VARIOUS ARTISTS

"The School of Rock" (Atlantic; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

It's only fitting that the soundtrack to a film called "School of Rock" should feature such legendary artists as The Who, The Doors, Cream, Led Zeppelin, T-Rex, The Ramones and Wylde Ratttz, and those bands are featured in this CD with such classic songs as "Substitute," "Touch Me," "Sunshine of Your Love," "Immigrant Song," "Ballrooms of Mars," "My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)" and "T.V. Eye." Those tracks alone go a long way to making this particular soundtrack a great listening experience.

But, when you add actor/musician and Tenacious D member Jack Black to the mix, the album ascends to yet another level. Black is the very embodiment of the spirit of rock'n'roll, both in the film and in real life. His wild man antics, his fiery, almost explosive charisma, and his (paraphrasing from the film) "stickin' it to the Man" attitude give "School of Rock" (both the film and the soundtrack) a spirit that any fan of rock'n'roll will immediately attune to. The CD features only two tracks with Black on lead vocals ("School of Rock," an original tune that's pretty much an AC/DC tribute and "It's a Long Way to the Top," an AC/DC cover) but also contains several tracks of dialogue that highlight Black's rock'n'roll philosophy. 

By the way, Black's back-up band aren't faking it for the film's sake: these young musicians actually perform their own instruments and sing their own parts.

The soundtrack doesn't rely on classic tracks only. Also included are tracks by the fictional bands from the film (School of Rock, No Vacancy) and tracks from new and up-and-coming bands (The Black Keys and The Darkness).

If you have the rock'n'roll spirit (and why would you even be reading this if you don't?), then the "School of Rock" soundtrack will do your soul good. So will the film. 

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Jan 2016 11:33:10 -0500 .