Monday Night at the Movies

I’ve just got home from the cinema (fourth time this year! I’m really making use of this “Unlimited” use monthly subscription, right?), and this time it was to see Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver”.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Edgar’s work, he’s most famous for the TV sitcom Spaced”, and the subsequent Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End”, all of which are great, Spaced” and Shaun of the Dead” especially.

“Baby Driver” is the tale of a young getaway driver who, due to a medical condition, permanently listens to music on one of his many iPods. I’ll not give away any more than that it has one hell of a soundtrack.

Put it this way: the first song you hear is this raucous corker:

orange digipak

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Bellbottoms

I settled back into my chair, knowing just from this, that I was in safe hands.

Moments later, there’s this:

bob-and-earl-harlem-shuffle-vocal-london

Bob & Earl – Harlem Shuffle

And then, within what seems to be just a couple of breaths, this, which is included for fairly obvious reasons:

Carla_Thomas_Baby_Cover_Art

Carla Thomas – B-A-B-Y

When the lead character first hears this, he doesn’t recognise it, and has to ask the person playing it what it is. Now, it’s on occasions like this that I wish I wasn’t such a dad old loner, sitting in the cinema on my own with popcorn and Coke Zero spilled down my shirt, for what I wanted to do next was turn to my companion and say: “It’s “B-A-B-Y” by Carla Thomas, it’s on Stax Records, and it’s wonderful, as is the version Rachel Sweet released on Stiff Records in 1978″.

rachel-sweet-baby-stiff

Rachel Sweet – B-A-B-Y

But as I leaned in to impart this knowledge, I realised that I didn’t know the person sitting next to me, and that maybe revealing my inner nerd to them wasn’t a great idea. That’s what this place is for, after all.

Another record that I adore also features:

knowhow

Young MC – Know How

So yeah, a pretty darned diverse soundtrack which, if I didn’t already own about 90% of I’d be rushing to buy right now instead of writing this. I’m quite literally having to stop myself from posting every song from it that I own.

Anyway, what’s especially impressive about the movie is that it’s all choreographed to fit with the music being played; so guns are fired and reloaded to the beat, car gear changes are synced to chord progressions.

Oh, and Jamie Foxx, John Hamm and Kevin Spacey are all in it, which gives a fair indication as to the quality on show here. Jon Spencer also gets a brief cameo (as do Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Big Boi from Outkast. And probably loads more I didn’t spot.)

Midway through the film, a track appears which is just so incredibly well placed, so perfect for the moment, I reached down into my bag, pulled out my own iPod, and scrolled through to line it up ready to listen to, loudly, on the way home.

Now, ordinarily this would probably have gone unnoticed. I like there to be an exclusion zone around me when I go to the cinema, so I had reserved my seat in advance, this morning, and had made sure I picked one as I usually do: aisle seat, towards the back, with nobody either in front of, alongside (and preferably behind) me. But, as I already mentioned, someone was sitting next to me, a group of three lads, who I didn’t know, and who must have booked their tickets after I did, the cunning swines.

The one sitting next to me, who so narrowly escaped having me whisper about Carla Thomas and Rachel Sweet to him earlier on, clocks what I’m doing and leans over to me.

“Mate, do you know what this tune is?” he asked.

Ah shoot. You had to ask, didn’t you?

“Do you not know what this tune is?” I replied.

He shook his head.

“It’s…

focus-hocus-pocus

Focus – Hocus Pocus

…” I tell him.

He gives me a look.

“Are you taking the piss?”

I show him my iPod, Dutch prog-rock track cued up ready to go.

“Nope. Deadly serious.”

“Fair enough,” he says, before leaning back to his mate sitting on his right, presumably, to pass on the knowledge.

The film finished, I left the cinema, and listened to “Hocus Pocus” several times on repeat as I walked home.

What I’m trying to say is: if you love music (and since you’re here, I assume that you do) and great films, especially ones with more than its’ fair share of car chases, do yourself a favour and go see this.

More soon.

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Published by

Jez

On Twitter: @atastehistory or me (where you're more likely to get a reply and a follow back): @jezbionic or by email at: dubioustaste26@gmail.com

15 thoughts on “Monday Night at the Movies”

  1. The ultra-mysterious Nick Angel was music supervisor on the cornetto trilogy. Do you know if he worked on this movie too? Seems like a strong possibility. Tremendous selection today, ol’ boy!

      1. Sure was. A little “in” joke to use his name as Simon’s character. Doesn’t look like Nick Angel did the music for this film. Just hunted around a little. Has a nice career for himself in the industry, though.

  2. Over the past week I’ve had this film recommended to me from all quarters, from fellow Spaced fans and music heads alike. It’s obviously right up my street. Unfortunately we don’t have a cinema anywhere nearby, so it’s been added to the DVD list for later. A splendid soundtrack – the only one I would’ve struggled to name was Young MC.

  3. A great summary of a great movie with possibly the best soundtrack. Worth watching just for those first two scenes/songs. I spent the day after listening to as much of the soundtrack as I could with old favourite Focus getting turned up loud. Hoping for a repeat viewing very soon.
    My inner nerd came out when “Debora” band was mentioned (trying not to include spoilers here) as technically it wasn’t quite correct…..
    As worth checking out Edgar Wright’s “demo” of the first scene which he had the idea for over 20 years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHbndkcLM6A

    1. Ha, yeh the pedant in me spotted that, though I think it was a joke) assuming that you mean the pronunciation?) Will check the link when I get home, but it struck me that there’d been a dry run of the action choreographed to soundtrack in the attacking zombie pub landlord with pool cues /”Don’t Stop Me Now” scene from “Shaun…”

  4. Yep I got the joke and the way it showed that the girl also has a good knowledge of music with Baby being embarrassed by his miss pronunciation (something I have experienced myself) “Debora” was first released in 1968 when the bands name was longer….
    Love that Queen scene from Shaun, great to see it taken to the next level with added guns and fast cars! I’ve been finding out about how they filmed those amazing car scenes, obviously not green screened, its thanks to the Biscuit rig!
    That link led me to catching up with the rest of Mint Royale’s back catalogue.

  5. There’s just not enough films, or blogs, with dutch prog music featured. This has track has it all, short drum solos, yodelling, flutes, whistling, everything you need really.

  6. Usually enjoy your recommendations so will seek it out – Love films with a great soundtrack and this one sounds just right for people of a certain vintage. As a matter of interest, when I was a newbie student, there were elections for a new Rector post (mostly honourary) – Rachel Sweet was in the running (a publicity stunt no doubt as it was ’78) but lost out to Sandy Gall the newscaster – All very bizarre.

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