Set in 1980, Everybody Wants Some!!, the new film from genius filmmaker Richard Linklater, follows the exploits of freshman Jake in his first few days living with his college baseball team. It’s described as the ‘spiritual sequel’ to 1976-set Dazed And Confused, and that holds true in an exceptional soundtrack featuring Blondie, The Knack, Stiff Little Fingers, Donna Summer, Sugarhill Gang and many more. We look at some of the highlights, and you can listen to the whole thing on our Spotify playlist below.
The Knack, ‘My Sharona’
LA’s new wave poseurs The Knack found pop-rock perfection with this track, based on one of the most insistent riffs in history. Sharona was the girlfriend of guitarist Doug Feiger, who claims to have written the song in 15 minutes.
The Sugarhill Gang, ‘Rapper’s Delight’
Is there anyone alive who doesn’t know at least //some// of the lyrics to this block party classic? The boys in the film do – they rap along in their car as it blasts out of the eight-track player.
Devo, ‘Whip It’
Ohio art-punk oddballs Devo wore plant pots – sorry, ‘energy domes’ – on their heads and styled themselves as the band to soundtrack the ‘de-evolution’ of American society. Somehow, they had a massive hit single with this bonkers MTV classic.
Steve Forbert, ‘Romeo’s Tune’
Mississippi singer-songwriter Steve Forbert was touted as the 1980s answer to Bob Dylan, thanks in part to the kind of deft lyrical brilliance on ‘Romeo’s Tune’, his biggest hit.
Van Halen, ‘Everybody Wants Some’
Fronted by the preening Dave Lee Roth but named for virtuoso guitarist Eddie Van Halen, the California rock band epitomised the ’80s hair metal scene. This lascivious, hard-rocking track gives the film its name.
Stiff Little Fingers, ‘Alternative Ulster’
//Everybody Wants Some!!// captures an essence of the disparate music scenes in the 1980s, and not least when the gang tear off their shirt sleeves and attend an underground punk show. The Northern Irish group’s anti-sectarian anthem captures the political spirit of the time.
Donna Summer, ‘Bad Girls’
The antics of the baseball team’s wild man Jay Niles madman gets Everybody Wants Some!!’s main players kicked out of the local disco, but not before we’ve heard this classic from Florida’s queen of the floor.
Patti Smith, ‘Because The Night’
The punk poet of New York, Patti Smith had a crossover rock hit with this track, co-written with Bruce Springsteen when the two were working in neighbouring studios in 1977.
Blondie, ‘Heart Of Glass’
Few bands epitomised the rapidly-shifting tastes of the late ’70s and early ’80s as well as New York’s Blondie, who, for a punk band, did the unthinkable and recorded this effervescent disco track in 1978.
Cheap Trick, ‘I Want You To Want Me (Live)’
One of the rare song to hit the charts in a live version, ‘I Want You To Want Me’, recorded at Tokyo’s Nippon Budokan in 1978, is the most infectious song in the Illinois rock band’s catalogue. “The idea was to have it like a heavy metal pop song, Cheap Trick doing ABBA,” bass player Tom Petersson has said.