded sound.

Trent Reznor American musician

Michael Trent Reznor is an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and film score composer. He is the founder, lead vocalist, and principal songwriter of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, which he founded in 1988 and of which he was the sole official member until adding long-time collaborator Atticus Ross as a permanent member in 2016. His first release under the Nine Inch Nails name, the 1989 album Pretty Hate Machine, was a commercial and critical success. He has since released nine Nine Inch Nails studio albums. He left Interscope Records in 2007 and was an independent recording artist until signing with Columbia Records in 2012.

Contents

Critical reception of the soundtrack has been generally favorable, with high praise and widespread acclaim across the film industry being bestowed upon it. The score won nine major awards, including the 2010 Golden Globe award for Best Original Score – Motion Picture, [3] and the Academy Award for Best Original Score at the 83rd Academy Awards. [4]

The 68th Golden Globe Awards were broadcast live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on January 16, 2011, by NBC. The host was Ricky Gervais. The nominations were announced on December 14, 2010, by Josh Duhamel, Katie Holmes and Blair Underwood. Robert De Niro was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in motion pictures. The Social Network won four awards, the most of any film, including best drama. It beat British historical tale The King's Speech, which had entered the awards ceremony with the most nominations, but collected just one award.

The Academy Award for Best Original Score is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.

83rd Academy Awards

The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 2010 in the United States and took place on February 27, 2011, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST. During the ceremony, Academy Awards were presented in 24 competitive categories. The ceremony was televised in the United States by ABC, and produced by Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer, with Mischer also serving as director. Actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosted the ceremony, marking the first time for each.

Background

When Trent Reznor was originally asked by director David Fincher to score The Social Network , he initially declined, partly due to just finishing up a long touring and recording schedule. [5] [6] After further reflecting, Reznor apologized and told Fincher to keep him in consideration, to which he told Reznor that he had been waiting for him to accept.

David Fincher American film director

David Andrew Leo Fincher is an American film director, film producer, television director, television producer, and music video director. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and The Social Network (2010). For the latter, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director and the BAFTA Award for Best Direction.

<i>The Social Network</i>

The Social Network is a 2010 American biographical drama film directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin. Adapted from Ben Mezrich's 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, the film portrays the founding of social networking website Facebook and the resulting lawsuits. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as founder Mark Zuckerberg, along with Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, Armie Hammer as Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and Max Minghella as Divya Narendra. Neither Zuckerberg nor any other Facebook staff were involved with the project, although Saverin was a consultant for Mezrich's book. The film was released in the United States by Columbia Pictures on October 1, 2010.

Wave Goodbye Tour

Wave Goodbye Tour was a 2009 concert tour by industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.

On July 1, 2010, Reznor publicly announced that he and Ross were taking part in the soundtrack on nin.com:

I was planning on taking some time off after the continual waves of touring that ended last fall and spend this year experimenting around with what would become How to Destroy Angels and some new NIN. Well, that plan didn't work out so well. David Fincher started inquiring about my interest in scoring his upcoming film, The Social Network. Yeah, the movie about the founding of Facebook. I've always loved David's work but quite honestly I wondered what would draw him to tell that story. When I actually read the script and realized what he was up to, I said goodbye to that free time I had planned. Atticus Ross and I have been on a creative roll so I asked him if he wanted to work on this with me and we signed on.

How to Destroy Angels (band) band

How to Destroy Angels (HTDA) is a musical group consisting of Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor, Mariqueen Maandig, and Rob Sheridan. The group is named after a 1984 Coil song of the same name. Alessandro Cortini joined the lineup for the duration of the 2013 tour.

Facebook Global online social networking service

Facebook, Inc. is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Months later, I'm happy to tell you we're nearing the completion of this and I couldn't be happier with how it's turned out. The level of excellence that David operates on is inspiring and the entire process has been challenging and truly enjoyable.

As Atticus and I near the end of the scoring process, we're looking forward to the next phase - distilling the large amount of music we've written for this down to a satisfying record (or two). The film opens Oct 1 in the US with the record likely available a couple of weeks ahead of that.

Speaking of the film... it's really fucking good. And dark! [7]

The film initially had a "John Hughes vibe" to it, which concerned Reznor at first, but after meeting with Fincher and trying out different ideas with Atticus Ross, it turned out to work a lot more smoothly after all. Reznor recalled, "The whole process was fun for me because I liked answering to someone I respect and not having to make all the decisions for a change." Reznor and Ross would try sketches of songs, figuring they would have to revise it eventually, only for Fincher to get back to them and say, "I don't have anything bad to say – that's never happened before." [8]

The idea of recording "In the Hall of the Mountain King" came from a scene at the Henley Royal Regatta and trying to find a song that would match up with its Edwardian era garden party theme. Fincher told them to try a Wendy Carlos version of it, which Reznor admits "threw [him] for a loop" and says it took four weeks to work on. [8]

Packaging

The album's art was created by Nine Inch Nails' creative director Rob Sheridan, based upon the designs used to promote the film, mixed with Sheridan's style of image distortion. He explained the ideas, techniques and methods that made up the compositions that were used for the physical release:

For The Social Network soundtrack art, my goal was to walk the line between representing the film and creating something that stood as a piece of art on its own, much as the soundtrack itself does.

