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Baker's Dozen

The Fabulous, Most Groovy: Director Edgar Wright's Favourite Albums
Mark Andrews , June 23rd, 2017 09:39

With 'Baby Driver' all set to be one of the Summer's biggest hits, director Edgar Wright sits down with the Quietus to choose his 13 favourite albums

If everything clicks, Baby Driver, released this month, will be a major critical, commercial and cult hit; this year's Mad Max: Fury Road: a technical tour de force, a masterpiece of deep genre and a genuinely original piece of auteur cinema.

If so, it will be a triumphant turnaround for Edgar Wright, who flung himself out of the Marvel Universe three years ago when he walked away from Ant-Man.

Baby Driver might very well make him a superstar director.

Abrams. Whedon. Wright?

If so, he will have done it with a highly personal film that originated in 1995 with him listening to Orange by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion “over and over again while I was sharing a flat in Wood Green with college friends”.

He will also have done it with a film that resembles Bob Fosse directing Heat.

When Wright phones tQ from Washington D.C, he’s upbeat and effusive, if feeling a little guilty about those albums that didn’t quite make the cut.

Cornelius. The Rolling Stones. Roxy Music. All were bumped at the last minute.

Wright’s hand-written long list, containing the “Honourable Mentions”, can be seen at the end of this Baker’s Dozen.

Talking about his favourite albums most likely gives him a brief respite from the intense Baby Driver press tour he’s currently on. Three days before shepherding tQ through this Baker’s Dozen, Wright had been on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Right after we chatted, he had to fly to London to introduce The French Connection at the BFI, part of its Car Car Land season of car chase films that Wright programmed.

Wright has every reason to feel upbeat. The final cut of Baby Driver locked in February 2017 just in time to screen at SXSW in March and get a standing ovation. Much of the reaction to it since then has been equally rapturous.

Wright has always been a great utiliser of music in his films – ‘Ghost Town’ in Shaun of the Dead ; ‘Goody Two Shoes’ in Hot Fuzz ; ‘This Corrosion’ in The World’s End – but Baby Driver is something else. 35 songs on the soundtrack, all of them diegetic, cued by the young protagonist to both mask his tinnitus and soundtrack his life, including his work as a reluctant getaway driver.

It’s high concept and if Wright has pulled it off, great chunks of Baby Driver will join the ranks of the greatest ever combinations of song and image in the history of cinema.

In Wright’s world this Pantheon includes: the helicopters, meatballs and coke sequence in Goodfellas ; An American Werewolf In London – “especially the cut to black ending with the doo-wop version of ‘Blue Moon’ by The Marcels;” Rushmore – “the montage of Max Fischer’s activities set to ‘Making Time’”; Reservoir Dogs – “the greatest credit sequence ever”; Boogie Nights – “the opening tracking shot to ‘Best Of My Love”; 2001: A Space Odyssey – “especially ‘The Blue Danube’ and Ligeti”; and Electra Glide In Blue – “the final shot set to ‘Tell Me’ by Terry Kath.”

And The Blues Brothers – “the whole damn thing.”

Edgar Wright has 34,367 tracks in his iTunes. Among them are these thirteen albums. Here they are, in chronological order.

Baby Driver opens on June 28th. To scroll through Edgar's choices click on the picture below

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