Music Review: Hits Permeate the ‘American Graffiti’ Soundtrack

American Graffiti soundtrack

Though the American Graffiti film is set in 1962, this soundtrack contains only a few songs from that year, such as the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ Safari” and Booker T’s “Green Onions.” The rest were released between 1955 and 1961. The album—which features some entertaining intros by the inimitable Wolfman Jack—contains no fillers, no non-hits, no bad songs. Among the highlights: “Sixteen Candles” (the Crests), “Do You Wanna Dance” (Bobby Freeman), “Heart and Soul” (the Cleftones), “He’s the Great Imposter” (the Fleetwoods), “Runaway” (Del Shannon), two tunes each by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and the Beach Boys, and three by the Platters.

Also featured are two songs by Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids, a new group that appeared in the film and that, like Sha Na Na, covers 50s music. Flash Cadillac’s version of Danny and the Juniors’ “At the Hop” is merely OK, but its performance of “She’s So Fine” states the prototype ’50s teenage lament.

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