Movies about rock and roll: top best soundtracks
The 1950s was a booming decade for rock 'n' roll films, many of which were based on stories of teenagers doing truly rebellious acts! Such films were usually filled with rising stars of the time. They also spawned a series of rock and roll soundtracks... Icons such as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Little Richard were increasingly appearing on the big screen, as was their music. This, in many ways, provided them with a cult status. Today we will remember the best rock and roll movie soundtracks that have had a huge impact on music and cinema in general! Let's start...
"School Jungle" (1956)
Nothing beats the vinyl-buying hype that followed the release of "School Jungle"... But first, the plot: Set in a central high school, this film is about juvenile delinquency... The protagonist is Richard Dadier, played by Glenn Ford is a war veteran. He takes a job at a high school that is infamous throughout the city for its difficult students ... Antisocial behavior, threats, passions ... In a word, an exciting film from Richard Brooks!
There are songs such as "Thirteen Women (and Only One Man in Town)" performed by Bill Haley & The Comets, "Rock Around The Clock", "Rudy's Rock" and others ... Innovative story, exciting music, excellent acting ... What more could you want from a 50s rock movie?
"Don't Knock the Stone" (1956)
This film about the banning of rock in a small town certainly did not please the New York Times magazine, since as early as 1956 a note appeared on its pages:
“Most of the dialogue could not even be heard over the restless noise! What is rock and roll? Well, to one relatively middle-aged man, everything that happens in this film sounds like “knock-knock-knock-knock!” There is nothing more to add…”
However, for most young viewers at the time, the soundtrack was uplifting, especially when Little Richard, who played himself in the film, performs "Long tall Sally" and the signature "Tutti Frutti"!
The songs of The Platters, Ruth Brown, Jimmy Bowen, Nappy Brown and other artists took their place among the best in this film and in rock and roll in general ...
"Shake, Rattle, And Rock" (1956)
In the mid-50s, blues singer Big Joe Turner was the star of various rock and roll tours, and in 1956 he acted in films. Shake, Rattle, And Rock is about a pompous civic committee that sees rock 'n' roll as dangerous...
Starring a young Mike Connors (who later won a Golden Globe Award). The film also featured Fats Domino on the piano playing three amazing songs: "I'm In Love Again", "Honey Chile" and "Ain't That A Shame".
"This girl can't help it" (1956)
Frank Tashlin probably didn't realize the impact he would have when he directed and produced This Girl Can't Help It, starring Jayne Mansfield. And cameo performances by stars like Little Richard, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent are the basis for one of the most influential rock and roll soundtracks in history! Remarkably, this film captivated 16-year-old John Lennon.
The film's title track is by Little Richard, who also sings "Ready Teddy" and "She's Got It". In addition, the beautiful soundtrack also includes Julie London's Cry Me A River, Gene Vincent's Be-Bop-A-Lula, Eddie Cochran's Twenty Flight Rock and more...
"Rock, Rock, Rock!" (1956)
Even though it was a rather weak film, it features performances from early popular rock and roll artists and bands! Top songs include "Tra La la" by Laverne Baker, "You Can't Catch Me" by Chuck Berry, "Lonesome Train" by The Johnny Burnette Trio and "I Never Had A Sweetheart" by Connie Francis...
"Prison Rock" (1957)
Despite the fact that most of the films with the king of rock and roll were made in the 1960s, the film Prison Rock is perhaps one of the best of Presley's career ... In this film, Elvis played a role that partially reflected his own rise to fame. His character, Vince Everett, spends time in prison and has a tumultuous relationship with Peggy (Judy Tyler).
The film features superb songs by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, one of the most memorable rock and roll soundtracks of the era... "Jailhouse Rock" also features the most famous of all Presley's musical numbers, a dazzling rendition of "Jailhouse Rock"!
Jamboree is about a pair of young singers (played by Paul Carr and Freda Holloway) who become an overnight sensation as a duo! The film also features cameo performances by some of the era's biggest performers: Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Slim Whitman and more. The late great Fats Domino performs "Wait And See"...
"Big Beat" (1958)
Just a beautiful film that is full of great music by Fats Domino...
"Hot Rod Gang" (1958)
Singer/actor John Ashley had just starred in Frankenstein's Daughter when he landed a role in Hot Rod Gang, where he joined Gene Vincent's band. At that time, Vincent had already become a superstar after his 1956 rockabilly hit "Be Bop-A-Lula"! In the film, he sings "Dance In The Street", "Baby Blue", "Lovely Loretta" and "Dance To The Bop"...
The soundtrack was released as an EP by Capitol Records.
"Come on, Johnny, come on!" (1959)
Film "Come on, Johnny, come on!" is special for several reasons: it featured Chuck Berry's famous "duck walk" dance, as well as Ritchie Valens, who died the same year the film was made in a plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly... For Valens, it's was the first and, unfortunately, the last experience in the cinema ...
The film boasts one of the most memorable soundtracks in rock and roll with real incendiary music! The inimitable Chuck Berry performs "Johnny B. Goode", "Little Queenie" and "Memphis, Tennessee". Eddie Cochran sang "Teenage Heaven" in this film, a song that later made the Top 100.