When Ur Gone: Portishead cover ABBA’s ‘SOS’ for film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s ‘High-Rise’


Portishead have come to terms with disco.

The Bristol electronic music group revealed today they have covered ABBA’s 1975 disco hit “SOS” for Ben Wheatley’s film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel High-Rise, which also came out 40 years ago. High Rise, which stars Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, and Elisabeth Moss, will screen at London Film Festival this weekend.

The cover does not appear to be online just yet. More info on the idea behind the unlikely pairing via Crack Magazine:


The film reportedly includes two interpretations of the song – one by the film’s composer Clint Mansell, and the second by Portishead. In an interview with LA Times, the film’s director Ben Wheatley explained: “The idea of it is really that kind of cultural echo, where you hear something and then you hear it again in a different context… By the time you get to the second playing of it, everything’s broken down and the actual lyrics were speaking directly to the movie.”

“The idea of the party version and then the Portishead version, you have a definitive sonic representation of the degradation of the system,” Mansell explained. “My version was born from swinging party music, string arrangements of contemporary music, and then you have the definite mood change by the time you have the Portishead version.”

Portishead’s last album, Third, dropped in 2008. Listen to ABBA’s original version of “SOS” while we await for Portishead’s version to surface.