Music in Film: The Action-Packed Soundtrack of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

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By Iliana Ramirez
Music Journalist

In 2010, the film adaptation of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World hit theaters everywhere. The comic book turned film centers around Scott Pilgrim, played by Michael Cera, as he defeats the seven evil exes of his new girlfriend, Ramona Flowers, played by Elizabeth Winstead. While many who watch this film are fans of comics, the soundtrack to this film is one that should not be looked away from. The soundtrack is unlike many others as it is filled with a large range of artists, both fictional and real. The filmmakers recruited indie-rocker Beck to write and compose all of the songs for the fictional band, Sex Bob-Omb. This alone is what makes the soundtrack a hidden treasure. In addition to Beck, the soundtrack features new and old songs from artists such as Metric, Broken Social Scene, and the Rolling Stones.

From the intense fight scenes to the intimate moments between Scott and Ramona, each song fits each scene so precisely. So, sit back and grab yourself a snack as I breakdown some of the tracks from this marvelous soundtrack.

“We Are Sex Bob-Omb” — Sex Bob-Omb

In the first scene of the film, Scott and his band practice in order to prepare for Toronto Battle of the Bands. The drummer of the band, Kim, kicks off the song yelling loudly, “WE ARE SEX BOB-OMB! 1-2-3-4!” From here, the film officially begins as the opening credits roll out to the loud, energetic punk song.

“I Heard Ramona Sing” — Frank Black

When Scott becomes aware of this new girl Ramona Flowers, he is determined to find any way to talk to her. While at a party, this song by Frank Black plays as Scott searches for his new crush. This 90s-esque sound of the song comes from the front-man of the alt-rock band, The Pixies.

“By Your Side” — Beachwood Sparks

Although the soundtrack has a fast pace, much like the film itself, there are a couple of songs which break up that fast rhythm. One of these is the love song from Beachwood Sparks. This song plays in the background as Scott and Ramona go on one of their first dates. Here, we see Scott immediately falling for Ramona as the two sit side by side on a swing set. With the lyrics, “When you’re cold, I’ll be there, holding tight,” this song is just as intimate and romantic as the scene itself.

“Black Sheep” — Metric

One of the most popular songs off of the soundtrack comes from indie-rock band, Metric. Although Metric is credited on the soundtrack for the song, it is performed in the film by the fictional band, The Clash and the Damned. During a secret show of the fictional band, lead singer Envy Adams (Brie Larson) plays the catchy tune for a huge crowd. The repetitive “oohs” on this song make it one of the catchiest and most memorable on the soundtrack.

“Ramona” — Beck

This song by Beck is not only featured on the soundtrack by itself, but also as an acoustic version. The acoustic version is used as a song Scott sings to Ramona as a song he wrote for her. Although this version is short and sweet in the film, the full-length version is used in the closing credits after Scott finally defeats all of Ramona’s deadly exes.

“Scott Pilgrim” — Plumtree

The Canadian post-punk band Plumtree is responsible for one of the most significant parts of this film: the name. This song from the 2003 release, Predicts the Future, is what inspired the whole concept of the comic. Although several songs on this soundtrack were commissioned from artists, this song by the teenage all-female band was found through the comic creator, Bryan O’Malley. Throughout the film, Scott can be seen wearing his very own Plumtree T-shirt.

Not only is this film one of my favorites because of the soundtrack, but because of the several music Easter eggs that appear throughout the film. Early on in the film, Scott’s roommate, Wallace, is seen reading a newspaper. As the camera pans around Wallace, a Neko Case album cover appears in the newspaper. In addition to this, Scott regularly wears band T-shirts from bands such as Plum Tree and New Order. Other classic bands such as the Kinks and The Shins appear throughout the film on T-shirts and posters.

Although this film is recognized for its great cast, graphics, and storyline, the soundtrack is another component of what makes this film so unique. It is not often that film adaptations of a book do it justice, but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World seems to come pretty close to the real comic. Next time Scott Pilgrim vs. The World passes your screen, be on the look-out for the several Easter eggs and listen for all of the action-packed songs which accompany the film.

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