A month ago, had you asked, I would have told you that Richard Linklater was up there in my favourite film directors of all time. With cultural masterpieces to his name such as Dazed and Confused, Boyhood, the Before trilogy and School of Rock, as well as the personality of a totally righteous dude, Linklater has racked up some serious brownie points in Juliette’s movie department. However, his latest sensation of a film, Everybody Wants Some!!, has confirmed to me that he is the greatest director of all time. And that film is now my favourite film of all time. Period. Set in 1980, it follows a college baseball team in Texas, as they welcome new freshmen in to their brotherhood and enjoy the last weekend of freedom before the semester starts. These wild, god-damn beautiful boys provide us with a master class of how to do summer right, and if, by the end of it, you don’t wish you were friends with them, and also attending a US college in the 80s, then you’re probably also the type of person who voted leave. Sorry not sorry. It’s one of those films that leaves you feeling inexplicably happy purely because everything about it, from the characters to the setting, defines cool.
Hold up, I hear you call, I thought this was a music blog not rotten tomatoes? I’m going to cut straight to the chase here; the soundtrack to Everybody Wants Some!!, is truly golden. A good soundtrack turns a good movie in to an unforgettable movie, and this is something that Linklater gets bang on every time. He is so thorough about getting the right music to create the right vibe in a scene. In an interview with The Toronto Star, he said, “If I know a song came out a year later than then the time when a film is set, f— you, you just lost me. You can’t approach a period film saying, ‘Oh, who’s going to care?’ No, no! I’m doing it for that one person who does care. Because they’re out there. I’m that person. If you’re going to be fast and loose with that, I don’t trust you on anything. You at least have to try.” I CARE RICHARD. I CARE SO MUCH. All of the songs played in this film are from the late 70s/early 80s, and are the exact songs that kids in the 80s would be jammin’ to, like Queen, Hot Chocolate and Kool and the Gang. It’s a real feel-good soundtrack, featuring some classic tunes, and it’s perfect for summer road trips. All you need is your crew, a killer vintage convertible, a sunny destination and your set. Take inspiration from the incredible scene of the film featuring Rapper’s Delight – serious road trip goals. Failing that, I still feel pretty groovy with it blaring out the stereo of my loyal, red Polo along the M5.
One of the best things about the soundtrack, is that it is staggeringly diverse. In the opening scene, we hear The Knack’s epic rock anthem, My Sharona, but then by the time the boys hit the first nightclub of the film, we’re enjoying some Donna Summer and even some CHIC. Even though disco was on its way out in the 80s, people were still groovin’ to it. I discovered two incredible funky songs in this film, Take Your Time (Do It Right) by The S.O.S Band, and Give Up the Funk by Parliament. If your disco playlist needs an upgrade, then Linklater’s selection is top-notch. But it’s not just disco, it’s predominantly 70s rock and pop, but the team also hit up country themed clubs and punk concerts. We get some hard-core head-banging along to Stiff Little Fingers’ Alternative Ulster to allow us to release our inner rebel bad-ass. Because it’s all from the same era and Linklater is just a genius, it all flows together nicely so you don’t feel like you’re jumping from Mozart to Lil Wayne.
Although on the surface it might just seem that the soundtrack is just there to bring the film to life, music itself and the variety of genres that Linklater includes plays such a crucial role in the deeper meaning of the film. College is all about trying everything out and finding yourself (yah), and the music that you listen to contributes to that. Jake, played by Blake Jenner, sums it up pretty well in the film when they attend a punk gig:
‘I’m starting to have an identity crisis. We danced out of disco, danced to Cotton Eyed Joe in kicker attire, and here we are, punks for a night!’
This is one of music’s many beauties and it’s so easy to forget how powerful it is – music creates cliques which creates an identity for someone. I love how Linklater illustrates how much fun you can have if you explore what else is out there, and how music can bring people together, eg. the baseball jocks moshing with punks and line-dancing with country lovers. Basically, don’t be boring like Beuter in the movie. And you’ll now have to watch it just to reassure yourself that you’re not like him, so my work here is done.
With that, I implore you all to do the following before summer ends and you begin the whole ‘Urghh I have to much work’ excuse (1&2 are quite obvious):
- Watch Everybody Wants Some!!
- If (1) is successful, listen to the lil’ playlist I put together so you can continue to smile and groove to the sound of the 80s.
- Listen to Rapper’s Delight so much that you learn the lyrics to the first verse, and then go on a road trip with people in a similar position.
- LIVE YOUR FRIGGIN LIFE!! We’re here for a good time people, not a long time…
Love and kisses y’all,