Director: George Lucas Year: 1973
George Lucas' first feature was a testament to the land that made him, a vivid mural filled with varsity sweaters, car radios and "golly gee willikers" The radio shaman makes an early appearance in American Graffiti in the form of The Wolfman, the legendary Wolfman Jack playing his gravelly self as a local DJ. The music he plays throughout has come to be a definitive record of pop music in its last seconds before the musical revolution of the 60's blew up the suburban landscape that had congealed over the industry. Wolfman was creating the last NOW mix of an era, just forty year ago. You know they're still making NOWs? Fuckers got tough skin, rhino hides.
41 tracks long, the American Graffiti soundtrack whips through ditties, numbers, and ballads like—well, a radio station—as the hot summer night unfolds around the universal teenage tribulations of a babyfaced Dreyfuss. The music is a character, setting the tone in every interaction and the stage for every scene. But what lands this soundtrack on the list is it's longevity. I like thinking about Wyclef and Lauryn faded out on the couch one night at 4 a.m. watching this movie 20 years after it came out, seeing the scene below and locking eyes : "yooooooo......."