Cult director Edgar Wright has always had a strong affinity to the world of music, illustrated by his illustrious filmography punctuated with some magical musical moments. From Shaun of the Dead’s jukebox scene in which a zombified pub landlord is beaten up to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, to 2017s Baby Driver which used a pumping soundtrack as one of the key plot devices, when it comes to a musical set-piece, in Edgar Wright we trust.
Featuring the like of T. Rex, The Beach Boys, Blur, and Queen, Edgar Wright pre-wrote a large majority of the songs into the Baby Driver script and worked the shooting schedule around such choices. Queen’s ‘Brighton Rock’ would prove to be one of the toughest songs to mix into the final film, with the director noting: “It’s quite a dense song. When I wrote this script, I basically put the beats of the song into the stage direction along with the action. We did storyboards, and then we cut the storyboards to the songs so we could try and time it out and make sure that it worked”.
Adding Sheer Heart Attack as his favourite album of the band’s career, Edgar Wright also notes The Beatles’ Abbey Road as a significant inspiration of the film, despite no Beatles songs ending up in the final version. Speaking in an interview during Baby Driver’s marketing, the director stated: “As a kid, it’s one of the first albums where I would listen and conjure up visuals. That’s how I wrote Baby Driver much later”.
It’s no surprise then, that in a recent tweet, the director has revealed Abbey Road and The White Album as his “favourite Beatles albums”, with “Rubber Soul, Sgt Pepper, Revolver and even The Magical Mystery Tour EP all bubbling away”. Continuing, Wright noted that his preference is “reverting back to The White Album and its algorithm breaking embarrassment of genre riches”.
Edgar Wright has previously mentioned Abbey Road among his most influential albums, commenting that it was one of his parent’s albums, and he would listen to it frequently at just eight years old. The film director also made note of two songs in particular that he felt were “raw and really malevolent”, these two choices included, “McCartney’s ‘Oh! Darling’ – which is his greatest ever vocal performance; he sounds like he’s ripping his throat out – and Lennon’s ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’, which is an incredible song and has such an amazing outro.”
“Abbey Road features these moments when it’s your last chance to hear all The Beatles together,” Edgar Wright comments on the legacy of what he calls The Beatles’ very best album. With the director set to deconstruct the life and career of the American pop-duo Sparks, releasing The Sparks Brothers at the end of July 2021, it looks as though the director’s dedication to the synthesis of music and film will be a pertinent part of his filmography.
For what it’s worth, our view on The Beatles’ iconic discography is much the same as Wright’s.