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Girl, Uninterrupted: "Dazed and Confused," the best rock 'n' roll movie soundtrack

As a music history buff, it's hard to find a movie that accurately depicts the culture of the '60s or '70s. Even "Almost Famous," one of my favorite movies of all time, has timeline issues that are hard to miss (e.g. the mention of Joni Mitchell's album, "Blue," which would not be released until three years after the movie takes place). The only movie that is entirely devoted to accurately representing the '70s, mainly through its soundtrack, is "Dazed and Confused." 

It should not be shocking that "Dazed and Confused," named after Led Zeppelin's 1969 hit, would be filled with some of rock's greatest hits. The director, Richard Linklater, was whole-heartedly committed to pairing his film with the perfect soundtrack, even setting aside about 10 percent of the film's budget for the music rights alone. 

Although, Linklater almost didn't get to live out this dream. Some of the people working on the film wanted to cut down the amount of money spent on the soundtrack by using covers of popular songs or even just basic instrumentals. Luckily for viewers, Linklater did not let this slide, and thus the perfect movie soundtrack was born.

The film introduces its main characters with "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith. Released in 1975 on Aerosmith's “Toys in the Attic" album, the song is a relic of the '70s and would have still been on the charts in early '76. Pink and some of his friends plan to see Aerosmith in the summer of 1976, which would have likely been during the tour for the album "Rocks," released just three weeks before the movie's setting.

Next up is “School's Out" by Alice Cooper, played right after the bell dismisses the students for summer. An older song for the movie, "School's Out" was released in 1972 on an album with the same title. The single peaked at number seven on Billboard's Hot 100 chart and is now one of Alice Cooper's greatest hits. With the characters in the movie being fans of other glam rock bands, such as Kiss and Sweet, it is likely that the kids were also fans of Alice Cooper.

Contrary to the major rock hits, Linklater added in a 1973 underdog “Jim Dandy" by Black Oak Arkansas. Although the band was no Aerosmith, this track was one of its few hit singles in the mid-70s, peaking at No. 25 on Billboard's Hot 100. Black Oak Arkansas was a product of the '70s southern rock craze which stemmed from bands like The Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd. With "Dazed and Confused" taking place in a small town in Texas, "Jim Dandy" perfectly adds to that '70s southern charm.

Supplementing its immature, high school atmosphere, "Dazed and Confused" features two songs by Ted Nugent. Although Ted Nugent was somewhat ignored in the mainstream music scene, and his albums were widely popular among teenagers. His 1975 self-titled album featured "•Stranglehold" which was not released as a single and “Hey Baby" which peaked at No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100. The hard rock sound and slight southern influence of Nugent's music perfectly encompassed that '70s teen angst, making him a star among the movie's characters.

In a world of period-piece movies that are "fixing to be a lot better, man“ (Slater), "Dazed and Confused" serves as a blueprint for any movie based in the 1970s. With a killer soundtrack and characters that seem like they really were alive in 1976, Richard Linklater was able to capture everything there is to love about the '70s without any historical inaccuracies. 

Kenzie Shuman is a freshman studying Journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Kenzie know by emailing her at or messaging her on Instagram @zieshuman.

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