When you take up the mantle of directing a film adaptation of an unfinished cult graphic novel about a 90’s slacker, his garage band and their adventure in music, love and life, Director Edgar Wright had one man in mind for the Scott Pilgrim movie, and that man was Beck.
It takes a brave man to take on a film project like Scott Pilgrim. In what some may describe as niche, the story of Scott Pilgrim is steeped in geek culture. One wrong move and you have a whole fandom community descending on you with fire and fury. Edgar Wright previous triumphs made him an easy choice for the studio, in the same token Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is just the type of challenge Wright likes to take on.
Getting the right balance in a soundtrack is essential of any flick, but with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World it was imperative that the British Director got it right. Not only needing standard OST tracks he also needed a bunch of songs that the fictional band, Sex Bob-omb had written and would perform during the film. What Edgar did with both the film and soundtrack is phenomenal.
Conscripting Low Fi genius Beck to write and oversee the Sex Bob-omb’s songs was a masterstroke. Tracks such as Launchpad McQuack, Garbage Truck, Threshold and the heart-warming but minimal Ramona breathed life into the on-screen band. The cuts that made it into the film and soundtrack were recorded by the actors themselves. Considering Scott Pilgrim actor Michael Cera was the only one who could play their instrument when cast for the movie, the power trio did an outstanding job.
That is only half the story though, the film director put together a collection of songs that fit perfectly scene by scene throughout the movie. Front and centre of this is the song the arguably inspired the whole Scott Pilgrim world. Scott Pilgrim by Plumtree was the influence of both the lead characters name and the whole feel of the story. The tone is gorgeously textured and layers guitars and vocals harmonies beautifully. The lead vocal line ‘’I’ve liked you for a thousand years, a thousand years’” will tug on the hardest of heartstrings. Songs from bands such as T-Rex, The Rolling Stones and the Bluetones are entwined with live songs with the movie, making the listening experience enjoyable, to say the least. One of the highlights is a post Pixies cut from Frank Black, I heard Ramona sing. Not only does it tie in the story as the love interest is a girl by the name of Ramona Flowers, but it feels like it was written specifically for the movie, not 17 years previously.
The theatrical release of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was divisive with Pilgrim fans and moviegoers alike. But like many films, it was arguably ahead of its time and in the last nine years, it has reached cult-like status. In no small part, the soundtrack has contributed to that post-cinema adoration. Songs performed within the film by Scott and his crew plus the other tracks are instantly recognisable for the place in the movie that enhances the scene. This is the sign of any great OST album. If the Scott Pilgrim Soundtrack had a face, I wouldn’t punch it, I would kiss it.