VARIOUS ARTISTS – DAZED AND CONFUSED ORIGIAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK
Released September 28, 1993 – 23 years ago
The soundtrack for the 90s comedy of the same name, directed by Richard Linklater, is about growing up and enduring high school in the mid-late 1970s. A great compilation, it’s rife with hard rock eight-track anthems that capture the spirit of the era every bit as much as the movie did.
The Classic Pick is a weekly feature at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday on The Home Stretch, sponsored by the Good Oak Bar and curated by Kris Kerry. Each Monday at 4 p.m. Kris stops by KXCI’s studio to give us insight on this classic album at 91.3 FM and KXCI.org.
Dazed and Confused is a 1993 coming-of-age comedy film with a plot following a group of suburban Texas teenagers during the last day of school in 1976. It featured cast of actors who would later become stars, including Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, and others.
Written and directed by Richard Linklater, who filmography includes Slacker (1991), School of Rock (2003), Scanner Darkly (2006), and Boyhood (2014), the film grossed just under $8 million at the US box office and has slowly garnered a cult following. Quentin Tarantino, a member of this following, named Dazed and Confused as the 10th best film of all time. Entertainment Weekly ranked it third on their list of the 50 Best High School Movies, and 10th on their list of Funniest Movies of the Past 25 years.
The soundtrack for Dazed and Confused was released the same week as the movie. The songs “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan, “Hey Baby” by Ted Nugent, and “Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith were in the movie, but not on the soundtrack due to licensing costs.
The title of the film is based on the Led Zeppelin song of the same name. Linklater approached the surviving members of the band for the use of their song “Rock and Roll” for the film. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones agreed, but Robert Plant refused and so this song did not appear in the movie.
The Dazed and Confused soundtrack is hailed by many critics as an excellent representation of mid-late 1970s hard rock.
Rick Derringer’s “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” first appeared as the lead track on his 1973 release, All American Boy. While not known for its cerebral lyrics, the pummeling hooky riffs made it a 70s classic rock standard.
The three-chord hard rock anthem by Foghat, “Slowride,” was originally released on their 1975 album, Fool for the City, which is generally considered the band’s best release. Along with “Slowride,” this album also included the title track, “Fool for the City.”
The title track for Alice Cooper’s 1972 School’s Out catapulted Alice Cooper into the hard rock upper echelons. Indeed, the song became Cooper’s highest-charting single ever, reaching no. 7 on the US Billboard chart.
Black Oak Arkansas’ performance of “Jim Dandy” first appeared on High on the Hog, released in 1972, and peaked at number 25 on the US pop chart. The song was written by Lincoln Chase, and first recorded by R&B artist LaVern Baker in 1956. Various different versions of this song have been released with two of these appearing in other movies: John Water’s Pink Flamingos (1972) and Overboard (1987).
“Tush” originally appeared as the last track on ZZ Top’s third studio release, Fandango! (1975).
Written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, “Love Hurts” was first recorded by The Everly Brothers in 1960. Appearing on the 1975 release, Hair of the Dog, the song became a top 10 single, and broke the moderately successful hard rock band, Nazareth. Other artists that have covered this song include Roy Orbison, Cher, Emmylou Harris, and Rod Stewart.
Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” was first released on his 1975 self-titled album, following the break-up of The Amboy Dukes. This song remains one of this guitar guru’s most memorable.
“Cherrybomb” is the defining track on The Runaways self-titled debut (1976). The all-female, all-teenage band didn’t see much US success initially, but the band did spawn the careers of both Joan Jett and Lita Ford.
“Fox on the Run” became a top ten hit for the British glam rock act Sweet. First appearing on the 1974 album, Desolation Boulevard, the song became a top ten hit in both the US and UK.
First appearing on the band’s debut, Why Can’t We Be Friends (1975), “Low Rider” was a top ten hit, and may represent the band’s most definitive song.
The southern rock/county-soul ballad, “Tuesday’s Gone,” was first released on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s debut in 1973. This song also appeared in the 1999 Boys Don’t Cry soundtrack, starring Hillary Swank.
“Rock and Roll All Night” first appeared on Kiss’ third release, Dressed To Kill (1975). It became Kiss’ most identifiable song and served as the band’s closing number at nearly every concert since 1976.
Two tracks from Dazed and Confused represent the earliest forays out of hard rock into what became known as heavy metal: “Highway Star“ from Deep Purple’s debut Made In Japan (1972), and “Paranoid,” first released Black Sabbath’s sophomore album of the same name in 1970. Monolithic and powerful, these two songs are arguably two of the most influential on this soundtrack.