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