For the cover, I needed to represent the branding of the film, but neither Trent nor I wanted the photo of Jesse Eisenberg to be the cover as directly as it was in the film's poster. By blurring out the photo and placing the title text over Eisenberg's eyes, I was able to create a cover that evoked the film's branding while distancing itself from it at the same time. The style of fonts used in the film and its marketing were something Trent and I both really liked, so we preserved that for the soundtrack.

For the internal art, Sony gave me a batch of publicity stills from the film to utilize if I wanted. By their nature none of them were particularly artistic, and I wasn't sure how useful they'd be for the artwork. Trent expressed an interest in creating a package that could stand on its own whether or not listeners had seen the film. Given that we conceded a bit on the album cover, he said "let's make the inside packaging weird."

An early idea I had was to digitally corrupt the images we had from the film, combining a "glitch art" visual aesthetic I've always been interested in with a metaphor for digital images shared on Facebook, the corruption they're susceptible to, and the corruption portrayed in the film. This idea resonated with Trent, so I began experimenting with different ways to destroy the publicity stills Sony had sent me.

Whereas in previous projects (especially With Teeth and Year Zero ) I'd used careful manual processes to create digital glitches, this time I actually destroyed images by opening them up in a text editor and adding/removing text to their raw code.

It was a very experimental, trial-and-error process - I tried different file types, different rendering methods (for example, damaged Photoshop files render much more interestingly in OSX's Preview than in Photoshop itself), and different types of text injected into the image files (I grabbed random paragraphs of text from around the web - ridiculous fan-fiction sites were a fun source). These images were distorted through manual editing of the image files in a text editor, not through intricate Photoshop work.

The CD, Blu-ray, and vinyl editions of the album all utilize slightly different artwork elements. [9]

Release

The first track from the soundtrack, "Hand Covers Bruise (No Piano)" debuted on The Social Network's website on August 30, 2010, streaming in the background. The album was released by The Null Corporation and distributed by Sony Music.

A five-track sampler for the album was released on September 17, on The Null Corporation's homepage.

On the day of the five-track sampler's launch, Reznor posted about the release on the Null Corporation's site:

This is what Atticus and I have been working on for the last few months. We had a great time working with David Fincher on this and the film turned out excellent - something we're very proud of. It opens in theaters Oct 1 and you should check it out.

Musically, this all came out of our secret laboratory - electronic in basis, but mostly organic sounding. Lots of experiments and emphasis on sound fraying around the edges while focusing on the proper emotional tone for the various scenes.

Regarding the purchase options, sorry about the "clunkiness" of not offering the full record digital download pre-sale (and having to visit Amazon). My agenda was to be able to offer this for the lowest possible price and this was the best way to achieve that. Amazon has been a great partner with past projects and I appreciate your understanding. [10]

The album was released for digital download on September 28, exclusively on Amazon MP3, and is available in three physical formats: CD, Blu-ray 5.1 surround audio and 2x12" vinyl record, released on October 11, 18 and 25 respectively. It was the first release from The Null Corporation to be marked with a Null number, being Null 01 – a direct homage to the Nine Inch Nails halo numbers catalog system.

Every song in the film is on the soundtrack, with the exception of "Ball and Biscuit" by the White Stripes, "California Über Alles" by Dead Kennedys, "2 Ghosts I" by Nine Inch Nails, "Baby, You're a Rich Man" by The Beatles, "Like a Bad Girl Should" by The Cramps [11] and "The Sound of Violence" by Dennis De Laat.

Promotion

On the album's official Facebook page, [12] a five-day promotion for the movie was created on September 22, offering fans the chance to remix "On We March" and "In Motion" to win a chance to meet Ross and Reznor in Los Angeles, along with a seat at the film's première. The pair have since announced that they've planned for a remix EP to be released containing the best fan remixes, and that many more multitracks would be released for the purpose. [13]

Reception

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [14]
Consequence of Sound Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [15]
Film Music MagazineA- [16]
Kerrang! Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [17]
Lost at Sea 8.8/10 [18]
Movie Music UKStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [19]
The Music CycleStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [20]
PopMatters Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [21]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [22]
Soundtrack GeekStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [23]
Filmtracks Star empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [24]

Critical response to the score was generally favorable, with an average rating of 76% based on five professional reviews on Metacritic. [25] The score debuted the following week at number one on the U.S. Billboard Soundtrack chart, [26] and was largely well received by critics. It was awarded a five-star rating from The Music Cycle, four stars from AllMusic and Kerrang! , three-and-a-half stars from Movie Music UK, and three stars from Rolling Stone . Roger Ebert wrote positively of the score, calling it an "urgent composition that drove the film's headlong momentum". [27] Adam Spunberg of Picktainment noted "how seamlessly it corresponds with the tenor of the film. Scene for scene, this smorgasbord of tracks fully encapsulates Mark Zuckerberg's – and Aaron Sorkin's – vision"; he commended the score for its "profound simplicity atop [the] turbulent background, whilst giving inventive modernity to other settings" and for portraying "Zuckerberg the genius, developing a brilliant idea over ominous undertones". [28]

