Is this the grooviest and the most eclectic music album ever compiled for public consumption!? It’s like a teenager’s mix-tape from the 80s! By a show of hands, who has seen the 2017 film ‘Baby Driver’? Yeah, the title is deceiving – images of animated, over-sized, pink-skinned babies in diapers driving cars do come to mind – but the Edgar Wright film is one serious film!
The uniqueness of Wright’s creation is largely due to the fact that the music drove the scenes of the film, rather than music chosen in post-production to fit a scene. In some cases, Wright had songs in mind for scenes 20 years before actually shooting the film! That’s madness! The sheer amount of time and thought which has been invested into this soundtrack is staggering, and that’s why it’s so good, baby!
Thus with a soundtrack which played a starring role in the film, I’m only going to review the album, but not the film.
The first thing I’m thinking you’ll say, after listening to the album cover-to-cover (all 29 tracks- over 1 hour and 40 mins), is “Wow! That was an eclectic (perhaps random) collection of songs!”, as there isn’t one genre of music that is featured more heavily than others, but simply a mish-mash of songs that was fast then slow, up-tempo and then mellow, old and then new etc. But I’d call it a well thought-out mish-mash, or a planned chaos. Haaha. Perhaps at first listen, I was a little perplexed and it did take me several goes to actually listen to it cover-to-cover, as we all have short attention spans and it’s hard to devote more than 90 minutes to anything these days……. But over the months it grew on me and it’s just such a great funky album to have on around the home. And when the music is paired up with the on-screen cinematics – freakin’ brilliant! It wasn’t just a film, but it was art, a masterpiece!
For someone who was born after most of the songs original releases, it was amazing to be introduced to so many tracks which I’d never heard before! It introduced me to a whole new world of music, sending me down multi-lane freeways and virtual alleyways of Spotify recommendations, pursuing different artists and genres to widen my own appreciation of all the music on-the-run out there!
Tracks which I’ve really warmed to have been: Bell Bottoms (John Spencer Blues Explosion) – This song alone quite aptly captures the entire album, as this song alone was so eclectic!
I liked the funky instrumental heavy tracks like Harlem Shuffle (Bob & Earl); Smokey Joe’s La La (Googie Rene); Kashmere (Kashmere Stage Band); Unsquare Dance (Dave Brubeck); The Edge (David McCallun) i.e. the intro to Dr Dre’s Next Episode; and Intermission (Blur).
I couldn’t help swaying to Soul classics like B A B Y (Karla Thomas); Nowhere to Run (Martha and the Vandellas); and When Somethings Wrong with My Baby (Sam & Dave).
I couldn’t help but crank up the Google Home to 70% when Wild punk rock tracks come on like Neat Neat Neat (The Damned); or when the incredible song Hocus Pocus (Focus) drops!
But you’re able to take a breath and wipe the sweat from your brow when Woodstock ‘with flowers in your hair’-like tracks play, like: Debora (T .Rex); and Baby Driver (Simon & Garfunkel).
There is one old school rap track, Know How (Young MC) – I’m sure it’s flows like this which inspired the kids of the 70’s and 80’s to practice spitting lyrics in their bathrooms.
And the soundtrack isn’t just old songs, or stuff which you can find elsewhere, but there are two original tracks penned for the film: Was He Slow? (Kid Coala); and Chase Me (Danger Mous).
And leaving the best till last, my personal favourite! I can’t tell you how many times I had this song on repeat! Bongolia (The Incredible Bongo Band), I’ve subsequently spent many hours listening to the IBB artist station, and it has reminded me why I used to love ‘Grand Master Flash’!! That’s it! I’m immigrating to Bongolia! Bongolian Lamb anyone?
And the wild thing about the album, is that it only contains 29 of the total 36 tracks which were used in the film! And there is also a movie score! You can almost categorise ‘Baby Driver’ as a Musical! (You can place that CD on the same shelf as ‘The Greatest Showman’ and Les Mis’ at a physical CD store).
OK, we’ve come to the ‘so what’ part of this post – so if you haven’t seen a film about a music-obsessed getaway driver; with an all-star cast; with absolutely mesmerising cinematics; with an award winning soundtrack; and the chance to see Kevin Spacey get his just desserts! *Rubs hands in expectation*. You must must see Baby Driver! Beg, Borrow or Steal (no, no, don’t steal) a DVD, or better, a Blu-ray version of ‘Baby Driver’! Imagine watching it with a home surround-sound set up! Here is a testimonial to how good it is; Christmas 2017 I actually spent money and purchased the DVD for a colleague’s ‘Secret Santa’ gift (because on his interest list it stated that he liked movies and music), that’s pretty telling as who actually buys DVDs these days!?
And if you’ve already seen and heard the album before, you can enjoy the film and the soundtrack at a whole other level, after listening to the insightful sit-down interview between Edgar Wright and Edith Bowman on the Audioboom podcast. Check out this insightful chat with the creative behind both the film and the soundtrack, visit:
And to listen to the album for the first time, or the 101st time, just ask your SMART speaker to “Play Baby Driver Movie Sountrack on Spotify”. Enjoy! B A B Y!