Soundtracking is a regular column that appears on Cineplex.com looking at the music featured in the biggest new releases both in theatre and on home video. Shane McNeil looks at Richard Linklater’s decade-spanning soundtrack to BOYHOOD.
While much of the attention surrounding Richard Linklater’s newest film Boyhood has been on the fact that it took 12 years to film, its massive soundtrack also warrants its share of the spotlight.
The film’s musical selections sprawl the entire 12-years Mason (Ellar Coltrane) spends on camera in the film and even reaching back for some classics at times. The film and the soundtrack are an impressive and expansive undertaking for the 54-year-old Linklater.
But instead of reaching back for Boyhood, Linklater largely works within the confines of Mason’s life. The artists that dominate the film are the artists that have driven both the creative trends and popular successes of the last dozen years, in equal measure.
Huge hits like Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” are counter-weighted with influential artists such as Arcade Fire (who have two tracks featured), Flaming Lips and Wilco amongst others.
Wilco also factors in with the official soundtrack’s only original tune as lead singer Jeff Tweedy contributing an original track, “Summer Noon”.
Of course, this is not Linklater’s first soundtrack rodeo. He teamed up with Jack Black on 2003’s School of Rock, bringing the likes of AC/DC, The Doors and Pink Floyd into the classroom and further onto the radar of a younger generation. Amazingly, that film was released just over one year after filming on Boyhood began.
A decade before that, though, Linklater wrote his name into soundtrack lore with the 1970s-set cult classic: Dazed and Confused. Featuring the likes of Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and KISS, the Dazed and Confused soundtrack was such a huge hit that it spawned a second soundtrack, “Even More Dazed and Confused,” released a year later. It’s the kind of soundtrack success barometer that has been reserved for the truly iconic: Dirty Dancing, Trainspotting, and Moulin Rouge to name a few.
Amazingly, neither of the two discs contained the song that serves as first sound one hears in the film: Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion”.
It’s doubtful that anyone would bother releasing a second CD nowadays, but an expanded iTunes edition of the Boyhood soundtrack would not be inconceivable in the digital download age. For those of you who have grown up in at least a part of the 21st Century, the film will provide many moments of positive reflection. For the older crowd, think of it as a primer to the music that has helped define the tail end of the MTV generation and the heart of millennials.
Plus “Band on the Run”.
Here’s a 12-track playlist from the music of Boyhood, spanning the dozen years of the film’s story.
Tracklist (with year of release):
1. “Do You Realize” – The Flaming Lips (2002)
2. “1901” – Phoenix (2009)
3. “She’s Long Gone” – The Black Keys (2010)
4. “Hate it Here” – Wilco (2007)
5. “I’ll Be Around” – Yo La Tengo (2013)
6. “Could We” – Cat Power (2006)
7. “One (Blake’s Got a New Face)” – Vampire Weekend (2008)
8. “Helena Beat” – Foster the People (2011)
9. “Hate to Say I Told You So” – The Hives (re-released 2002)
10. “Trojans” – Atlas Genius (2012)
11. “Yellow” – Coldplay (2000)
12. “Deep Blue” – Arcade Fire (2010)