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Spencer: our guide to Jonny Greenwood’s score for the new Princess Diana biopic

Everything you need to know about the music to Spencer, the arthouse film following Princess Diana's visit to Sandringham, created by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood

spencer-film-soundtrack

In case fans of The Crown hadn’t had enough of the trials and tribulations of the Royal Family over the years, Pablo Larraín’s new biopic of Diana, Princess of Wales, has recently hit cinemas. Unlike many other similar period films, Spencer features an unusually genre-bending score, composed by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.  

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Who composed the music for Spencer?

The original score for Spencer was written by Jonny Greenwood, the composer and Radiohead guitarist and keyboardist. It’s been a busy time for Greenwood, who has also recently composed the score to The Power of the Dog, the western starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which was released around the same time as Spencer. 

You might be familiar with his work if you’ve seen films such as Phantom Thread and You Were Never Really Here, both of which were releasde in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim. He has since made a name for himself in the world of film music, but has recently started a new band and has continued working with Radiohead, with whom he has a new album out.

Greenwood himself appears as a performer on the film soundtrack, playing the church organ.

What’s the score for Spencer like?

Jonny Greenwood’s score for Spencer is wildly far-ranging in its approach. Its opening track, Arrival, is written in a free jazz style, before giving way to plaintive Baroque stylings in subsequent tracks, using string, trumpets and church organs. It maintains those jazz inflections throughout, but the arthouse nature of the film’s direction is matched in its eclectic score.

Greenwood told The Times that his score ‘was an attempt to do something that matched Diana: this hopeful free spirit in the middle of everything around her being quite rigid.’

Can you buy and stream the Spencer soundtrack?

Jonny Greenwood’s score for Spencer is available to stream on Spotify.

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You can also buy the soundtrack for Spencer from Amazon.

Watch the trailer for Spencer