The School of Rock soundtrack includes music by The Clash, The Doors and Led Zeppelin. This info article contains spoilers for Richard Linklater’s 2003 movie. Visit the Soundtracks of Cinema section for more Vague Visages music guides.
Written by Mike White (The White Lotus) and directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused), School of Rock stars Tenacious D’s Jack Black as Dewey Finn. The out-of-work guitarist pretends to be a substitute teacher at the prestigious Horace Green Prep, and subsequently educates his students about the history of rock music. Dewey forms a band that could theoretically defeat his former group at an upcoming competition, but only if his plan isn’t thwarted by a stern principal (Joan Cusack as Rosalie Mullins). Supervised by Randall Poster (The Queen’s Gambit), the School of Rock soundtrack features dozens of classic rock hits. Here’s a breakdown of every song.
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School of Rock Soundtrack: Every Song in the 2003 Movie
- “Fight” by No Vacancy (00:00:00): The School of Rock soundtrack song scores the opening sequence. Dewey’s band plays at a night club. Black’s character steals the spotlight and stage dives.
- “Stay Free” by The Clash (00:07:00): Dewey tries to sell his 1968 Gibson SG after getting fired. The song plays in the background. Dewey receives a call from Rosalie Mullins from Horace Green Prep. “Stay Free” continues as Black’s character accepts the position and pretends to be his roommate Ned (White).
- “Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?” by Kiss (00:15:00): Dewey invites Ned to play in his band. Black’s character states that he has “vision up the butt” but still gets turned down. Dewey reminds Ned of his days playing in the band Maggot Death. The School of Rock soundtrack song ramps up at the end of the scene.
- “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquín Rodrigo (00:19:00): Dewey visits the bathroom and hears music. He returns to the classroom and finds the students performing the classical piece. Dewey’s eyebrows raise while observing Zack Mooneyham (Joey Gaydos Jr.) playing the guitar.
- “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream (00:20:00): Dewey grabs two guitars from his vehicle. He rushes back to the classroom. The School of Rock soundtrack song fades as Black’s character returns to his van for a keyboard.
- “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath (00:20:00): Dewey plays the song riff. Zack plucks along.
- “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple (00:21:00): Dewey plays the riff of a second song. This time, he’s more animated while performing. Zack once again plays the riff note for note.
- “Highway to Hell” AC/DC (00:21:00): Dewey riffs out and shuffles back and forth. Zack observes his temp teacher’s movements. The student repeats the School of Rock soundtrack song riff without any performance bravado.
- “Touch Me” by The Doors (00:22:00): Lawrence (Robert Tsai) plays the keyboard. Dewey sings the lyrics. Black’s character sets psyched about the potential for a new band.
- “Tomorrow” by Charles Strouse (00:27:00): Marta (Caitlin Hale) sings during class. Dewey says she’s “got it.”
- “Amazing Grace” by John Newton (00:27:00): Dewey asks Alicia (Aleisha Allen) to sing. He then identifies her as the “missing ingredient” for the band.
- “Memory” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Angus Young and Malcolm Young (00:27:00): Summer (Miranda Cosgrove) offers to sing. Dewey isn’t impressed but pretends to be pleased. Summer also offers to play the clarinet.
- “Back in Black” by AC/DC (00:28:00): The students line up in class. Dewey hands out nicknames and positions for the band. The School of Rock soundtrack song fades as the teacher briefs the security detail about their first mission — soundproofing the classroom.
- “Substitute” by The Who (00:32:00): Dewey arrives at school in his van. Summer is waiting by a tree with a menacing look on her face. The young student refuses to be “a groupie.”
- “In the End of Time” by Jack Black and Warren Fitzgerald (00:36:00): Dewey performs the song that he allegedly wrote in 15 minutes. He explains where the students will play their instruments. The School of Rock soundtrack song is about Dewey being kicked out of his band.
- “Chain of Fools” by Don Covay (00:43:00): Tomika (Maryam Hassan) tells Dewey that she doesn’t want to be a roadie. She then sings the Aretha Franklin song during an impromptu audition. Dewey asks Tomika to listen to the vocal solo in Pink Floyd’s “The Great Gig in the Sky.”
