‘American Pie’ – 5 Essential Soundtrack Cuts
The movie ‘American Pie’ (1999) is summed up by one iconic love scene: Jim Levenstein (played by actor Jason Biggs) making messy, romantic man-love with an apple pie. There’s just something so poignant, so American, about that moment. ‘Pie’ was a box office smash, and it helped relaunch the "funny young people growing up before our eyes" genre of cinema, which dates back to at least Bill Murray's ‘Meatballs.'
The film's massive success also led to Britney-Spears-shaving-her-head-style public meltdowns from some of the young cast members (Tara Reid, Natasha Lyonne). All in all, ‘Pie’ was pretty fly for the coming-of-age genre. Also amazing is the movie’s '90s-alt-tastic soundtrack. Here, we look at the essential cuts from this curious musical artifact -- a disc that includes multiple Third-Eye Blind songs and the Barenaked Ladies’ ‘One Week,' which didn’t make the list on principle. Bon appetit!
One of the long-forgotten ska-punk bands of the 1990s, Goldfinger blessed us with but one hit, ‘Here In Your Bedroom.’ But take our word for it: They’re worth a second and third listen. Case in point: the fun little track, ‘Vintage Queen,’ which made the ‘American Pie’ soundtrack way cooler. Wait for the requisite curse word -- you’ll thank us later.
“Oh, make me over,” sings Courtney Love on 'Celebrity Skin,' a driving track from Hole's 1998 album of the same name. It has a decidedly Smashing Pumpkins-type vibe to it -- and for good reason: Billy Corgan helped write songs for the album, and future Pumpkin Melissa Auf der Maur rocks her bass all over the place. No matter who wrote 'em, the band’s songs have a cinematic quality, and 'Skin' is a smooth fit here.
The presence of Blink-182’s song ‘Mutt’ on the ‘American Pie’ soundtrack is interesting for reasons twofold. First, the band actually makes a cameo in the movie, playing dudes who happen to be doing some primitive Internet-voyeurism when Jim prematurely explodes in bed with hot foreign-exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth). Second, the song appears on the hugely popular ‘Enema of the State,’ which spawned classics like ‘What’s My Age Again?’ and ‘Adam’s Song.’ Not like ‘Enema’ needed ‘American Pie’ to go nuts, but it’s an oddly great little addition to the movie’s soundtrack.
‘Flagpole Sitta’ is one of the catchiest ’90s songs. It's got that memorable melody, practically flawless bridge and raging intro into the final verse, which anybody who grew up in the era will know on command (“paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me …”). Pop genius. The lyrics are a little cutesy, but that’s not a problem for ‘American Pie,’ which was full of pretty obvious humor. This song is a perfect addition.
Oh, if only all of the innocent ’90s children -- and their unsuspecting, totally moral parents -- had listened just a little closer to the words of this super-singalong song by Third Eye Blind (both the radio edit and extended version). If they had, they’d have known it's about "doing crystal meth" and, at one point, getting a beej. Nevertheless, it's a standout tune of the alt-rock era, and it's our "most essential track" on the ‘American Pie’ soundtrack.