Song of the Day #3,492: ‘Bellbottoms’ – The John Spencer Blues Explosion

Before getting to my next 2017 movie music moment, I want to give a shout out to a song I’m not featuring this week because I posted it during my movie wrap-up last month. That track is the Dave Matthews Band’s ‘Crash Into Me,’ which was used so beautifully in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, not once but twice.

The first time ‘Crash Into Me’ plays, it’s a bittersweet but comic moment, as Lady Bird and her best friend cry to the song over a failed relationship. The second time, it marks a lovely moment of growth for Lady Bird as she becomes more confident in who she is and who she doesn’t have to pretend to be any longer. (I’m being vague because I know some of my readers haven’t seen the film yet and I don’t want to ruin its many lovely surprises).

So ‘Crash Into Me’ is technically my top movie song of 2017. But let’s get to the car chase!

Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver kicks off with one of the year’s most exhilarating sequences, as a bank robbery and subsequent getaway is scored to The John Spencer Blues Explosion’s ‘Bellbottoms.’ Baby, the driver (naturally), lives his life to the soundtrack in his earbuds and seemingly has the power to bend reality to his own beat.

This cosmic oneness with the music is carried into the film’s opening credits, where Baby walks along the street to another song and everything around him (words written on signs and walls, people’s conversations) echoes the music and lyrics in his head. In those first scenes, the movie feels like a glorious action movie pop musical.

It turns out to be a wavelength Wright can’t sustain for a feature length film (and I’m not sure I’d even want him to), but as an opening scene and a movie music moment, it’s pure bliss.

(various shouts and call-outs)
Yeah, ha ha
Like that time, yeah, baby
To catch the whole
New York City
Blues explosion

Blues explosion!

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen
Right now I got to tell you about the fabulous
Most groovy

Bellbottoms, bellbottoms
Bellbottoms, bellbottoms
Bellbottoms truly make me wanna dance
I wanna dance

Tell ’em
Sit back
Just watch ’em
Gotta have bellbottoms

Ooh, down on her hips
She’s got them
She’s got them
She’s got them
She’s got them
Blues explosion
She’s got them

I wanna dance
All right

Bellbottoms, bellbottoms
Bellbottoms, bellbottoms
Im gonna break
I’m gonna break
I’m gonna break
Come on

I wanna dance
I got to do it again
Come on!

Bellbottoms, bellbottoms
(repeat to fade)

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,492: ‘Bellbottoms’ – The John Spencer Blues Explosion

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Totally agree with you. This opening was great, as was much of the movie, but it couldn’t sustain itself all the way through.

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    Love love love this scene and the movie!

  3. Maddie says:

    This takes the title for best opening scene of the year in my book. What a way to kick off a movie. It’s a shame Wright didn’t stick the landing, but just these six minutes make a hell of a case for every sound editing/mixing award to go to Baby Driver.

  4. Amy says:

    I was very happy to see those sound nominations go to Baby Driver, as this open was meticulously crafted and so much fun to watch.

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