Soundtracking is a regular column that appears on looking at the music featured in the biggest new releases both in theatre and on home video. The first installment looks at Edgar Wright’s The World’s End.

Originally published on – August 26, 2013.

The Cornetto Trilogy came to an end this past weekend with The World’s End – the third cinematic collaboration from Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Pegg’s Gary King leads a pub crawl that goes horribly awry in efforts to recapture the glory of 1990 and his teenage years, but King is not the only part of The World’s End taking cues from 23 years ago.

In keeping with its predecessors – Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz – The World’s End takes several narrative cues from its music.

Wright has gone back 23 years to pepper his latest film with some of the best and most iconic songs to come out of Britain between the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The musical direction is careful to capture not only Gary’s own personal golden age but also to catch the BritPop movement as it was on its ascent.

From early ‘90s hits like Primal Scream’s “Loaded” – which plays over the opening credits – to mid-80s style-setters like the Sisters of Mercy’s “This Corrosion” and The Housemartins’ “Happy Hour”, The World’s End soundtrack perfectly captures a moment in time.

To North American listeners, that moment comes just before BritPop exploded on a global level. The soundtrack, spanning ’86 to the 1994 Pulp track “Do You Remember the First Time” (a diversion to The Doors aside) takes listeners right up to the eve of where the movement exploded.

Just over a month after that Pulp single was released came Blur’s Parklife album. Months later it was followed by Oasis’ debut Definitely Maybe and the BritPop sound approached its zenith.

A few years, a “Wonderwall” and five Spice Girls later, the movement was dead.

The World’s End takes a focused approach to Wright’s genius musical cues, previously reserved for more classic fare.

While Wright can take credit for the greatest cinematic use of a Queen song with Shaun of the Dead’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” sequence (with apologies to Wayne’s World), The World’s End features a more era-specific and noticeable musical approach than the trilogy’s previous installments.