Friday, July 14, 2017

Simon & Garfunkel – "Baby Driver" (1970)

I was born one dark gray morn
With music coming in my ears
They call me Baby Driver

The new movie Baby Driver currently scores 97% on Rotten Tomatoes – 202 of 209 critics who have reviewed the movie to date have liked it.  

Even the snooty New York Times gave it a positive review:

“Baby Driver” [is] a pop pastiche par excellence, crammed with cubistic action; glowering and golly-gee types . . . and an encyclopedia of cinematic allusions, all basted in wall-to-wall tuneage.  At times, the whole thing spins like a tribute album, a collection of covers of varying quality: diner yaks à la Quentin Tarantino, Godardian splashes of color.  When it works, the allusions give you a contact high, like when a friend turns you on to a favorite movie. 

Tout le monde is talking about the fabulous car chase sequences in Baby Driver – which are real stunts, not CGI fakery.  

But the best thing about the movie is its eclectic soundtrack, which consists of some 30 songs that represent just about every pop music genre of the last fifty years.

The New Yorker wasn’t crazy about Baby Driver, but tipped its critical hat to director Edgar Wright’s  use of music:

[A]lthough “Baby Driver” is not much of a movie, it is an excellent music video—a club sandwich for the senses, lavishly layered with more than thirty songs.  These include the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, T. Rex, Queen, Golden Earring, Barry White, the Damned, the Commodores, and, for funk’s sake, the Incredible Bongo Band.  Sometimes, as on an album, one track simply fades out and makes way for the next, with events onscreen bustling to keep up; most telling of all is the sequence in which Baby, listening intently to a tune of his choice, advises his comrades, poised to jump out of the car and to start robbing, to wait until the beat kicks in.  There are nights when that kind of rush is all you require from a film . . . .

Trust me, Baby Driver delivers just such a rush, as this video demonstrates:

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“Baby Driver” was released in 1970 on Bridge Over Troubled Water, which was Simon & Garfunkel’s fifth and final studio album.  It’s not one of the stronger songs on that album.  

And it’s not of one the stronger songs on the Baby Driver soundtrack.  But given the title and the driving references in the song’s lyrics, how could the director of that movie not include it?

Here’s “Baby Driver”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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