“School Daze” soundtrack – Various Artists (Manhattan/EMI – 1988)
by A. Scott Galloway (Special to RFFocus )
From Director/Writer Spike Lee’s very first movie “She’s Gotta Have It” – which was scored by his father, Bill Lee, and featured one of the final recordings of `70s singing star Ronnie Dyson – music has played a powerful and prominent role in all of his self-dubbed “joints.” The musical selections in his films became a broad, highly purposed cultural canvas beginning with his second feature film, “School Daze” (40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks – 1988), which included Jazz, Go-Go, Reggae-Pop, Spirituals, Traditional Score and Symphonic Funk. All of this music was brilliantly woven into the storylines, never merely for showy eclecticism. Indeed, one looked forward to Mr. Lee’s joints almost as much for the music as the movies themselves. “School Daze” set the precedent with an impressive collection of talents – many that would return to work on his projects again and again.