It’s impossible for me to overstate the importance of the American Graffiti soundtrack. This is my Anthology of American Folk Music. I’ve owned this album continuously since its release in 1973 — when I was 4 years old — and it continues to influence how I hear bands and process music. You get the early rock ‘n’ roll A listers like Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Buddy Holly, you get second wavers like Del Shannon, Lee Dorsey, and Booker T & The MGs, you get black vocal groups like The Platters and Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers and white vocal groups like The Diamonds and Beach Boys. You also get a handful of Wolfman Jack interstitials woven in throughout. “Hit parade on the stethoscope???”
As the cover plainly states, there are “41 Original Hits.” Of those, I can do without “See You In September” and “You’re Sixteen” (which hasn’t aged well for obvious creeper reasons). What’s that leave? 39 tracks? It’s a one-hit wonderland and if you listen to this and aren’t moved, there is something wrong with you. If I had my way, the American Graffiti soundtrack would be part of the Voight-Kampff Test.
American Graffiti soundtrack – 1973 [Amazon]