Much less enthusiastic was Christian Clemmensen, member of the International Film Music Critics Association and editor of Filmtracks , who said the score was "as redundantly insufferable as any score in recent memory, with no standout cues, no beginning, no end, no suspense, no adversity, and, most importantly, no sense of accomplishment". He awarded the score the very rare rating of FRISBEE, the lowest Filmtracks rating. [24]

Accolades

Date of ceremonyAwardCategoryResult
December 6, 2010 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2010 Best Score [29] Nominated
December 12, 2010 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards 2010 Best Use of Music in Film [30] Won
December 12, 2010 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards 2010 Best Music/Score [31] Won
December 14, 2010 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards 2010 Best Score [32] Nominated
December 16, 2010Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards 2010Best Score [33] Won
December 18, 2010 Houston Film Critics Society Awards 2010 Best Original Score [34] Nominated
December 19, 2010 Satellite Awards 2010 Best Original Score [35] Nominated
December 20, 2010 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards 2010 Best Original Score [36] Nominated
December 20, 2010 St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards 2010 Best Music (Soundtrack or Score) [37] Won
January 6, 2011 [38] Central Ohio Film Critics Association: Awards 2010Best Score [39] Nominated
January 10, 2011 [40] Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards 2010Best Film Music or Score [41] Won
January 14, 2011 Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2010 Best Score [42] Won
January 14, 2011 Denver Film Critics Society Awards 2010Best Original Score [43] Nominated
January 16, 2011 68th Golden Globe Awards Best Original Score – Motion Picture [44] Won
February 27, 2011 83rd Academy Awards Best Original Score [45] Won

Track listing

CD version

All tracks written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Hand Covers Bruise"4:18
2."In Motion" (Accidentally received the note 'interpolation of 35 Ghosts IV', which was intended for "A Familiar Taste")4:56
3."A Familiar Taste"3:35
4."It Catches Up with You"1:39
5."Intriguing Possibilities"4:24
6."Painted Sun in Abstract"3:29
7."3:14 Every Night"4:03
8."Pieces Form the Whole"4:16
9."Carbon Prevails"3:53
10."Eventually We Find Our Way"4:17
11."Penetration"1:14
12."In the Hall of the Mountain King" (Edvard Grieg)2:21
13."On We March"4:14
14."Magnetic"2:10
15."Almost Home"3:33
16."Hand Covers Bruise, Reprise"1:52
17."Complication with Optimistic Outcome"3:19
18."The Gentle Hum of Anxiety"3:53
19."Soft Trees Break the Fall"4:44
Total length:66:10

Vinyl version

All tracks written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, except where noted.

Five Track Sampler

Cover of the Five Track Sampler The Social Network (soundtrack) (Five Track Sampler Digital EP) (2010).jpg
Cover of the Five Track Sampler

All tracks written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

No.TitleLength
1."Pieces Form the Whole"4:25
2."Eventually We Find Our Way"4:17
3."On We March"4:18
4."The Gentle Hum of Anxiety"3:51
5."Soft Trees Break the Fall"4:39
Total length:21:29

Award Sampler

A sampler released for consideration by awarding bodies gave a different track listing and many alternate titles, edits and mixes to the commercially available soundtrack, along with one track not on the previous soundtrack release. [46]

All tracks written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.

No.TitleLength
1."Main Title Sequence" (Hand Covers Bruise)3:31
2."Let the Hacking Begin" (In Motion)3:21
3."Cocksucker" (It Catches Up with You)1:45
4."In Evidence" (Intriguing Possibilities)4:07
5."Does She Have a Boyfriend?" (Painted Sun in Abstract)2:52
6."Zuckerberg Stole Our Website" (3:14 Every Night)0:47
7."Family of Means" (Pieces Form the Whole)1:59
8."What Are We Doing About This?" (Hand Covers Bruise, Reprise)1:56
9."Bathroom Sex" (Eventually We Find Our Way)3:05
10."Violation of Harvard Law" (3:14 Every Night)0:46
11."Trip to N.Y." (Penetration)1:08
12."Dinner with Sean"0:59
13."Bank of America" (Almost Home)1:20
14."Who's Eduardo Saverin?" (3:14 Every Night)0:40
15."Fire in My Apartment" (On We March)1:49
16."What Were the Shares Diluted Down to?" (Hand Covers Bruise)2:20
17."Something's Happened" (The Gentle Hum of Anxiety)2:18
18."Soft Trees Break the Fall"4:34
Total length:39:10

Personnel

Credits for The Social Network adapted from liner notes: [47]

Chart positions

Chart (2010)Peak
position
US Billboard 200 20 [26]
US Billboard Rock Albums6 [26]
US Billboard Top Digital Albums3 [26]
US Billboard Top Independent Albums 2 [26]
US Billboard Top Alternative Albums3 [26]
US Billboard Top Soundtracks1 [26]

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Atticus Ross English musician, composer and record producer

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Rob Sheridan is an American graphic designer, Art director, photographer, and comic book author best known for his extensive work with the band Nine Inch Nails.

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