Film director Alfonso Cuarón's dystopian science fiction thriller Children of Men is about a near future in which human fertility has nearly ceased, and to represent a setting that is familiar yet disturbing, the compilers of this various-artists soundtrack (there is also an album of the score) have chosen some rock and pop songs by well-known artists dating back to the '60s, some of them, however, presented in versions not so well known. Everybody knows the heavy metal band Deep Purple, but the band's initial American hit, a cover of Joe South's "Hush," doesn't sound much like its more successful "Smoke on the Water" phase. The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" are iconic '60s songs, but they are here performed by Junior Parker and heavily accented Italian singer Franco Battiato, respectively. John Lennon's "Bring on the Lucie (Freeda Peeple)," a song featured on his 1973 album Mind Games, is not one of his more celebrated numbers, despite its anthemic appeal; the version heard here is a rehearsal take that first appeared on the Lennon Anthology box set in 1998. There are also rap and reggae toasting tracks, and some electronic music, adding to the sense of dislocation called for in the film.
At a glance, this 35-track, two-CD set looks like it's combining two 1960s albums by the Ministry of Sound with bonus tracks. It's not; the Ministry of Sound issued just one single, and this is a witty facsimile of how their discography might have played out if things had turned out differently, complete with mock artwork for two LPs, one from 1966 and one from 1968. So almost all of these 35 cuts, all recorded between 1966-1968, were previously unreleased; the only two that actually came out in the 1960s were on the 1966 single "White Collar Worker"/"Back Seat Driver." The group did deserve better than just one official single, but nor was its output particularly deserving of deluxe treatment.