It was announced back in October of last year that Portishead would be contributing a cover of ABBA's "S.O.S." to the soundtrack of filmmaker Ben Wheatley's upcoming film adaptation of the classic J.G. Ballard novel High Rise. The cover is one of two versions of the song that appear on the soundtrack, the other being an orchestral version arranged by composer (and onetime Pop Will Eat Itself frontman) Clint Mansell, who also scored the film.

Mansell gushed about working with Portishead in an interview with FACT Magazine:

That was just amazing, to see them all taking forever over one note. I was talking to Martin Pavey, the sound designer, and he said, ‘I don’t know what Geoff [Barrow]’s done here, it’s incredible – it just floats in the middle of the room.’ What was really beautiful about the experience was seeing the iterations – I mean, I’m a bit geeky about it, but to be able to see a Portishead track coming together and for it to turn up in my inbox, and then going, ‘God, is it different?’ And to hear their production decisions all the time, the subtle differences in the tone of the synths just making it richer and richer. I remember we did a screening the first time the song was in properly and it nearly made me cry

A recording of the song surfaced over at Polish entertainment website Po Napisach but was soon taken down. For now, you'll have to go see the film, which just showed at Tribeca hits US theaters on Thursday, April 28, to get the full effect of the song. This is a good idea anyway, since J.G. Ballard is great and Ben Wheatley, who also made Kill List, Sightseers and A Field In England, is also great, and Tom Hiddleston, who stars in the film, is pretty great as well. You can however listen to Mansell's score and check out the trailer below.

A feature on J.G. Ballard's influence on music, including interviews with Mansell, Genesis P-Orridge, Bradford Cox, and more, is in the premiere issue of Rough Trade magazine.


More From Brooklyn Vegan