Album Reviews

Various – School Of Rock OST

(Atlantic) UK release date: 2 February 2004

School Of Rock OST School Of Rock promises to be another Jack Black tour de force in the cinemas, taking some High Fidelity-style musical cynicism and blending it nicely with a Tenacious D-sized portion of rock. The soundtrack, as we would quite rightly expect, is a journey through classic and modern rock music, and doesn’t disappoint.

The current single of the same name is, of course, the opening track, and is certainly commendable (especially when we consider that none of the band, apart from Jack Black, are old enough to remember most of the subsequent hard rocking tunes). Within the first few numbers we are treated to No Vacancy‘s Fight as well as the absolute vintage of The Who‘s Substitute and the instantly recognisable Touch Me by The Doors.

To glance at the tracklisting is to run through a Who’s Who of rock, and one would expect this album to refer youngsters and others alike to essential rock groups of the past 30 years and more. Cream‘s timeless Sunshine Of Your Love keeps proceedings flowing nicely, and leads on to the album’s high point – Led Zeppelin‘s Immigrant Song (which sounds as current as anything you’d care to listen to today).

The School Of Rock soundtrack takes full advantage of the movie’s quotability, and we are treated to three excerpts. They’re short and genuinely amusing, and as such do not get in the way of things. As a whole it’s not too heavy and should appeal to a wide range of people. The second half of the album boasts acts such as T-Rex, The Ramones and, to ensure some current appeal, The Darkness (although Growing On Me doesn’t appear in the actual movie).

We end as we began, and School Of Rock’s cover of It’s A Long Way To The Top is admirable, managing to showcase the kids’ talent without falling on its face. The album is rock in a nutshell, and despite some gripes with songs that appear in the movie and not here (Smoke On The Water, Highway To Hell…), it would appear to be a purchase-worthy collection of classic and modern music.

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