[Review] School of Rock: Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture (2003)

Not the schooling in classic rock it should have been, but if you saw the movie you only have yourself to blame.

Kronomyth x.x: Black Angus.

Nacho Libre. Now there was a terrible movie. But Jack Black in Angus Young schoolpants was can’t-miss comedy, right? Actually, as I’m learning, every time he dons a silly outfit I’m due for some measure of disappointment. The soundtrack at least should have been a killer, but here again it falls shorts. An eclectic mix of classic rock, original songs and some contemporary tunes, the School of Rock soundtrack didn’t impress me one bit.

Each time I listen to this, I marvel at the classic rock remasters (they sound awesome), fast-forward through the original songs and repeat Set You Free by The Black Keys a few times. The main trouble is it’s all over the place. I like T. Rex and the Ramones, but not together. And some of the original songs are missing: “In The End of Time,” “Math Is a Wonderful Thing.” Why add dialogue to the soundtrack but leave off some of the original songs? Isn’t that the whole point of a soundtrack?

“If I’m not singing it, you know, (director Richard Linklater) probably picked it to be in there. Like the montage, the teaching-kids-to-rock montage, with that song that’s playing there (“Bonzo Goes To Bitburg”). All the like punk rock, ’70s and ’80s punk rock that’s in the movie is all Linklater, ’cause he’s a little more evolved than me with his musical tastes. I’m more of a heavy metal-leaning guy, prog-rock, too.” — Jack Black, explaining how songs were selected for the School To Rock movie in an interview on IGN movies.

The original material that did make it needn’t have come. I like children, but I don’t enjoy listening to them sing. The two No Vacancy tracks are all right, especially Heal Me, I’m Heartsick, which is one of the funniest power ballad sendups I’ve heard in a while. For some reason, the soundtrack features a different version of The Doors’ Touch Me than the film (how may versions are there of a 35-year-old song?) and replaces the original track from The Darkness, Black Shuck, with Growing On Me (the latter likely an Atlantean desire to better cross-market their act).

The School of Rock soundtrack should have inspired more. Imagine an album full of classic early ‘80s metal from AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Dio, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, etc. Now that would’ve rocked and taught the kids a thing or two.

The Songs

1. School of Rock: School of Rock (Sammy James, Jr./Mike White)
2. Film Dialogue: Your Head And Your Mind And Your Brain…
3. The Who: Substitute (Pete Townshend)
4. No Vacancy: Fight (Warren Fitzgerald/Mike White)
5. The Doors: Touch Me (The Doors)
6. Film Dialogue: I Pledge Allegiance To The Band…
7. Cream: Sunshine of Your Love (Peter Brown/Jack Bruce/Eric Clapton)
8. Led Zeppelin: Immigrant Song (Jimmy Page/Robert Plant)
9. The Black Keys: Set You Free (Dan Auerbach/Patrick Carney)
10. Stevie Nicks: Edge of Seventeen (Stevie Nicks)
11. No Vacancy: Heal Me, I’m Heartsick (Craig Wedren)
12. The Darkness: Growing On Me (Justin Hawkins/Dan Hawkins/Frankie Poullain/Ed Graham)
13. T. Rex: Ballrooms of Mars (Marc Bolan)
14. Film Dialogue: “Those Who Can’t Do…”
15. The Ramones: My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg) (Jean Beauvoir/Colvin Douglas/Jeff Hyman)
16. Wylde Rattz: T.V. Eye (David Alexander/Ronald Asheton/Scott Asheton/James Osterberg, Jr.)
17. School of Rock: It’s A Long Way To The Top (Bon Scott/Angus Young/Malcolm Young)

The Players

Aleisha Allen, Jack Black, Rebecca Brown, Kevin Clark, Joey Gaydos, Jr., Caitlin Hale, Maryam Hassan, The Mooney Suzuki, Robert Tsai. Produced by Jack Black, Richard Linklater, Randall Poster and Scott Rudin, tracks 1/4/11/17 produced by George Drakoulias.

The Plastic

Released on compact disc on September 30, 2003 in the US (Atlantic, 83694-2); reached #95 on the US charts.

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