- “Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers (00:44:00): Dewey heads off to work. Ned and Patty (Sarah Silverman) are confused by his peppy demeanor. The music continues as Zack’s father tells him that he can no longer play rock music.
- “Step Off” by Mike White, Liam Lynch and Jack Black (00:48:00): Zack tells Dewey that he would tell a bully to “step off.” Dewey turn that concept into a song. The entire class sings.
- “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)” by Ramones (00:49:00): The School of Rock soundtrack song plays over a montage sequence. A chalk board shows Dewey’s rock theory notes. The students prepare for the upcoming Battle of the Bands audition.
- “The Wait” by Metallica (00:53:00): The students sneak out of school. Dewey drives them to the audition. The instrumental cuts on a shot of Principal Mullins.
- “Sad Wings” by Brand New Sin (00:55:00): A couple of rockers disparage Dewey’s band. Freddy (the late Kevin Clark) stands up to his fellow competitors. Dewey tells the students to focus.
- “Mouthful of Love” by Young Heart Attack (00:56:00): Tomika worries about her weight. Dewey explains that it’s her talent that matters. He also acknowledges his own physique.
- “Black Shuck” by The Darkness (00:57:00): Dewey looks for Freddy. The School of Rock soundtrack song amplifies as the young drummer leaves a van full of musicians. Dewey chastises the rockers for hanging out with a 10-year-old kid.
- “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin (01:01:00): The band is admitted into the competition after Dewey pretends the children are dying. Black’s character rocks out while driving back to the school. He also rewards Summer for her plan.
- “Math Is a Wonderful Thing” by Jack Black and Mike White (01:01:00): The band receives a name — School of Rock — after Dewey strums the song. Principal Mullins arrives to check up on reports of music being played. Black’s character then performs the educational tune.
- “Set You Free” by The Black Keys (01:07:00): Dewey asks Principal Mullins to have coffee. They end up drinking beer instead. Cusack’s character loosens up and takes her first sip as the School of Rock soundtrack song ends.
- “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks (01:08:00): Dewey plays the song on the jukebox. Principal Mullins recalls a concert she attended. Dewey suggests taking the students to a Philharmonic concert, one that would be “very educational” (and thus be allowed by the school).
- “‘Good Tmes’ Theme” by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman and Dave Grusin (01:10:00): Dewey sings while driving back to the school. Principal Mullins politely requests that he stop performing. She also reveals why she can’t be “funny” in her position.
- “Ballrooms of Mars” by T-Rex (01:18:00): Ned states that he received a $1,200 check from Horace Green Prep. Dewey prevents him from calling the school. The School of Rock soundtrack song plays as Black’s character admits that he pretended to be a teacher.
- “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie (01:20:00): Dewey arrives at the school for a parents meeting. He admits to Principal Mullins that he’s not actually a teacher. Cusack’s character misinterprets the moment.
- “T.V. Eye” by Wylde Ratttz (01:24:00): Dewey flees from Horace Green Prep after making a poorly worded statement about his relationship with the students. The song plays briefly and then fades when Black’s character arrives at his home.
- “Ride Into the Sun” by The Velvet Underground (01:24:00): Dewey argues with Patty. Ned asks them to stop. Dewey agrees to move out as the School of Rock soundtrack song continues.
- “Heal Me, I’m Heartsick” by No Vacancy (01:31:00): Battle of the Bands begins. Dewey’s former group performs on stage. Black’s character tells his new bandmates to focus.
- “School of Rock” by School of Rock (01:34:00): The focal band plays a song written by Zack. Dewey rocks a solo, and Tomika takes center stage. The students’ parents express their approval.
- “It’s a Long Way to the Top” by AC/DC (01:42:00): School of Rock loses the competition but plays an encore. The School of Rock soundtrack song continues during a transitional scene. Summer takes a phone call and arrives at the School of Rock After School Program. The track scores an extended credits sequence.
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.